An important piece of information about the operational safety of your lift truck is its data plate. This should be on a visible place on your forklift. It holds key information that could affect the stability of the vehicle and prevent it from tipping over.
Operators must understand data plate details which include:
- Model and type of lift truck and serial number
- Load and truck weights
- Load centres
- Battery weights (maximum and minimum) for electric trucks
- Types of batteries
- Lift heights
Do not operate the lift truck without proper data plates since the truck configuration, capacity and weight on the data plates provides important operating information. If the data plates are inaccurate, missing or defaced on the lift truck, replacements can be ordered from the manufacturer or the local dealer. They can also explain information on the data plate that may not be clear. It is a legal requirement to have the data place on your vehicle and to carefully follow the manufactures instructions.
Data plates list the following:
- Truck model
- Construction of the truck
- Serial number of the lift truck
- Various attachments other than the standard upright model
The chart and illustrations on the plate will provide:
- The weight of the truck. For electric vehicles, its weight is the truck weight less the weight of the battery
- Vertical load centre in millimeters and inches. There may be 3 different lift heights
- Type and tire material
- Drive tire width. This is measured from the outside edge to its other outside edge of the drive tires
- Load capacity, listed in kg and lbs
- Maximum allowable centre of gravity of the load. This is offset from the centreline of the truck
- Maximum lift height in millimeters and inches. There are up to 2 load centres.
Electric lift trucks may have other information on the data plates such as:
- Battery weight maximum and minimums
- Maximum rating on the amp-hour capacity fir which the truck is equipped
- VOLTS (the voltage needed by the truck)
- Battery type
All this information is critical to operating your lift truck safely. Know the weight of your truck and load before entering trailers, railcars or elevators to ensure that it can bear the load.
Understand the load capacity, load centre and battery weight of any truck you operate. When ordering parts, ensure the mechanic is informed of the correct type, model and serial number.
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