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One of the important basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into account the stability triangle and the center of gravity. Amongst the most complicated things for a lift truck operator to judge is the importance of maintaining their center of gravity in their stability triangle.
The Stability Triangle
A forklift has a 3-point suspension system. The stability triangle is formed when imaginary lines are drawn between these three points. The operator should ensure that the center of gravity, which is created, together with his load and the machinery itself, remains in the stability triangle so as to guard against the forklift losing balance and tipping over.
Centers of Gravity
How do you define the center of gravity? When in regards to lift truck operation, we should be concerned not only with the center of gravity of the load being lifted but as well with the combined center of gravity. This comprises the lift truck and the load it is picking up.
The center of gravity of the load is defined as the load center. The load center could be more easily detected in a uniform load situation, like for instance a bale. Like for instance, a uniform load on a forty eight inch long pallet, will have the load center at 24 inches. This load center is very common for many smaller capacity lift trucks. However, if a load is not centered correctly, such as with items that are not symmetrical, perhaps an engine for instance, then a lot of caution and care need to be taken in order to estimate the center of gravity.
In addition, the lift truck has it's own center of gravity. This shifts every time the lift truck carries a load. Once the load is raised, the center of gravity moves forward. Care should be taken to be able to maintain the center of gravity within the stability triangle of the forklift. This occurs by following the numbers and not raisin more than the maximum allowable, given the center of the load. Also, the load center must be taken into consideration. Be really careful whenever lifting the load, the load center also moves forward.
The lift truck or forklift is a powered machine utilized most frequently for the transporting and lifting of goods and materials in industrial and warehouse settings. These machines are normally utilized within the dockside, warehousing, construction and mining applications.
The forklift can be referred to many different names, depending on their uses. Some different examples of these names are: fork trucks, trailer loaders, lift trucks and stacker trucks. These types of equipment are used all around the world, mainly in the warehousing and manufacturing business.
The very first forklifts made their debut during the mid 19th century and the start of the 20th century, when they were used as part of the construction of the 1906 Pennsylvania railroad. At that time, platform trucks were introduced to be able to help in moving goods. These very first platform trucks were battery powered. The trucks regained their popularity in the First World War when extreme labor shortages occurred because of all the enlisted men. This is when forklifts really arrived on the market to stay.
There are essentially 2 main kinds of forklift: those dealing with heavy cargo and those that could handle light loads. The light models consist of: towing tractors, side loaders, walkie starters and hand pallet trucks. These types of machines are made for handling lighter loads and they are not ideal for really heavy cargo. The specific load capacity of the machinery is posted in the owner's guidebook and on the equipment itself. A few examples of the big truck types comprise: truck mounted forklifts, telescopic handlers and walkie order picking trucks.