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# Forklift Attachment Capacity: Fact vs. Fiction

Posted by Aaron Di Rienzo on

# Forklift Attachment Capacity: Fact vs. Fiction

When considering capacity of potential attachments for your forklift, it’s crucial to review the forklift’s rating at its load center, which determines how much weight the machine can safely lift. This will also determine what is possible when attempting to build and implementing longer, high-capacity attachments.

Since forklifts are rated at a load center, the further out you want to lift, the lower the capacity becomes. A 5,000-lb. capacity forklift will lift that much weight up to 48-inch forks (with a 24-inch load center) but going out to 60 inches (with a 30-inch load center), for example, drops the capacity to 4,000 pounds.

The weight capacity of a forklift attachment is tied to what is known as the Maximum Load Moment, which is when the load center distance increases, changing the weight distribution, and as a result, the amount of weight a truck can carry under those conditions. Increasing the load center distance too far can cause a forklift to tip.

Load Moment is the product of the object’s weight multiplied by the object’s distance from the fulcrum, which is a fixed point that acts as the pivot point. On a sit-down counterbalanced forklift, the fulcrum or pivot point is the axle of the front wheels. It is this product, or Load Moment, which determines how much overturning force is being applied to the forklift.

The maximum Load Moment for a truck is derived by multiplying the weight rating of the forklift by the center load distance. If we multiply the 5,000-pound capacity of our theoretical forklift by its 24-inch center load, we arrive at a maximum Load Moment of 120,000 inch-pounds. However, when exceeding that 24 inches by use of a longer attachment, that capacity estimate must be revised. In order to discover the maximum load when the load center distance is greater than the distance stated on the data plate, one must divide the maximum Load Moment by the actual load center distance.

Calculate Weight Capacity

To determine what your forklift’s capacity will become when using an attachment, use the following formula: