Forklifts might not be the primary backbone of the industrial world but they certainly play an invaluable role. They are essential for the lifting and moving of large and heavy loads. The fundamental forklift design concept hasnít changed much over the years but the controls, safety and comfort features have evolved in recent decades. Forklift attachment designs however have continued to proliferate over the years and today youíll find a wide variety of fork lift attachments that can be adapted to fit many different fork lifts and accomplish an infinite number of lifting and moving tasks. It is important to choose the correct forklift attachment for the forklift and the material handling job.
Consider for example the class of machines designated as rough terrain forklifts. This type of forklift is specially built and designed to handle off road terrain and is commonly used on construction sites, farms and landscaping projects. To successfully transverse the outdoor terrain, rough terrain forklifts are built with off road pneumatic tires, similar in many ways to the tires found on tractors or earth movers. These tires provide better cushioning and traction which is invaluable on uneven surfaces.
Rough terrain forklifts typically employ internal combustion engines unlike many indoor forklifts which utilize electric motors because internal combustion engines provide the power to carry heavier loads and achieve faster speeds without the need to plugged in for refueling.
Given the strength and power behind these machines, employers and operators of fork lifts are expected to work within the regulations outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These safety regulations are aimed at creating a safer work environment. They address crucial areas such as the certification of a fork lift operator and the standards for fork lift attachments.
In the case of the latter, the OSHA does not permit any modification to a fork lift attachment that will change its stated lifting capacity. The equipment capacity is an important operational factor and affects the type of task that the unit can be used for. Attempting to move an item that exceeds the lifting capacity of a forklift can affect the balance of the forklift and exposes the operator and workers to potential risk. Forklifts and fork lift attachments are typically accompanied with tags, instructions and labels to this effect.
It is important to note that the addition of a new fork lift attachment can significantly alter the carrying capacity of a fork lift and also affects the overall stability of the unit. In line with OSHA regulations, employers are therefore required to ensure that the maximum capacity load for the new attachments be clearly marked on the fork lift capacity data plate or nameplate.
Manufacturers are duty bound to provide information on the capacity rating of a fork lift. However, there are situations where this information might not be available. In such instance, a suitable alternative is to work with a professional engineering firm accustomed to performing fork lift capacity calculations. Some companies may provide a capacity calculator for use in estimating the capacity of a forklift with attachments. Capacity calculators are computing programs that allow users to accurately determine the fork capacity for their unit. Working with a fork lift capacity calculator provides employers with an effective method of assessing if they have sufficient fork capacity for an intended task but the employer must work with a professional engineering firm or the original manufacturer to obtain an OSHA compliant capacity data plate.
An example of a reliable tool is the Lift Truck Capacity Calculator.
Built by Professional Forklift Engineering Services, the Lift Truck Capacity Calculator is an effective tool that allows users to quickly assess the capacity of their machine and obtain a rating plate firmly within the regulations of the OSHA. You can calculate your capacity ratings or get OHSA complaint ratings tags for your fork lift and attachment by visiting, http://www.lifttruckcapacitycalculator.com.
There is no questioning the value of forklifts. They're an invaluable asset to any business where large or heavy items are going to be lifted. Depending on the design and model, forklifts can be used indoors or outdoors.
Properly determining the capacity of forklifts is important. This is because that a failure to get it right can lead to a myriad of problems. Included among these are injuries to employees that can be serious.