Forklift Capacity Calculator



Forklifts are very versatile machines. They are designed to lift heavy items of all types safely, without injury to the item or to the operator. Lift trucks can handle items such as truck engines, cement barriers, pipes and tubing. They can also handle large pallets of almost any type of goods, from stacks of toys, to bags of sugar, up to drums of oil.

Because lift trucks must handle a diverse amount of products, lift truck attachments are designed to help with this task. Lift truck attachments can be ordered with the lift truck and installed by the manufacturer, or the attachment can be purchased separately and installed at the location of operation.

While it is great to have lift trucks that can be so versatile with various lift truck attachments, it is important to note that each attachment can change the lifting capacity and capabilities of the forklift.

The most common of the lift truck attachments is the fork. Fork attachments are actually just two metal beams that extend from the lift truck. This attachment allows the lift truck to maneuver the forks into position under pallets, then lift the pallet and transport it to the destination.

There are other types of lift truck attachments as well. Here are some examples:

Carton clamps are large slabs of metal that work in conjunction with a fork attachment or work alone to clamp and lift the load without forks. Clamps provide sideways stability and reduce the chances of a stack falling or becoming unbalanced.

Bale clamps work very similarly to carton clamps, but can handle bales of product such as banded paper or cardboard, wrapped wood, or bales of hay or straw.

Drum clamps are designed to handle various types of metal or plastic drums. Typically, there are 55 gallon drums that contain different types of liquids, such as oil, water, acid, or any other chemical or liquid. Drum clamps provide a very stable means of transporting up to four drums at a time.

Rotators are lift truck attachments that are designed to move product and then dump the product, by rotating the fork/basket combination. This is often used in recycling and food processing environments.

Side shifters are an attachment that allows the load to be moved sideways slightly, to make loading and unloading easier.

Layer pickers move product by attaching to the top of the load via a grapple. The load can then be picked and moved, then placed as needed.

Lift truck attachments come in as many varieties as the lift trucks themselves. For safety reasons and to ensure there is no damage to the product, the lift truck, or the operating area, the lift capacity must be determined. Any combination of lift truck plus attachment can have an impact on the lift capacity. Before making any assumptions, check with the engineers at Professional Forklift Engineering Services to make sure your lift trucks are in compliance and can safely and securely transport loads without issue.