Komatsu Gas Forklifts
Forklift Operation - Maintaining the Stability Triangle
Amongst the key basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into consideration the center of gravity and the stability triangle. One of the most complicated things for a lift truck operator to judge is the significance of maintaining their center of gravity within their stability triangle.
The Stability Triangle
A forklift has a 3-point suspension system. The stability triangle is created when imaginary lines are drawn between these three points. The operator has to ensure that the center of gravity, that is created, along with the machinery and his load, remains in the stability triangle in order to prevent the forklift from losing balance and tipping over.
Centers of Gravity
How do you define the center of gravity? When it comes to using a lift truck, we should be concerned not just with the center of gravity of the load being lifted but as well with the combined center of gravity. This comprises the lift truck as well as the load it is picking up.
The load center is defined as the load's center of gravity. In a uniform load situation, such as a bale for example, the load center could be more easily detected. A uniform load on a 48 inch long pallet, for example, will have the load center at 24 inches. This load center is really common for a lot of smaller capacity lift trucks. Then again, if a load is not centered correctly, such as with items which are not symmetrical, maybe an engine for instance, then a lot of care and caution should be taken to be able to estimate the center of gravity.
The lift truck has its own center of gravity, which shifts every time the lift truck carries a load. Once the load is raised, the center of gravity shifts forward. Care has to be taken in order to maintain the center of gravity in the forklift's stability triangle. This happens by following the numbers and not lifting over the maximum allowable, given the center of the load. Also, the load center should be considered. Be aware that whenever raising the load, the load center moves forward also.
If the stability triangle is respected and the center of gravity is maintained, the operator and all employees and pedestrians close by can stay a lot safer. This will truly ensure a balanced machinery, balanced loads and safer for everybody.
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