Forklift Operation - Maintaining the Stability Triangle
One of the key basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into consideration the center of gravity and the stability triangle. One of the hardest things for a lift truck operator to judge is the significance 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 make sure that the center of gravity, that is made, along with the equipment and his load, remains in the stability triangle in order to prevent the forklift from losing balance and tipping over.
Centers of Gravity
How is the center of gravity defined? When it comes to lift truck operation, we should be concerned not only with the load's center of gravity but as well with the combined center of gravity. This includes the load which is being picked up and the lift truck itself.
The load center is defined as the load's center of gravity. In a uniform load situation, like a bale for example, the load center could be more easily detected. A uniform load on a 48 inch long pallet, for instance, would have the load center at 24 inches. This is a common load center for numerous smaller capacity lift trucks. Then again, if a load is not centered correctly, like with non-symmetrical things, maybe an engine for instance, then great care and caution need to be taken to be able to gauge the center of gravity.
The lift truck has its own center of gravity, that shifts each and every time the lift truck carries a load. Once the load is raised, the center of gravity shifts forward. A lot of care must be taken to be able to maintain the center of gravity within the forklift's stability triangle. 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 account. Be aware that whenever raising the load, the load center shifts forward as well.
The operator and everyone else who works close-by or in the nearby vicinity, can stay a lot safer if the stability triangle is respected and the center of gravity is maintained. This would truly guarantee a balanced machine, balanced loads and safer for everybody.
Click to Download the pdf