Forklift Operation - Maintaining the Stability Triangle
Among the key basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into consideration the stability triangle and the center of gravity. One of the most complicated things for an operator of a lift truck to judge is the importance 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 formed when imaginary lines are drawn between these three points. The operator should make certain that the center of gravity, that is created, combined with his load and the machinery itself, remains within 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 in regards to lift truck operation, we must be concerned not just with the load's center of gravity but as well with the combined center of gravity. This includes the load that is being picked up and the lift truck itself.
The load center is defined as the center of gravity of the load. 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 instance, will have the load center at 24 inches. This load center is really common for many lift trucks with smaller capacity. However, if a load is not correctly centered, like with items which are not symmetrical, maybe an engine for example, then great care and caution should be taken in order 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 moves forward. A lot of care must be taken to be able to maintain the center of gravity in the forklift's stability triangle. This occurs by following the numbers and not raisin over the maximum allowable, given the center of the load. What's more, the load center must be considered. Be really careful whenever lifting the load, the load center also moves forward.
If the center of gravity is maintained and the stability triangle is respected, the operator and all workers and pedestrians close by could stay a lot safer. This would ensure a balanced machinery, balanced loads and safer for everybody.
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