Forklift Operation - Maintaining the Stability Triangle
One of the important basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into account the stability triangle and the center of gravity. Among 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 must make certain that the center of gravity, that is created, along with his load and the equipment itself, remains in the stability triangle to be able to prevent the forklift from losing balance and tipping over.
Centers of Gravity
How is the center of gravity defined? When it comes to using a lift truck, we should be concerned not just with the load's center of gravity but as well with the combined center of gravity. This comprises the lift truck as well as the load it is picking up.
The center of gravity of the load is defined as the load center. The load center can be more easily detected in a uniform load situation, such as a bale. Like for example, a uniform load on a 48 inch long pallet, will have the load center at 24 inches. This is a common load center for lots of smaller capacity lift trucks. Then again, if a load is not centered correctly, such as with non-symmetrical things, maybe an engine for instance, then great care and caution must be taken in order to estimate the center of gravity.
The lift truck has a center of gravity of its own, that shifts every time the lift truck picks up a load. When the load is raised, the center of gravity shifts forward. Care must be taken in order to maintain the center of gravity in the forklift's stability triangle. This occurs by following the numbers and not lifting more than the maximum allowable, given the center of the load. What's more, the load center must be considered. Be really careful whenever raising the load, the load center also shifts forward.
The operator and everybody else who works in the nearby vicinity or close-by, can stay much safer if the stability triangle is respected and the center of gravity is maintained. This will ensure balanced loads, a balanced machinery and safer for everyone.