Understand the ‘stability triangle’
An unloaded lift truck’s center of gravity – where the weight has equal concentration – typically is higher than that of a personal vehicle. The load has its own center of gravity, and once it’s picked up, a combined center of gravity between the load and truck is established.
Lift trucks are built on three-point suspension systems, the physics of which resemble a triangle. Support points lie at both ends of the front axle, with another located at the center of the rear axle. Together, this forms a “stability triangle” that operators must stay within when the truck is in motion.
Numerous factors can cause a lift truck to vacate the stability triangle, including unstable, heavy, wide or raised loads; fast starts and stops; taking corners too quickly; and rough terrain.
Here are several tips to help prevent forklifts from tipping over:
- Before operation, ensure a load is completely stable and secured on the forks.
- Keep loads low to the ground during operation.
- Keep loads uphill when climbing or descending an incline.
- Drive slowly in wet or slippery conditions.
- Slow down during turns, and honk the horn upon encountering traffic.
Stay tuned for Part – 5 ” Know about load basics” coming next week.
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