Forklift Operation - Maintaining the Stability Triangle
Among the important basic discussions about lift trucks is taking into consideration the stability triangle and the center of gravity. Among the most complicated things for an operator of a lift truck to judge is the significance of maintaining their center of gravity in their stability triangle.
The Stability Triangle
To explain it clearly, a forklift has a 3-point suspension system. When drawing imaginary lines between these three points, the stability triangle is created. The operator must ensure that the center of gravity, that is created, combined with the machine 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 in regards to using a lift truck, we should be concerned not only with the center of gravity of the load being lifted but as well with the combined center of gravity. This comprises the load that is being picked up and the lift truck itself.
The load's center of gravity 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 instance, a uniform load on a 48 inch long pallet, will have the load center at 24 inches. This load center is very common for numerous smaller capacity lift trucks. However, if a load is not properly centered, like with items which are not symmetrical, perhaps an engine for instance, then great caution and care have to be taken to be able to estimate the center of gravity.
The lift truck has its own center of gravity, which shifts each and every time the lift truck picks up a load. When the load is lifted, the center of gravity shifts forward. Care has to 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. What's more, the load center must be taken into account. Be very careful whenever raising the load, the load center moves forward as well.
If the stability triangle is respected and the center of gravity is maintained, the operator and all workers and pedestrians nearby can stay a lot safer. This would ensure balanced loads, a balanced machinery and safer for everyone.