Electric Counterbalance Forklift Use Guidelines

Something we’re quite often asked is knowing what you can and can’t lift in a forklift truck. To find out for yourself, watch Locators’ video guide below and gain a better appreciation of the parameters of what a counterbalance forklift truck can do. This video runs through everything from the importance of a load centre through to the fluctuations in capacity.

If you do have any questions regarding Manitou checks please do not hesitate to call one of our friendly team members on 01202 854 200.

00:00 - Introduction
I thought we could talk a little bit today about how when you’re actually using the truck, knowing what you can and can’t lift and which trucks to use in different areas.
00:10 - What Does that Mean?
This truck on my right’s an electric counterbalance truck. It’s just come back from a hire and you can see, it needs a bit of a respray before it goes out again. So counterbalance trucks up to three and a half tonnes are rated at a load centre of 500mm. Now, what does that mean?
00:27 - The Parameters of what the Truck Can Do
When your fork truck specialist comes onto the site to specify something, they need to know exactly the weight and the size of the loads sticking up with the truck. This truck is a 1.8 tonne capacity three-wheel electric counterbalance truck, and this truck will pick up 1 tonnes up to a certain lift height. As long as the load is only one metre deep and one metre high, and that the load is spread evenly within that area. If you’ve got all the weight at the very end of the load – or at the very back of the load – that will change the parameters of what the truck is able to do.
00:59 - The Importance of Load Centres
Load centres are really important on forklift trucks. If you suddenly change from picking up a one ton load – which is a metre deep – to a one ton load – two metres deep – it makes a massive difference, because a counterbalance truck has a weight on the back to stop the truck tipping forward. So the further you move the weight out, the more likely it is to tip forward, it’s as simple as that. We’ll move round and show you the capacity plate on the truck which is your best guide really to work out what you can and can’t lift with your forklift.
01:27 - The Specification Plate
So all material handling equipment needs to have a specification plate attached to it. When your inspector comes around and does the annual inspection of your truck – or twice annual inspection of your truck depending on what it is – they will check that there is a specification plate on the truck, which tells you – err – what its capacity is and what its de-rated capacity is. If that isn’t on there then your truck will fail the thorough examination and they will require you to speak to your service provider and get a new plate fitted.
01:54 - Understanding the Fluctuations in Capacity
This capacity plate on the counterbalance truck gives me three different capacities. So I’ve got 1.8 tonnes at full lift height, at 500m load centre, so that’s a one metre deep load. At full lift height, if I go to a 1.2 metre deep load – so if I’m handling a Euro pallet or a UK 1,200 deep – that capacity drops down to 1,610 kilos. So you lose almost 200 kilos. If you then go to picking up a two metre deep load – with a 1,000mm load centre – then your capacity drops right down to 1,140 kilos. So you can see it has a dramatic affect in what we call “de-rating” the truck. So you mustn’t assume that some things only weighs a ton it’s not just the actual weight of the load. You mustn’t assume that the truck will pick it up if the load is bigger than one metre deep. You need to consult this and if its outside of the parameters of what’s on the specification plate of the truck, then you need to contact your service provider or the company who supplied you the truck and check with them before you try lifting anything.
02:55 - Thanks for Watching
Thank you for watching. If you have any questions, please refer to the operator’s manual for the machine or contact us at Locators.
00:00 - Introduction

I thought we could talk a little bit today about how when you’re actually using the truck, knowing what you can and can’t lift and which trucks to use in different areas.
00:10 - What Does that Mean?

This truck on my right’s an electric counterbalance truck. It’s just come back from a hire and you can see, it needs a bit of a respray before it goes out again. So counterbalance trucks up to three and a half tonnes are rated at a load centre of 500mm. Now, what does that mean?
00:27 - The Parameters of what the Truck Can Do

When your fork truck specialist comes onto the site to specify something, they need to know exactly the weight and the size of the loads sticking up with the truck. This truck is a 1.8 tonne capacity three-wheel electric counterbalance truck, and this truck will pick up 1 tonnes up to a certain lift height. As long as the load is only one metre deep and one metre high, and that the load is spread evenly within that area. If you’ve got all the weight at the very end of the load – or at the very back of the load – that will change the parameters of what the truck is able to do.
00:59 - The Importance of Load Centres

Load centres are really important on forklift trucks. If you suddenly change from picking up a one ton load – which is a metre deep – to a one ton load – two metres deep – it makes a massive difference, because a counterbalance truck has a weight on the back to stop the truck tipping forward. So the further you move the weight out, the more likely it is to tip forward, it’s as simple as that. We’ll move round and show you the capacity plate on the truck which is your best guide really to work out what you can and can’t lift with your forklift.
01:27 - The Specification Plate

So all material handling equipment needs to have a specification plate attached to it. When your inspector comes around and does the annual inspection of your truck – or twice annual inspection of your truck depending on what it is – they will check that there is a specification plate on the truck, which tells you – err – what its capacity is and what its de-rated capacity is. If that isn’t on there then your truck will fail the thorough examination and they will require you to speak to your service provider and get a new plate fitted.
01:54 - Understanding the Fluctuations in Capacity

This capacity plate on the counterbalance truck gives me three different capacities. So I’ve got 1.8 tonnes at full lift height, at 500m load centre, so that’s a one metre deep load. At full lift height, if I go to a 1.2 metre deep load – so if I’m handling a Euro pallet or a UK 1,200 deep – that capacity drops down to 1,610 kilos. So you lose almost 200 kilos. If you then go to picking up a two metre deep load – with a 1,000mm load centre – then your capacity drops right down to 1,140 kilos. So you can see it has a dramatic affect in what we call “de-rating” the truck. So you mustn’t assume that some things only weighs a ton it’s not just the actual weight of the load. You mustn’t assume that the truck will pick it up if the load is bigger than one metre deep. You need to consult this and if its outside of the parameters of what’s on the specification plate of the truck, then you need to contact your service provider or the company who supplied you the truck and check with them before you try lifting anything.
04:19 - Thanks for Watching

Thank you for watching. If you have any questions, please refer to the operator’s manual for the machine or contact us at Locators.

What our clients say

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa