Yes that’s a play on words as we need to look LOAD CENTRES (LC) and how they affect the performance of a forklift.
A forklift is rated at a certain capacity i.e. the maximum weight that it can lift. So a 2 ton forklift will be able to lift 2 tons given that the centre of the load is no longer than 500mm. The forklift thus has a capacity of 2 tons with a 500mm load centre. In simple terms this means that the load that is being lifted should not be longer than 1 meter (1 000mm) – the CENTRE of the load would thus be 1000/2 = 500mm.
What happens if the load centre is larger than 500mm? The forklifts capacity decreases i.e. it can’t lift 2 tons anymore because the load is too long (facing forward form the face of the forks). A practical analogy would be that a person could hold a pole cradled in their arms against their chest, now try hold that pole with your arms straight out forward in the palms of your hands – you will find it very difficult.
In practical terms lets look at some real figures – a forklift with a capacity of 2 tons will lift in the following manner depending on the load centre:
Lifting capacity (kg) Load centre (mm)
2 000 500
1 805 600
1 645 700
1 515 800
1 400 900
So when renting or purchasing a forklift make sure you know what the load centre is because it will most definitely influence the lifting capacity of the machine.