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Forklift Decisions: What Capacity Do I Need?

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

First, ask yourself these questions:



  • How heavy is my typical load?

  • How high do I need to lift my loads?

  • How wide is my common aisle space?

  • How many hours will my forklift be used per day / per week?

  • Will my forklift be used indoors or outdoors?


What is Forklift Capacity and how is it measured?


DSC_9718-as-Smart-Object-1Forklift capacity is the measurement of how much weight a particular forklift can lift. Lower capacities begin around 3,000 lbs. and can go up to over 50,000 lbs.

What is a Load Center? A load center is the horizontal distance from the front, vertical face of the forks to the center of gravity of the load. It constitutes the standard, or base, for rating the load capacity of the forklift. The main standards organization, Industrial Standard Design Foundation (ITSDF), places the loadcenter at 24 inches on most forklifts.

Before you begin your research, know the dimensions and the weight of your typical loads. Determine if your loads are typically the same size or if they vary. If your load sizes fluctuate, make sure you know the weight of your heaviest load.

If you have a racking system and loads are consistently being raised and lowered, then height is a major factor. Are loads lifted to a variety of heights? If so, use the maximum height when determining what forklift you need.

Knowing your needs is vital when working with your salesperson. They will be able to determine which forklift capacity best fits your application. For more information, contact your Toyota forklifts dealer.

Request A Quote or for pricing, parts & more, click here to find a dealer near you.

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