Large Capacity Forklifts: How Are They Different?

taylor large capacity forklift

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Depending on the industry and application, your facility may use a large capacity forklift, a unit with a capacity of 15,500 lb or more. Although these forklifts are operated inside the facility to move machinery, machinery dies and specialty manufactured product (low or high volume), oftentimes they are used outside, working on uneven and rough terrain.

While features of a large capacity forklift are similar to its smaller counterparts, they have subtle differences in maintenance and safety.

Large Capacity Forklift: Tire Quality

To keep your large capacity forklift and its load stable, the correct tires must be in place. Units with mismatched tires (i.e. new tires matched with worn tires, different ply ratings, bias versus radial) on the front drive axle will compromise balance. If truck tires are substituted as replacements, the sidewall will flex and give under the heavy weight. This uneven load can cause an expensive repair such as a broken drive axle. It is also important to ensure your forklift maintains the correct tire pressure to avoid cracked rims.

Large Capacity Forklift: Load Center

Because of the forklift’s large size, an operator may assume it can carry any load. It is important the operator understands the true load center of the unit both with and without a load. This information can be found on the forklift’s data tag(s).

Large Capacity Forklift: Maintenance

Large capacity forklifts require unique tools and resources. For example, a technician servicing a radiator will find it to be more compact and working on a mast may require two technicians. Also, inspecting the forklift takes longer and may require a manlift to look at the forklift’s feature. Although some have in-house technicians, many companies find it beneficial to outsource maintenance of their large capacity forklift to eliminate the investment in tools, resources and training.

If you have only one large capacity forklift, your production schedule will be vulnerable to a breakdown. The rough application exposes your forklift to dust, dirt, sand, etc., but placing your unit on a planned maintenance schedule will catch mechanical issues early. Calculate the number of hours the forklift is in use each day to determine an inspection schedule.

Whether you have a need to purchase or service a large capacity forklift, ProLift can help. We guarantee to respond to your breakdown call within 4 hours or your first hour of labor is free.