The forklift nameplate shows important information about the truck, it gives sufficient data to the operator how it is being handled properly. An operator who is intending to operate the truck must read the nameplate which tells them its limitations and specifications. This is a basic safety requirement provided by the manufacturer. To ensure that the truck is being driven properly, operators must read the nameplate and be aware of the data about the forklift before being put to use to guarantee safety.
Without it, it could be worrisome for someone to operate the forklift. The operator could endanger himself and others in workplace because he could surpass the truck’s lifting and load capacity that could cause overturning. Tipping over is the most frequent accident occurrence due to a handful of reasons, one of this is the carrying too much load more than the forklift can handle.
(Source of the image is from: www.eatsleepforklift.com)
What Were Included in the Nameplate?
The data plate is like the material safety data sheet (MSDS) of the materials operator is handling. It includes many of the important specifications of the forklift.
Maximum lifting height – every forklift has it and operator must know about it to ensure that the task at hand is to be carried out correctly. It is the highest lifting elevation the load can be carried to based on the load center.
Load Center – This tells how far forward from the mast the balancing point of the load is. If in the past the forklift has been modified for whatever reason or equipped with an attachment/extension, it should be reflected to the nameplate and updated to give correct information.
Capacity – Obviously, it is the maximum weight the forklift can carry. The further forward the load is from the center of the gravity, the lesser load the truck can handle.
Mast and Back Tilt – It is the maximum degree of angle the back tilt. It is better to understand so that operator be informed the tilting degree when loading goods.
Weight of the Forklift - It refers to the weight of the truck without the load. Some nameplates don’t include the weight of the battery. Since battery is heavy, some forklift manufacturers don’t include it to the total truck weight. Battery has its own tag on it, you can add it to the truck weight to determine the total weight.
Tire Size – When fitted with tires not in conformance with the specification, the truck could be unstable. When replacing tires, it is best to suggest what was indicated in the nameplate. The pneumatic tire pressure is also included and must be followed to meet the required ratings.
Attachment – how attachment is to be fitted must be included to the nameplate. It tells the driver the capacity of the forklift as equipped with such attachment.
For electric-powered lift truck, the minimum weight of the battery as indicated on the nameplate, should be followed, so that it won’t affect the rated capacity. Batteries vary in sizes and weight. If forklift is to be equipped with smaller and less heavier battery, the lifting capacity will be affected. It is best to follow the battery weight specification. The thing is the weight of the battery must be between the minimum and maximum as indicated in the data plate.
For any reason, the forklift is to be altered in any way to be used in any lifting situation, such modification can be advised first to the manufacturer if it is allowed. If so, then the nameplate must be updated to reflect such specification. This is also the case when attachment or extension is to be used to cater for a certain type of task.
Forklift Nameplate is Needed During These Instances
During Risk Analysis – The safety officer can refer to the nameplate to determine measurements to be included in the risk assessment report. This is vital if task to be carried out posts serious risk and hazard.
During Pre-Shift Operation – Every operator who is driving forklift must refer to the nameplate, especially when it is his first time to operate the machine. Referring to the nameplate during pre-operation is a good safety practice.
When Forklift is to be Outfitted with Attachment/Extension or Modified – Since equipping the forklift with attachment or modifying its design will greatly affect its capacity and stability, it should be reflected to the nameplate. Such modification and alteration can only be done with the manufacturer permission or written approval or by an engineering body.
OSHA Does State Nameplate Requirement on Forklift
Both of these regulating bodies have something to say about the requirement. If you were thinking that it is just small thing that inspector may overlooked when visited your premise, you might be facing citation. Anyhow, here are the specific regulation of OSHA and ANSI.
- 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(3) says that forklifts shall include identifying mark or data plate as approval by the testing body (which is in this case, the manufacturer or engineering firm).
- American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969 states some of the requirements. You can read here.
To Wrap This Up
Every powered industrial truck must have its own nameplate firmly attached to the truck. Because it degrades overtime, it should be decipherable. If it is lost, you can ask the manufacturer about the specification and create a makeshift nameplate.
Forklift operators without sufficient information about the truck they are driving are putting themselves in serious risk and danger. Safe usage of the forklift will determine by its nameplate. All drivers must know the load capacity of the truck, mechanical designs and specifications of the forklift. Nameplate must be present and firmly attached to the truck at all times, it is basic safety requirement.