How To Read—and Understand—an Electric Forklift Data Plate

When operated correctly, electric forklifts handle heavy loads safely. Read the truck’s data plate for information such as its weight and load capacity. Learn how to read and understand an electric forklift data plate.

Model Number and Serial Number

Knowing the model number is essential for dealers or service workers repairing or performing maintenance on the machine. You will need to know this number to get the right replacement parts, such as a new or refurbished forklift battery. The serial number uniquely identifies the forklift and is especially useful for technicians to understand the machine and its maintenance history.


The data plate indicates the forklift’s weight, which is important for calculating the weight of the load the forklift can safely carry. Note that the weight on the data plate does not include the battery’s weight. If you need to know the total weight of your lift truck, add the listed weight on the data plate to the weight of the battery.

Mast Type and Back Tilt

The forklift mast lifts, lowers, and positions the load. The back tilt means how far backward the mast can tilt. The value shown on the nameplate is in degrees. Here are the most common mast types and what they might be called on your data plate:

  • 3-stage: sometimes called FSV or TSU
  • 2-stage: V or FV
  • 4-stage: QFV

Rated Load Capacity Chart

The rated capacity of the forklift truck is printed on a table on the nameplate. Factors such as the truck’s load center, maximum lift height, and attachments affect the weight of the load the truck can handle.

The table will show the lift truck’s load center, or the distance to the center of the load’s gravity from the front and top of the forks. It will also show the maximum lift height, or how high the forklift mast goes. Finally, the table shows the load capacity based on the load center, maximum lift height, and installed attachments.


Installed attachments are listed on the lift truck’s data plate because the attachment reduces the lift capacity. Attachments also have their own data plates.


Nameplates include information on the front tire tread, the tire type, and size. The front tread value indicates the width of the front wheels. The word “solid” in the tire information section indicates the truck requires cushion tires. Otherwise, the nameplate will show the recommended PSI for air-filled tires.

Knowing how to read and understand an electric forklift data plate makes operating and maintaining the truck safe and easy. When it’s time to replace your industrial forklift batteries, shop with Green Power Forklift Batteries for new and refurbished units. Contact us today for a reliable power solution!