The Difference Between Electric Forklift Weight and Capacity

A forklift’s weight and capacity seem similar, but they refer to different measurements. The forklift weight is the vehicle’s weight, while the lift capacity is how much weight the truck can carry.

Weight and capacity are two important characteristics that affect how you should operate a forklift. Learn more about the difference between electric forklift weight and capacity.

Forklift Weight

As stated, forklift weight is the vehicle’s weight. The weight can vary between different models, but forklifts usually weigh between 3,000 and 20,000 pounds because they contain heavy-duty materials, such as steel. They also have a heavy counterweight at the rear to maintain balance when carrying a load.

Does the Weight Include the Battery?

Data plates on lift trucks list the total truck weight, including the battery, while others exclude the battery’s weight. Electric forklift batteries can range from 1,000 to 4,000 pounds, so it’s important to know whether this amount is included in the data plate table.

Forklift Capacity

Forklift capacity is how much weight the forklift can carry; exceeding the truck’s capacity can cause it to tip. Low-capacity machines can handle about 3,000 pounds, while high-capacity models can carry over 50,000 pounds.

Read the forklift data plate to determine the vehicle’s load capacity. The rated load capacity is the maximum amount the forklift can handle under optimum conditions. However, several factors can lower the weight the truck can actually lift.

Rated Load Capacity vs. Actual Load Capacity

Sometimes, the rated load capacity is higher than the actual load capacity. Factors that affect load capacity include the following:

  • Lift Height: The higher you raise the forks, the lower the load capacity.
  • Attachments: Attachments can change the forklift’s center of gravity.
  • Forklift Condition: Wear and tear will lower the machine’s load capacity.
  • Load Center: Load capacity diminishes if the load is not centered.

Understanding the difference between electric forklift weight and capacity will help you prevent injuries, property damage, and problems such as tip-overs.

Power your lift truck with a reliable forklift battery for the best performance. Green Power Forklift Batteries carries 36-volt forklift batteries from commended brands, so shop with us today to optimize your material handling!