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A forklift truck is counter-balanced so that when it is unloaded, the center of gravity is in the middle of the stability triangle. As a load is picked up, the center of gravity shifts toward the fulcrum point of the truck, which is in the front wheels. Tipping the load back toward the mast moves the center of gravity back toward the center of the triangle. This move assists in maintaining longitudinal, or end-to-end, stability of the truck.

To maintain stability, it is important to keep the load as low as possible, six to ten inches from the floor, when the forklift is in motion. Keeping a load elevated while moving, especially during a turn, is a dangerous move. In this situation, the centrifugal force caused by the turn moves the center of gravity toward the outside of the stability triangle, and a tip-over could occur.

It is imperative to always keep lateral, or side-to-side, stability by keeping the center of gravity within the stability triangle. With this in mind, when approaching a turn, always slow down to a safe speed to keep your vehicle and load stable. Remember, you must maintain complete control of your vehicle at all times.

Interested in learning more?

Get more information about the Powered Industrial Trucks course here.