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How To Use Your Forklift's Data Plate To Determine Load CapacityEvery forklift has a data plate, also known as a name plate or forklift capacity plate. As you probably guessed, it provides important information on how much weight the forklift can carry.

The capacity listed on your forklift’s data plate cannot exceed the maximum capacity of any of its load bearing components. What does this mean exactly?  Put simply, the maximum rated lifting capacity isn’t necessarily the same as the maximum weight a forklift can carry. It may be less…

Using the Data Plate to Determine Your Forklift’s Maximum Capacity

The forks, mast, carriage and any attachment(s), on your forklift each  have individual rated capacities. If you have a forklift with a 10,000 lb. capacity, but it’s using an attachment with a max capacity of 5,000 lbs.,  the maximum load for that forklift, when combined with the attachment, is 5,000 lbs.

This information should be listed on the data plate. If it’s not, someone has made an authorized, potentially dangerous modification. Both ANSI and OSHA require data plates for attachments and written approval from the forklift manufacturer for any alterations that affect the capacity, stability, or safe operation of the forklift. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to work with an authorized Toyota dealer, such as Total Industries, when purchasing a forklift. An authorized dealer can ensure your forklift and any attachments you buy are safely configured.

How to Decode Your Forklift’s Data Plate

How To Use Your Forklift's Data Plate To Determine Load Capacity

  1. Model number: The model number of your Toyota forklift contains a lot of useful information. For example, a THD2200-24 has a 22,000 lb carrying capacity at a 24” load center.
  2. Serial Number: The serial number + model number allows forklift service technicians to match parts and know a few particulars about your lift truck.
  3. Mast Type: Toyota has various types of forklift masts, including 2-stage, 3-stage, and 4-stage. The one you use will depend on your application needs and the forklift model you choose.
  4. Fuel Type: This indicates whether the machine is powered by electricity (E), liquid propane (LP), diesel (DS), gasoline (G), or compressed natural gas (CNG).
  5. Back Tilt: This number represents the degrees back the mast can tilt to help keep loads on the forks securely (6 degrees in this example).
  6. Attachments: This lets you know what attachments have been added to the forklift to give you a clear indication of its capabilities. In the pictured data plate, we see the side-shifter is in place, meaning the carriage can be shifted left or right.
  7. Front Tread: The front tread of a forklift is equivalent to its overall width. It’s like a forklift’s footprint and helps operations managers and operators understand the space a forklift will take up in the working environment.
  8. Tire Size: The tire size and type the truck was designed and built to use. “solid” indicates a solid pneumatic tire,  whereas cushion tires will be “smooth” or “treaded.” Always replace with the same size and type of tire.
  9. Truck Weight: The overall weight of the truck.
  10. How To Use Your Forklift's Data Plate To Determine Load CapacityForklift Diagram: The forklift diagram offers several data points that are important for understanding the function of your forklift including:
    – The horizontal load center
    – The vertical load center
    – The maximum fork height
    – The maximum distance the forks can be offset from forklift’s center line
    This information can help you understand what your forklift can lift and how it can maneuver in your worksplace.
  11. OSHA Requirement: Only trained operators who have read and understood the operator’s manual should operate forklifts.


What Forklift Capacity Do You Need?

You can buy a forklift with a max capacity of 3,000 lbs such as a stand-up rider or 3-wheel electric, up to 72,000 lbs (high-capacity ICE). To determine how much forklift you need, here are a few questions to ask:

– How heavy is my typical load?
– How high do I need to lift my loads?
– What length is my largest load?
– What type of attachments are needed?

Our forklift product experts throughout the Bay Area and central valley are happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us online, or by phone:

San Francisco Bay Area – Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Forklift Capacity – How Much Do You Need?
Forklift Classifications Explained
Forklift FAQs – Answers to Common Questions