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The Truth Behind Stated Forklift Fork Capacities

When shopping for replacement forklift forks, you are probably looking for forks that can lift a certain amount of weight or capacity, but what is really involved in determining a forklift forks capacity, and, how can similarly sized forks from different companies have different stated load capacities?

Lately, many companies have started basing their posted capacities on a 500mm load center. This means, the maximum lift capacity of the forklift forks are based on the amount of weight the fork could hold if the load’s center of gravity was 500mm or about 20 inches out from the shank/vertical portion of the fork.

This new method goes against the historical industry standard, that measures the load center at 600mm or about 24 inches. If your forklift has a spec. plate on it, it is more likely than not referencing a maximum lift capacity that is based on the 600mm or 24 inch industry standard.

This means, if you purchase forks that have a stated capacity measured at a 500mm or 20 inches, they are actually about 20% weaker than NetForks forks with the same stated capacity.