Forklift Floor and Operating Surfaces

Hazards & Safety

Forklifts are called “heavy equipment” for good reason. An unloaded standard forklift at 5,000 lbs. of rated lift capacity weighs 9,000 lbs. With a load, the forklift weight can increase to 14,000 lbs.

PRESSURE ON FLOOR SURFACES

It’s not uncommon to see blacktop damaged by repeated forklift traffic. When carrying a maximum capacity load, a standard forklift using a set of solid rubber tires may exert as much as 350 lbs. per square inch on the front axle tires. Concrete flooring has a general load limit of 500 lbs. per square inch. (*) These numbers prove there isn’t much room for surplus capacity.

TRAILER FLOOR HAZARDS

Trailer floors are another concern. Operators should be trained to be aware of these hazards and tag out the forklift:

  • Light coming through the boards
  • Dry rotted or cracked floors
  • Floor repairs (i.e., bolted steel plates)

FORKLIFT DATA TAG

To be confident about a floor design and the weight it can handle, consult a structural engineer. Your forklift manufacturer can also provide data on a model’s floor loading specifications.

(*) The following data is dependent on sub-structure, steel reinforcement, concrete grade and thickness. A structural engineer should always be consulted.

Have a Forklift and need information about the model’s floor loading specifications? Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! 

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.