Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

How Much Does a Forklift Weigh

by Paul Hinz
Filed under: Forklifts

Commonly referred to as a forklifts service weight, this refers to actual weight of the forklift and is separate to its lift capacity.

A forklifts service weight is the combined weight of the unit itself and any attachments that are installed onto the unit.

In most cases a standard forklifts service weight is 1.5 to 2 times its rated lift capacity.

All forklifts should have their service weight prescribed on the manufacturers rating plate attached to the unit for quick reference.

As a general rule a forklifts service weight increases the higher its lift capacity as the units weight needs to be able to appropriately off-set the weight of any load it carries in order to maintain stability and avoid the forklift tipping over.

Some common forklifts service weights from Adaptalift Groups forklift and materials handling equipment range are listed below.

Hyster Forklift Service Weights

Why is it Important to Know a Forklifts Service Weight?

There are a number of reasons why it is important to know a forklifts service weight these include:

Floor Damage

Floors of a forklift operation area must be built or manufactured with the unit’s service and fully laden weight in mind.

If built of the wrong materials such as tiles or wood this will not provide the required support for the forklift heightening the risk that the unit will damage the floor every time it moves.

This can greatly increase costs as the floor will either need to be repaired on a regular basis or fully replaced with a more suitable material.

Cracked warehouse floor

Driving on Ramps

If a forklift is to be driven up and down ramps as part of operations to unload containers or in a loading dock, it is imperative the units service weight is know so that an appropriately reinforced ramp is utilised.

If the ramp isn’t able to support the weight of the forklift then there is a heightened potential for the ramp to fail increasing the likelihood of injury, fatality, product or equipment damage.

Multi-Story Operation

Similar to ramp failure mentioned above if a forklift is being operated on the upper floors of a multi-story building it is imperative the floor is reinforced to be able to handle both the service and fully laden weight of the forklift.

A forklifts fully laden weight is the combined total of the unit’s service weight and the weight of the load it is carrying.

The floor in the multi-story facility must be able to support both of the above weights so the forklift can safely operate without the potential for the floor failing the forklift tyres becoming stuck in the floor or the whole unit falling through the floor onto levels below.

Forklift Transporting

Knowing a forklifts service weight is imperative when shipping or transporting the unit.

Knowing the overall weight of the forklift ensures a truck with the capability of safely accommodating the unit’s weight is booked for transporting.

Having the service weight of the forklift also allows for cargo managers to carefully plan the position where the unit will be stored during transport to ensure the load remains balanced and will not tip over.

They also can calculate the required amount of chains and lashings are required to secure the weight of the load safely to prevent it from coming loose and moving unexpectedly during transport.

If the forklift is being shipped in a container the service weight of the forklift needs to be added to the weight of the container.

A crane with a rated lift capacity larger than the overall container weight will need to be used to lift the container during transport.

Hyster forklift transport

For assistance in finding out your forklifts service weight or help finding a forklift with an appropriate service weight for your operating environment contact our team on 13 22 54 or fill out a contact form and we’ll respond as soon as possible.