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Forklift Stability Triangle

No matter where we conduct forklift training a good portion of it is focused on forklift stability, as the number one biggest risk operators face at the workplace is tip-overs and roll-overs. Forklift roll and tip-overs are responsible for to many workplace fatalities and serious injuries. An operators basic understanding and knowledge of what is called the ” Stability Triangle ” of a forklift can prevent and reduce roll and tip-over situations.

 The stability triangle is defined by imaginary lines of stability that connect points at each front drive wheel to a single point at the center of the steer axle. These lines also extend from the three base points upwards to a single point, thus creating the stability triangle. Within the stability triangle sits the  forklifts center of gravity, that shifts and moves with the forklifts movements. Whether it be extending the load, tilting the load back or turning the machine, the center of gravity will move with it and it must stay within the boundaries of the lines of stability. If the movement of the forklift, load or anything else causes the center of gravity to touch or pass through the lines of stability, the forklift will tip or roll-over. As a forklifts mast is raised, the center of gravity moves with it and travels upwards, and the area it has to move within the triangle is drastically reduced as the triangle tappers inward at the top to its single point, thus making the machine less stable. For those reasons when the forks and mast are raised loaded or unloaded be sure to observe the following procedures:

  • Fasten your seatbelt! The number one reason to wear your belt is to keep you inside the cab and prevent you from being thrown out of the machine in a roll-over situation.
  • Avoid travelling with mast extended anymore than you need to.
  • Avoid turning the machine with the mast extended, doing this is a recipe for a roll-over.
  • Avoid sudden stops, jerk or uneven movements.
  • DO NOT tilt the mast forward from vertical when loaded as it will draw the center of gravity to far forward and cause the machine to tip forward. 

 Does your business in the Vancouver area require forklift training? Our certified trainer is mobile and our onsite forklift training services are available anywhere in the Greater Vancouver, Whistler-Squamish, Tri-Cities, Ridge-Meadows and Fraser Valley areas.



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