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What's in a Forklift Nameplate?

22 May 2013 Comments Joyce Schwob

OSHA Regulations state that "only loads within the rated capacity of a truck shall be handled"

So how can you tell how much a forklift is made to carry? Check the nameplate also referred to as the data plate.

The nameplate provides information about the truck’s capacity.


Along with the forklift's model and serial number information you will find:

  • LIFTING HEIGHT  (column A) The maximum lift height based on the rated load centers. This is a measurement from the floor to the top of the forks when the mast is fully extended.
  • LOAD CENTER (COLUMN B) the capacity listed is based on the load center - how far forward from the mast the balancing point of the load is.  
  • CAPACITY means the capacity at the stated load center. The further forward the center of the load is the LESS the forklift will be able to pick up. The lifting capacity will decrease as the load center increases. Note that on this truck it is rated to lift 5,000 LBS at 24" load center, but only 4,350 LBS at a 30" load center. It's important to understand your loads.
  • TRUCK WT  Approximately how much the forklift weighs without a load.
  • MAST and BACK TILT refers to the type of mast and the maximum degree of back tilt .ATCHs is to indicate if the nameplate reflects the attachment (if any) All data on the nameplate reflects the capacity as equipped with that specific attachment
  • TYPE refers to the fuel rating
  • TIRE SIZE is to ensure the proper replacement tires are installed to meet capacity ratings. Tire pressure is also shown in pounds per square inch for pneumatic tires.


Battery Powered trucks will also list:

  • BATTERY WT. MIN/MAX which indicates the minimum battery weight in order to meet the rated capacity. The maximum weight of battery must not be exceeded or it may result in damage to the lift truck.
  • TRUCK WEIGHT W/O BATTERY is the weight of the forklift without a battery. The battery will have its weight stamped on its case. Adding the truck and battery weights together will give the total weight of the vehicle. If the lift truck is modified in any way or has an attachment, the nameplate must be updated by the original manufacturer of the truck.


Every lift truck must have a nameplate securely attached. It must be legible. If yours is missing or you can't read it, we can assist you in getting a new one.


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