Forklifts: How much can you legally lift?

When it comes to lifting equipment, it is important to understand the legal requirements and regulations in place to ensure safety and compliance. This article will cover the importance of data plates and deration plates, and how they play a crucial role in determining the safe working load (SWL) of forklift trucks.

What is a data plate?

A data plate is a legal requirement for all lifting equipment, including forklift trucks. It contains important information such as the manufacturer, model, unique serial number, and year of manufacture. It also displays the CE conformity mark, the mass of the equipment, and the SWL when it left the factory. This information is crucial for the user/owner of the equipment to ensure safe operation and compliance with regulations.

Battery-powered forklift trucks will also have information on the minimum and maximum battery weight permissible, as the weight of the battery contributes to the counterbalance of the load. This is important to consider when transporting the truck or working on an elevated floor to ensure weight limits are adhered to and operations are safe.

The data plate must be visible to the operator and can either be engraved on the plate or a printed decal from the manufacturer. In the UK and EU, a valid data plate must also display the CE mark, indicating that it meets all current European standards.

Forklift truck data plate

What is a deration plate?

A deration plate is required when a forklift truck has an attachment fitted, such as a bale clamp or fork extensions. The mass of the attachment is subtracted from the factory rated capacity of the truck, and a deration plate must be obtained from the manufacturer. This plate takes into account the weight of the attachment, its center of gravity, and lost load center.

Similar to a data plate, a deration plate must be visible to the operator and fixed to the truck. It is specific to the individual truck and attachment, and if the attachment is changed, a new plate will be required. If a truck uses multiple attachments, a deration plate must be obtained for each one.

In conclusion, it is a legal requirement under LOLER & PUWER to have both a data plate and deration plate displayed on forklift trucks. These plates provide crucial information for safe operation and compliance with regulations. If you are unsure if your truck has the relevant plates, it is important to contact the manufacturer for clarification.

If you are unsure if your truck has the relevant data plate or deration plate, please get in touch.

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