Forklift Capacity Calculator

A note on units: The length input units must be consistent (eg. feet and feet, inches and inches) for the calculator to work! The units of the output weight will be the same as the input units.

Forklifts are designed to lift and move large loads, within specific limits. Too much weight on the forks can tip the forklift, which is an extremely dangerous situation. Forklifts are not only rated for a specific weight - they are also rated for a certain load center. A given weight has a larger "load moment" as it is moved out from the front wheels of a forklift.

Here's a useful equation:

Load moment = weight * distance

Thus, the forklift's load center and weight rating can tell us its rated load moment - which is the capability that really matters. Often, there are situations where the load does not exactly fit within the parameters of the rating. Perhaps the center of mass of the cargo is outside the rated load center, but within the weight rating. In this case, it is useful to do a load center calculation. For instance, a forklift rated for 2,000 lbs at a 24" load center will only be able to carry 1,666 lbs at 36".

Although this is a fairly straightforward calculation, our online calculator will save you time and allow you to quickly determine the maximum weight capacity of a forklift if it must be loaded outside its load center.

Keep in mind that other factors may influence the capacity of your forklift, such as the weight of extra attachments (e.g. fork extensions), soft ground, etc. This calculator is intended as a useful reference, but forklift safety is ultimately the responsibility of the operator. Lift at your own discretion, and stay safe!