Tips for Load Testing A Forklift

As part of your order picker forklift training course, your instructor will probably touch on how to load test the unit.

Load testing of forklift truck units is a legal health and safety requirement that must be carried out every year and following any major repairs that have been made to the truck. At some point in your career, you may be asked to carry out load testing of the forklift trucks in your depot, so it is helpful if you have a good idea of what's involved. This knowledge is also a good way of impressing your licence testing examiner.

Here's a quick guide on how to load test a forklift truck.

Test the brakes

Your first job is to check that the brakes on the forklift are working correctly. You will need to carry out tests when the truck is loaded and when it is empty. Testing should also be carried out with and without limiting safety equipment and features. This testing is designed to ensure that the mechanisms are all working correctly and that there is minimal risk of the forklift tipping over.

Carry out the load test

Assemble test weights (usually pre-weighed metal boxes) and match them to the maximum rated load for the forklift as specified in the operations manual. Weigh the test load to make sure that it is within minus 5% of the rated capacity.

When you are happy that the test weights are of the correct capacity, load them onto the forklift truck, ensuring that any slippage is not more than 6 cm vertically and 2 cm horizontally. To carry out this test, raise the load to its maximum height and leave it for a minimum of 10 minutes. This will show you whether or not the forklift will hold steady without dropping or lowering the load.

In the event that the forklift truck fails the load test, you will need to have the maintenance work carried out again to remedy the problem. Once the forklift has been repaired, you will need to perform the load test again.

When the forklift has passed the tests

On successful completion of the load and brake tests, you must write a report giving full details of all the action you have taken. Make sure that the report contains a detailed step by step account of how the testing was carried out together with any problems that were encountered and the action you took to overcome them.

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