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A forklift operator approaches a particularly large load with his vehicle. He inserts the forks beneath the pallet, raises the load and begins to drive off.
Suddenly, the counterweight of his forklift lifts off the ground, the front forks smash to the ground, and the vehicle tips over, damaging the load and putting the driver at risk of injury or even death.
Improving Forklift Safety
It is exactly this type of scenario that the SafeLoad — a new aftermarket product that provides both weight and stability information in a single combined display — is designed to prevent.
The SafeLoad device provides weight and stability information that drivers can reference at a glance. It also acts as an active load diagram, calculating with weight, load center point, and mast lift to automatically calculate whether a load is safe to lift in the current situation.
Developed by RAVAS — materials handling equipment manufacturer based in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands — Safeload can be retrofitted to any type of forklift, regardless of its original manufacturer or how old it is.
The device uses a hydraulic sensor and a set of sensors that measures the movement forces from load center position and mast tilt, then presents stability information on an easy-to-read screen.
The LED bar level is green when the sensors indicate the load is safe to lift, yellow when the operator is getting close to the vehicle’s capacity, and red when there is the unsafe risk of tipping over.
The display also shows the load center position on the forks as well as the total weight of the load weight.
Here’s an example of how it works:
On a 2.5 ton forklift, a load of 1.823 kilograms that is picked up close tot he carriage plate might result in a weight indication of 1.820 kilograms on the display. Because this is within the weight capacity, the background would be green and the middle fork segment would indicate a load center point of 500 to 600 millimeters.
But if the same load was picked up with the vehicle’s fork tips, the same weight — 1.820 kilograms — would appear on the display, but the device’s background would flash red for unsafe lifting, with the right side fork segment blinking (LCP at 800 to 1.000 millimeters), the red segments of the LED bar would light up, and a warning buzzer would go off telling the operator that the load is not safe to lift.
Recording Actual Data
The SafeLoad device also has a built-in data logging function that automatically records every single lifting event in real time.
This data can then be downloaded remotely using a Bluetooth connection to provide information to fleet managers about the safety and efficiency of the forklift.