What Type Of Suspension Does A Forklift Have?

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Suspension is an integral part of any vehicle that helps absorb shock. It consists of springs, shock absorbers, and a linkage. The springs hold the weight of the car while the shock absorbers damp bouncing motion. The linkage connects the springs and shocks to the frame and steering system. 

Carrying vehicles, especially the forklift variety, often have their own suspension systems. These are intended to smooth out the ride, and they help to absorb any road disturbances and most importantly maintain optimum stability while carrying heavy loads. 

But what type of suspension does a Forklift have? Well, almost all Forklifts with counterbalance combustion engines generally have a three-point suspension system also known as the stability triangle.

However, there are some other types of suspensions that can be found in different forklift models. In this article, we’re going to discuss the most common three-point forklift suspension along with other variations. 

Why Three Point Suspension is So Common in Forklifts?

We have already mentioned in the beginning, most counterbalance forklifts come with a three-point suspension system. So, how does a three-point suspension system work? And why this type of forklift suspension is so common? In this case, we have to know about a forklift properly. 

First of all, handling a forklift isn’t similar to our everyday cars and trucks. The counterweight of a forklift above the rear wheels works as a balancing factor, but this also makes it weigh much more than a car. The end result is that it cannot take sharp turns, nor can it stop quickly.

Forklift steering is likewise different from automobile steering, where automobiles use the front tires to steer. But for forklifts, the huge wheels on the back allow it to be precise, and they allow for very tight turns. However, this also possesses the risk of swinging the back out while turning. 

Role of Three-Point Suspension System or Stability Triangle in Forklifts

As we discussed earlier, forklifts are prone to swinging or tipping over while taking turns or carrying heavy loads. To prevent such occurrences, a three-point suspension system is most effective. Because all we need is controlling the center of gravity and keeping the vehicle stable.  

The three-point suspension uses three distinct links, for the truck’s front wheels and the pivot at the right rear axle. Connecting these three links creates a control system which we term the stability triangle. This system is equally effective regardless of the number of wheels. 

To understand the role of a three-point suspension, let’s first imagine there is a vertical line running the total of gravity. This line is known as the action line. If one end of the line of action crosses out from the triangle as a result of a massive heavy load or an incorrect surface configuration, the truck will topple over.

So, the action line should always stay inside that stability triangle to prevent the forklift from swinging or tipping over. This stability triangle is established by the three-point suspension system via connecting two front wheels and the pivoting point of the rear axle.

In general, the center of gravity remains inside the triangle, but as you add more weight to the truck, the center of gravity starts shifting towards the forks.  

Forklift Suspension Seats 

In contrast to cars and commercial vehicles that have full suspension systems, forklifts only have the aforementioned three-point suspension that creates the stability triangle and overall stabilization. The sole thing protecting the operator from jolts and hits is the seat specifically engineered to keep up with that.

A defectively configured, or worn-out forklift seat does not provide comfort and support to workers, causing them to wear down their spine and suffer lasting damage to their lower back. 

Repeated strain and irritations will increase their likelihood of swallowing or the inclination to take time off, which will have a corrosive impact on their spirits and erode their motivation.

In order to aid in driving forklifts over rough surfaces and to mitigate the effect of lacking a full forklift suspension system, most modern counterbalance forklifts are fitted with sophisticated suspension seats. 

The suspension seats of forklifts have a mechanical suspension. It provides servo electric cushioning with electromechanical components and allows shock absorption for the operator to reduce harmful vibrations from operating on rugged or uneven terrain.

Forklift owners can purchase a full variety from basic suspension seats to industry-leading replacement OEM suspension seats and customize the seat positions on the inside of their forklifts to optimize Operator comfort.

The Necessity of Forklift Suspension Seats

Now you might have understood the seat of a forklift has a role that’s much more crucial than the seats of any other ordinary vehicle. So, aside from being cautious about your forklift suspension, you should always pay attention to the suspension seats as well. Here are some notable benefits of forklift suspension seats that justify their necessity. 

  • They maximize the safety requirements to eliminate operator injuries. This minimizes the chance of businesses having to pay damages for workplace accidents or cover the lease costs of the employees who were injured.
  • As staff fulfills their shifts without any disruptions, overall factory operating costs decline as the reassigned time slots are filled in and there are fewer costs associated with finding replacements for injured employees.
  • Employees can remain at their duty without needing to leave their work due to sudden injuries, a benefit that translates into more productivity for businesses.