I.   Background for the Trainer:
The concept of load center is a crucial part of understanding the capacity of a forklift.  Make sure you, the trainer, understand this concept before trying to explain it in a class.
Most forklifts are rated for a 24-inch load center.  The examples used below are based on this assumption.  If your forklifts are rated differently, just change the numbers used in the examples.
Once you have explained how the load center affects capacity, use some examples from your facility to drive the point home.  For example:  If you move around crates that are 60 inches by 80 inches, discuss the load center distances (30" or 40") and how that reduces your lift truck’s capacity.
II.   Speaker’s Notes:
The load center is the distance from the carriage, or vertical face of the forks, to the center of gravity of the load.  For example, a pallet full of consistent material (e.g., bricks) usually measures about 4 feet by 4 feet.  Therefore, the load center will be about 24 inches.
If your forklift is rated for 5,000 pounds at 24 inches, it can safely lift a 5,000-pounds load as long as the center of gravity is 24 inches or less from the front face of the forks.
If the load center is greater than 24 inches, it will reduce the lift truck’s capacity.  Each forklift is different; however, it is safe to assume that for every additional inch beyond 24 inches, the capacity will be reduced by 100 pounds
Try to lift a load that is 80 inches long.  The load center is 40 inches, or 16 inches greater than the rated load center of 24 inches.  If 100 pounds capacity is lost per inch of extra load center, then the capacity of the lift truck is reduced by 1,600 pounds