The lift truck's turning radius is also known as the turning circle, that is essential information for the operator to have. It gives the operator the knowledge of how much space is needed to turn the forklift around. For instance, a tighter turning radius enables the machine to successfully operate in restricted places and crowded areas, thus improving the forklift's maneuverability. Operators who do not know this measurement can cause damage to the machine or to the property.
Prior to checking the turning radius, check the steering geometry alignment and correct it if it needs adjustment. Begin the test with having the trained operator inside the cab to control the machine's functions. Another person on the ground uses a hose or a spray bottle to wet the outside and inside of the unit's wheels. After that, drive the machinery in a complete circle with the wheels turned to the maximum angle. Repeat the procedure once and if necessary, continue to wet the wheels.
Measure the watermarks left by the tires with a tape measure once your measurement test has been done. The watermark test starts from the tire mark's midpoint to a similar point across the circle's diameter. For the outside turning diameter, measure the watermark left by the outside tires from one side of the circle to the circle's opposite side. You could establish the inside turning radius by stretching the tape measure across the circle left by the interior tires. After that, divide these numbers in 2 to be able to establish the turning radius. Be sure to note that the turning center is the midpoint of the circle's diameter.
Drop a plumb line from the extreme outside radial extension on the machinery in order to establish the wall-to-wall turning diameter. Once this is completed, next locate the point on the pavement directly beneath. This point to the turning center indicates the clearance radius of the machine. As a rule, wall-to-wall turning diameter is two times the machinery clearance radius.