The lift truck's turning radius is also referred to as the turning circle, that is important information for the driver to have. It gives the driver the knowledge of how much space is required to turn the forklift around. Like for instance, a tighter turning radius allows the equipment to function successfully in tight places and crowded areas, therefore improving the maneuverability of the forklift. Operators who are not aware of this measurement can cause damage to the machinery or to the property.
Before testing the turning radius, check the steering geometry alignment and correct it if it requires adjustment. Begin the test with having the trained operator inside the cab to control the equipment's functions. A second individual on the ground utilizes a hose or a spray bottle to wet the inside and outside of the model's wheels. Then, drive the equipment in a complete circle with the wheels turned to the maximum angle. Repeat the process once and continue if necessary to wet the wheels.
When this measurement test has been done, measure the watermarks left by the tires using a tape measure, from the midpoint of the tire mark to a similar point across the circle's diameter. For the outside turning diameter, measure the watermark left by the outside tires from the circle's one side to the opposite side of the circle. You can determine the inside turning radius by stretching the tape measure across the circle left by the inner tires. Next, divide these numbers in 2 to be able to determine the turning radius. Be sure to note that the turning center is the midpoint of the diameter of the circle.
In order to establish the wall-to-wall turning diameter, drop a plumb line from the extreme outside radial extension on the machinery. After this is completed, the next step is to find the point on the pavement directly underneath. This point to the turning center indicates the equipment clearance radius. As a rule, wall-to-wall turning diameter is twice the clearance radius of the machine.