The lift truck's turning radius is also called the turning circle, which 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. For example, a tighter turning radius enables the machinery to work successfully in tight places and crowded areas, therefore enhancing the forklift's maneuverability. Drivers who do not know this measurement can cause damage to the property or to the machinery.
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 equipment's functions. Another person on the ground utilizes a spray bottle or a hose to wet the outside and inside of the unit's wheels. After that, drive the equipment in a whole circle with the wheels turned to the maximum angle. Repeat the procedure once and continue if necessary to wet the wheels.
Once this measurement test has been done, measure the watermarks left by the tires utilizing a tape measure, from the tire mark's midpoint to a similar point across the diameter of the circle. For the outside turning diameter, measure the watermark left by the outside tires from the circle's one side to the circle's opposite side. 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 in order to determine the turning radius. Be certain 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 equipment in order to establish the wall-to-wall turning diameter. Once this is done, next locate the point on the pavement directly beneath. This point to the turning center indicates the clearance radius of the equipment. As a rule, wall-to-wall turning diameter is twice the clearance radius of the equipment.