The lift truck's turning radius is also called the turning circle, which is important information for the operator to have. It gives the driver the knowledge of how much space is needed to turn the lift truck around. For instance, a tighter turning radius enables the machinery to operate successfully in tight places and congested areas, thus enhancing the lift truck's maneuverability. Operators who do not know this measurement may cause damage to the property or to the equipment.
Make the necessary steering geometry alignment corrections prior to checking the turning radius. The test must start with an operator trainer helping in the cab where they can help to control the machine's functions. A second individual on the ground utilizes a hose or a spray bottle to wet the inside and outside of the unit's wheels. After that, drive the equipment in a complete circle with the wheels turned to the maximum angle. Repeat the process once and if necessary, continue to wet the wheels.
When this measurement test has been completed, 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 opposite side of the circle. The inside turning diameter could be determined by stretching the tape measure across the circle left by the interior tires. Then, divide these numbers in 2 in order 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 machine. After this is done, the next step is to locate the point on the pavement directly below. This point to the turning center indicates the clearance radius of the equipment. As a rule, wall-to-wall turning diameter is two times the equipment clearance radius.