Use this online forklift ramp calculator to figure out the necessary slope needed for your forklifts so they can navigate your warehouse safely.
As a rule most forklifts can safely travel on a ramp with a gradient between 5% and 12.5%. However, common sense always rules and the best practice is that if a ramp looks too steep for your lift truck, it probably is and forklift operators should avoid using it.
OSHA Forklift Ramp Requirements
OSHA defines a ramp, incline or slope as any area where forklifts are operated that exceed an angle of 10 degrees. The OSHA regulation CFR 1910.178 establishes the following standards:
- Grades shall be ascended or descended slowly.
- When driving on a grade that exceeds 10%, loaded trucks must drive with the load facing upward, regardless of whether a truck is traveling up or down a ramp.
- A load must be tilted back across all grades, if applicable. The load should be raised only as much as necessary to clear the driving.
Ramp angle formula
The standard formula to determine a ramp’s angle is as follows: Divide the amount of rise by the amount of run, then multiply that number by 100.
The rise is the height of the ramp from the base of the ramp to its tallest point. The run is defined as the total length of the ramp.
Here is an example:
Ramp height: 18 inches (1.5 feet)
Ramp length: 180 inches (15 feet)
The formula applied here is height/length times 100 = degrees
18″ divided by 180″ equals 10 degrees
The bottom line: the ramp has an angle of 10 degrees, so it is within OSHA ramp safety guidelines.