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Is My Forklift Water Resistant?

Published on January 24, 2024

Can you drive your Bobcat Electric Forklift in the Rain? The short answer is: maybe! 

Forklift water resistance is rated with what is called an Ingress Protection code (IP) code. This code is sometimes referred to as the Internal Protection code. It is found on your forklift’s rating plate. This information will inform you what environments you can operate your forklift in. But is it ever safe to operate an electric forklift in the rain? 

What Does the Water Protection Rating On My Forklift’s Ip Code Mean?

Good question! The water protection rating refers to how much water can squeeze through gaps and reach the internal components of your forklift. The highest rating available for water resistance is 8. This means that a piece can remain submerged indefinitely without damage. Each rating corresponds to a very specific level of water resistance. 

The water resistance rating levels are as follows: 

Level 0: Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

No Protection against water whatsoever. Don’t even sneeze near a piece of material handling equipment with this rating. 

Level 1: Lifting Equipment Liquid Ingress Protection

Material Handling equipment will not suffer damage when exposed to vertical droplets. 

We test this level of forklift safety by dripping water over a forklift for a 10-minute duration. If your forklift has a safety rating of 1 or higher, you can assume that it is safe to drive through mist or a very slight drizzle. 

Level 2: Lift Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

Level 2 Forklifts can survive falling water from a 15° angle. 

We test this level of water resistance by tilting the equipment 15° on two axes. We also continuously spray the forklift with water for at least 3 minutes. The amount of water used during this test is equivalent to less than a half-inch of rainfall. 

Level 3: Fork Lift Liquid Ingress Protection

Any forklift holding a level 3 IP rating can withstand a spray of water at any angle up to 60°. 

The level 3 test consists of two phases. Phase one involves spraying a forklift with a spray nozzle for five minutes. The second version of the test utilizes an oscillating tube for 10 minutes. This level of water corresponds to a 3mm rainfall. 

Level 4: Reach Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

Water splashing against a lift truck will not harm the equipment. 

We test this level of protection with an oscillating fixture and a spray nozzle. We spray our forklifts down for a minimum of 10 minutes to test. When a forklift has a level 4 rating, it means that it can withstand water splashing against it from any direction. 

Level 5: Fork Truck Liquid Ingress Protection

5 IP water ratings indicate trucks that can withstand projected water. 

This test lasts approximately 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes. The water pressure used during this test is 100kPa or 15 psi at a distance of 3 meters or less. On a strange note, 15psi is the maximum amount of pressure that most Instant Pots can operate at! 

Level 6: Reach Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

This IP asserts that your forklift will not suffer harm from 15 psi of water or less from any direction. This test lasts 1 minute per square meter for a minimum of 3 minutes. The water volume utilized during this test is equal to 100 liters of water per minute at a pressure of 100kpa at a distance of 3 meters or less. 

Level 7: Warehouse Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

This level of forklift certification states that your forklift can survive total immersion in water, up to 1 meter. We perform level 7 tests for 30 minutes at a time. 

Level 8: Electric Forklift Liquid Ingress Protection

This level of forklift certification states that your forklift can survive continuous immersion in water under conditions specified by the manufacturer.