If you are researching material handling equipment, you may come across the term “vehicle IP rating“. If you aren’t sure what this means and why these ratings are important when choosing a forklift, click on the following sections to find out.
- What Are Vehicle IP Ratings?
- How to Interpret Vehicle IP Ratings
- Examples of Vehicle IP Ratings
- IP Ratings in Forklifts
When you are ready to buy a forklift, or if you need more information about the best model for your needs, contact us. We’d be happy to answer all your questions and help you make the perfect selection.
Vehicle IP Ratings
1. What Are Vehicle IP Ratings?
IEC 60529 is the international standard developed by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) that outlines the degrees of protection provided by enclosures of electronic or electric devices. This standard includes ingression protection (IP) ratings that give you a way of grading the resistance of an enclosure against dust or liquids penetrating it. These ratings basically tell you how safe it is to get your forklift wet or dusty and how protected it’s components are from liquids and dust/debris. The higher the number – the more protected the unit and it’s components are from ingress of dust and liquids.
Vehicle IP ratings grade vehicles according to how well their electrical components resist dust and water. “Ingress Protection”
Any electric or electronic equipment can get damaged or deteriorate when water and/or dust gets inside the device. IP ratings are designed to give you a better idea as to the level of resistance a device has against the intrusion of dust or liquids rather than just using the terms waterproof, water-resistant, dustproof or dust-resistant.
IP ratings (Ingress Protection) can be used to classify the protection level provided by enclosures for electrical equipment found in a wide variety of devices or equipment such as:
- Other electronic devices (watches, computers, calculators, etc)
For an extensive explanation of IP ratings, you can take a look at the IEC 60529 standard.
2. How to Interpret Vehicle IP Ratings
The following video will give you a helpful explanation about how to interpret vehicle IP ratings. Continue reading below for a thorough explanation about what the different IP ratings mean.
It is important to understand what different vehicle IP ratings mean.
The IP code is made up of two numbers.
The First Number:
The first number lets you know the level of protection the enclosure has against solid objects getting inside. The protection level is graded on a scale from 0 (which means there is no protection) to 6 (which means that no dust will be able to penetrate the enclosure).
Here is a listing of what each of the first numbers mean.
0 – There is no protection against solid foreign objects.
1 – Solid foreign objects that are 50mm in size or larger cannot penetrate the enclosure.
2 – Solid foreign objects that are 12.5mm in size or larger cannot penetrate the enclosure.
3 – Solid foreign objects that are 2.5mm in size or larger cannot penetrate the enclosure.
4 – Solid foreign objects that are 1.0mm in size or larger cannot penetrate the enclosure.
5 – The enclosure is dust protected. The amount of dust that could enter is such a small amount that it would not interfere with the safe operation of the equipment.
6– The enclosure is dust-tight. This means that there is no ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.
The Second Number:
The second digit of vehicle IP ratings tell you the level of protection against water.
The second number of IP ratings refers to the enclosure’s protection against liquids penetrating inside the enclosure. This number goes from a scale of 0 (which means there is no protection) to 9 (which means that it is protected from high-pressure hot water from different angles).
Here is a listing of what each of the second numbers mean.
0 – There is no protection against liquids.
1 – Vertically falling drops of water will cause no harmful effects.
2 – Vertically falling drops of water will cause no harmful effects if your enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15°.
3 – Enclosure is protected against spraying water at an angle of up to 60° on either side of the vertical shell.
4 – Enclosure is protected against splashing water from any direction.
5 – Enclosure is protected against water jets from any direction.
6 – Enclosure is protected against powerful water jets from any direction.
7 – Enclosure is protected against the effects of being temporarily immersed in water under standardized conditions of pressure and time.
8 – Enclosure is protected against the effects of being continuously immersed in water under conditions agreed upon by the manufacturer and user but which are more severe than number 7.
9 – Enclosure is protected against high pressure and high temperature from any direction.
3. Examples of Vehicle IP Ratings
IP ratings help you determine whether your equipment’s electronics are safe from dust and water.
Here are some examples of vehicle IP ratings and what they mean:
IP54 – If a forklift has this rating then it is protected from dust damage and can also stand having water splashed on it from all directions.
IP65 – This rating means that the vehicle is dustproof so no dust will get into and damage the vehicle’s electrical components and it will also be protected from water projected from jets or a nozzle from any direction.
If there is an X instead of a number in the IP rating that means that there is no data available to classify the rating for dust or liquid protection. For example, if you see the following rating:
It would mean that there is no data for the level of dust protection for this enclosure, however the enclosure has a 6 rating for water protection so it is protected from powerful jets from any direction.
On the other hand, if you see the following rating:
then that would mean that the enclosure has a level 3 protection against solid foreign objects that are 2.5mm in size or larger, but there is no data available to rate its protection against liquids.
4. IP Ratings in Forklifts
Vehicles such as forklifts may have different ratings for different parts. For example, the engine on the forklift could have an IP rating of IP46 while the ignition might have a rating of only IP44. The lowest rating for any one part of the machine will be the overall rating for it.
So in this example, the overall IP rating for this forklift is IP44. Even though the engine would be protected from high powered water jets, the ignition would not be, so the forklift can only be given an overall rating as high as its lowest part.
Importance of IP ratings for forklifts:
It is important to know the IP rating for your forklift. If its rating is high enough, then you can safely use it outside even when it is raining without causing damage to it. If you know that you will need to use your forklift in a variety of applications, both indoors and outdoors, then make sure your choose one with a suitable IP rating. A knowledgeable forklift dealer can help you choose a forklift with the appropriate vehicle IP ratings for your needs.
The Hangcha XC Series electric pneumatic forklift, for example, has an IP rating of IPX4 making it suitable for outdoor operation.
This means that its electric and electronic components are in an enclosure that will protect them from splashing water from any direction including rain or snow.
Need Help Choosing the Right Forklift? Contact Ri-Go.
If you are in the market for a new forklift, contact us. We have a wide selection of new and used forklifts and our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the perfect truck for your needs.
Since 1977, Ri-Go Lift Truck has been serving customers in Ontario and Quebec with everything they need for material handling. We are committed to providing you with quality service and a high level of customer satisfaction.
We are your authorized dealer for the following top brands:
- Linde Lift Trucks, Power Pallet Trucks, Tow Tractors and Stackers
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In addition to our authorized distributorships, we can also provide you with:
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No matter what your material handling needs are, we can help. Contact us today to let us know how we can be of service.
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