The paper addresses the problem of determining the accidental forklift truck impact forces on steel storage racks. Based on first principles of mechanics, simple models of a loaded forklift truck and a drive-in racking structure are presented. Model masses, as well as stiffness and damping coefficients are calibrated against experimental results obtained from tests of a forklift truck and a drive-in racking structure. Comparisons between experimental results and solutions obtained from the simple mechanical models show that the simple models accurately reproduce the static and dynamic behaviours of their associated structures. Based on the drive-in rack impact test results presented in a companion paper (Gilbert and Rasmussen, submitted for publication)  and the simple mechanical models for drive-in racks, actual impact forces are calculated and presented. Finally, using the impact test results and the simple mechanical models, the actual motion of the forklift truck body is calculated. This motion, being a common characteristic to all drive-in racking impacts, allows impact forces to be obtained for various pallet loads, impact elevations and rack characteristics. Thus, the paper concludes with a general method for calculating forces generated under forklift truck impact. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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