If you are in the market to buy a forklift truck, you have a large number of options to consider. First you have to consider the type of forklift which is ideal for you, depending on the maximum load, maximum height, the turning circle and the environment it will operate in. The types of forklift trucks available are:
- Pivot Steer / Articulated also known as Bendi or Flexi (Click here to read the blog on Pivot Steer Forklifts)
- Truck Mounted also known as MOFFETT (Click here to read the blog on Truck Mounted Forklifts)
Then you to have to decide on the type of fuel from diesel, liquid propane gas (LPG) or Electric.
In recent years we have seen a huge increase in the sale of electric cars (about 148% up from last year), although from a low base, and about 30% decrease in the sale of diesel cars. Similarly, there has been a huge increase in the sale of electric forklift trucks compared to diesel and LPG. In this blog we will look at the benefits of electric forklift trucks which include:
1. Ease of Use
Electric forklifts offer a smooth and comfortable drive. It has no clutch and hence is much easier to drive like an automatic car. The electric forklift is operated with steering wheel and an accelerator. The overall experience of driving electric forklift truck has been said to reduce stress on the operator, allowing the driver to concentrate on his job thus reducing the risk of accidents.
2. Reduced Noise
Like electric cars, electric forklift are a lot quieter than diesel and LPG as it does not have an internal combustion engine. Hence the only noise is from the tyres. However, quieter forklifts may be deemed a disadvantage as it does not warn others employees that it is approaching. With the correct safety procedures in place, the quietness of electric forklift trucks should not be a disadvantage and it also enables the driver to hear other employees and vehicles better thus reducing the risks of accidents.
3. Reduced Operating Costs
Although the initial investment may be higher for electric forklift trucks, the lifetime cost is lower as the operating cost is lower. Electric forklift trucks have fewer mechanical components hence the servicing and maintenance cost is lower. It does not need regular oil or coolant changes. The battery does need to be regularly maintained through cleaning and servicing to ensure your forklift operates at an optimum level of efficiency. Also the cost of electricity is less than diesel and LPG, which needs ordering and storage.
4. No Pollution – Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Electric forklift trucks emit no carbon dioxide and therefore it is environmentally friendlier. It is better for the driver and other workplace employees. When it comes to warehouse ventilation, there is no need for expensive ventilation solutions or you do not need to keep the warehouse doors open for ventilation and thus reduce heating bills. This makes it ideal for use in food processing industry.
5.0 Extended Operating Times
The introduction of lithium batteries have revolutionised the electric forklift sector. They are great for increasing operating times between battery charges. Consequently, they are becoming more commonplace. Lithium cells also have the added benefit in that they can be opportunity charged in-between shifts or during breaks without any damage to the cells. More companies are making the switch to electric power as a result.
There are numerous other advantages of using an electric forklift truck. They can be used indoors and outdoors, the three wheelers offer small turning circle and better rear visibility. Electric power is available on all types of forklift trucks. Electric forklift trucks can be used on most jobs except for the highest of the loads and tallest heights to be reached.
Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years’ experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training on 020 8453 3440, choose option 3 or click here to email us.