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FORKLIFT AMERICA'S FORKLIFT DIGEST

Going Green with Your Forklift Fleet

From homeowners to forklift owners and operators, it seems nearly everyone is looking for cleaner and more responsible ways to use products in an effort to reduce costs as well as their carbon footprint. Fortunately, technology has made it possible for manufacturers to build forklifts that use less energy and cost less to operate while still providing as much power as their internal combustion counterparts. Shifts in the market have prompted manufacturers to invest more into research and development to meet the demands of going green.

Twenty years ago electric forklifts represented 45% of the forklift market. But today electric forklifts represent nearly 60% of the market because more and more companies recognize their benefits. Electric forklifts provide companies with reduced operating costs because there are fewer moving parts and less heat. When electric forklift batteries and chargers are used appropriately, they cost a lot less than LP, making energy costs more stable. Companies using electric forklifts provide employees with improved operating conditions and better health for their employees because there’s no output of carcinogens or carbons in the warehouse. Internal combustion engines produce vibration, heat and emissions, all three of which contribute to operator fatigue. With electric forklifts, employees experience improved operator ergonomics.

While manufacturers have improved the efficiency and power of electric forklifts, battery companies are providing power in more convenient and efficient ways. Many companies are well aware of the cost savings gained from using the correct chargers for their electric forklift’s battery. That’s why many companies are using the Variable Frequency Charger for more flexibility in how operators charge batteries while reducing battery maintenance. With many operators prone to opportunity charge, a major cause of premature battery failure, VFC’s dramatically increase the life of forklift batteries because of their flexibility. Multi-shift operation has traditionally required two or more batteries with 8 hours of charging and 8 hours of cooling along with multiple chargers for varying voltage batteries. But the problem arises when battery power begins to fade at the end of a shift, forcing the operator to decide between changing batteries or plugging the battery in for a short period of time when it’s convenient (opportunity charging). Over time this can affect battery life and increase costs. But with VFC’s one charger can charge 36, 48 and 80 volt batteries. Forklift operators can also program VFC’s to charge at night when electricity is often cheaper. With VFC’s opportunity charging is no longer a problem. Batteries don’t have to be depleted before charging can begin. VFC’s use electricity more efficiently. Because the 8 hour cooling period is eliminated you won’t need as many batteries for each forklift.

The sooner your electric forklift fleet goes green the sooner your company can take advantage of reduced operating costs, a safer and cleaner facility and leaving a smaller carbon footprint behind. Setting up the right electric powered system is only possible when you work with a reputable dealership like Forklift America. Our consultants have years of experience working with electric material handling equipment instrumental in helping you make the right choice for your business. With Forklift America as your partner you can select the right battery and charger combination, empowering your forklift fleet to work more efficiently and have a much longer life.

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