If you are looking for a new forklift truck for your business, you might be confused by the many, many options available. Do you need a reach truck, a flexitruck, or a counterbalance forklift? And how should your new truck be powered: by gas, by diesel or by electricity? Thankfully, Hiremech are on hand to talk you through the options and to make buying a forklift truck simple. Below is our guide to electric forklifts, and how you can apply the benefits of electric forklifts to your business.
Electric forklifts are powered by an internal battery, similar to the one in your car. The battery will require charging at regular intervals and water levels topping up to keep the forklift operating. The majority of modern forklift trucks use electricity as a power source, as it is cleaner and more cost-effective than a fuel-powered machine.
Many forklifts use old-style lead batteries, which are bulky, heavy devices containing chambers of lead-based acid. The batteries have a long life and many have recharge abilities, but they do need replacing when the electric charge runs down. They can be dangerous if damaged, as they contain a powerful corrosive substance that can damage skin, paint, metal and plastic on contact. They are also extremely heavy – though as we will soon see, this can be an advantage.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, are lightweight and rechargeable. A scaled-up version of your mobile or laptop battery, the lithium battery provides many hours of power between charges. Lithium powered forklifts are becoming much more common as companies look for cleaner, greener ways to operate – and to cut their costs.
Counterbalance trucks and electric power
The most commonly used kind of forklift is a counterbalance truck. This is what you will typically picture when thinking of a forklift: a small, sturdy cab with a fixed set of front forks, and a heavy weight attached to the back. The counterbalance stops the truck from tipping when a heavy load is lifted and keeps the truck stable when it is loaded and in motion.
Many electric forklifts are counterbalance trucks in the true sense of the word, but they lack the counterweight at the back to hold down the truck. Instead, the internal battery performs this function. A heavy internal battery can keep the truck weighed down during operation and make it far easier to use and manoeuvre the vehicle. Lithium batteries are lighter, so they do not work as a counterbalance and a weight is generally added to the battery pack to retain manufactures specifications.
Recharging your forklift
Any time that a piece of equipment is out of action, your business is losing money. Having to recharge a forklift every few hours is not ideal in a busy working environment, and in the past, this has put off companies from choosing electric power. However, modern batteries can carry more charge between each top-up, so they are far more efficient than they used to be. More companies are making the switch to electric power as a result. One of the benefits of electric forklifts is that their lithium batteries 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.
If you want to explore the benefits of electric forklifts for your business, contact Hiremech and see what we can offer you. We have a huge range of electric trucks available, all refurbished to the highest standards. We will talk you through the many options available to you, and help you make an informed decision about your needs.
You can contact the Hiremech team on 0208 880 3322, or email the sales team on firstname.lastname@example.org. We can provide quotes, advice and details on the great range of forklifts we have in stock. Call now and see how we can help.