Over the last 25 years, sales of electric lift trucks have grown from less than one-third of annual lift truck sales to more than half of annual sales. Class I forklifts, like those used in manufacturing, warehouse and retail applications, are incorporating new technologies to increase performance and usability while providing lower operating costs for customers.
Some of these technology enhancements include:
- Wireless technology. Integration of forklift operating data with wireless data acquisition systems, including radio frequency identification (RFID).
- Ergonomics. For enhanced operator comfort.
- Digital displays. Instant operational information, built-in fault analyzers, easier matching of performance with operator skill
- Multi-function controls. Adoption of mini-levers and joysticks for improved operator comfort and productivity.
- Safety systems. Sensors and controllers to reduce tip-overs and dropped loads.
Additionally, new low-maintenance gel cell and sealed batteries are reducing maintenance demand. EPRI has conducted numerous studies of the long-term impacts of fast charging on battery life. Results to date have shown no adverse effect on battery life, and in some cases, extended battery life.
Fast charging of batteries offers several advantages:
- Eliminates time needed for battery swapping
- Frees floor space by eliminating battery room
- One battery pack per truck, instead of two
- Reduces staff time devoted to battery maintenance
- Eliminates accidents involving battery changing
- Increases truck operating time
- Potential for lower lifecycle costs, ability to monitor charging history, truck usage, water level, etc.
High-frequency battery chargers are a great option for companies looking to charge electric forklifts more efficiently. PSO customers can take advantage of business rebates to help reduce the cost of upgrading to efficient chargers. See how you could save $500 on qualifying high frequency forklift battery chargers.
While electric forklifts have higher initial costs than internal combustion (IC) trucks, they have lower maintenance and much lower fuel costs, which substantially reduces the lifecycle costs of electric trucks.
If you’re interested in electric forklifts for your operation, please reach out to your PSO Account Manager to discuss your options.
To read the EPRI Class I Electric Industrial Forklifts report, click here.