Electric forklift units make up nearly sixty percent of the entire material handling market. Powering these models are very heavy lead-acid batteries. Because of their immense weight, these batteries naturally provide a lot of the counterweight.
Counterbalanced trucks are classified by the ITA as Class 1 lift trucks. Class 1 also includes other electric trucks made for general use and stand-up counterbalanced trucks. Even if the initial expense of an electric lift truck is more than internal combustion lift trucks, electric models are cheaper to use eventually. This is because of their lesser fuel and maintenance expenses.
Most of the electric rider trucks made and engineered within North America are made for moving material within 4 walls. Electric forklifts have usually been limited to indoor use with surfaces that are clean and smooth. With the introduction of some new Class 1 items, it is becoming more and more possible to use electric rider models in certain outdoor applications.
When compared to Internal Combustion lift trucks, the electric trucks are typically selected for indoor use due to the fact they provide no harmful emissions, can often complete a full 8 hour shift on one battery charge and are extremely quiet to run. The batteries for electric units weigh about 3,000 pounds. The job of reloading, recharging and removing the batteries can be time consuming and cumbersome. This situation usually occurs at a battery charging post or an area which is particularly designed for handling batteries. There are developing fast charging technologies that would be available on the market and these new systems are changing the process of charging batteries.
The Proper Fit
A main factor associated with any kind of lift truck is using the right size of model to do the particular application. The application itself must always dictate what product is selected.
Customers are always looking for ways to lower their operating expenses and find more effective work practices which help lower these costs, while also improving their productivity. Using the wrong size of forklift could greatly slow things down and have a huge effect on the bottom line and profitability of a company, while negatively affecting the production on the jobsite.
If you are unsure about what particular kind of lift truck you need, a respectable dealer will be able to ask you the right questions which would enable you to make a correct selection. Many dealerships provide rentals of their machines as well and this is a good way to try before you commit to such a large purchase. It is also a nice way to try various units out to see which ones bring you the best productivity and which ones you and your drivers are the most comfortable with.