There are as many different types of forklift as there are uses for them, and the right choice for your business is going to depend on a multitude of varying factors including space, the size and weight of loads to be carried, how intensively they are to be used, and of course your budget.
One of the differences between varying types of forklift is the type of motive power which they use. Many traditional forklifts use gas or petrol; however, electric battery power is taking over as the leading fuel for forklifts.
Electric forklifts offer businesses a number of ways to save money, as well as a range of other advantages over more traditional models.
Just as with electric cars, electric forklift trucks give a virtually 100% reduction in your fuel bill. Traditional models require refuelling with petrol or diesel, attracting a significant expense week-in, week-out. Electric models, conversely, can be charged up overnight from your existing electricity supply, costing only a few pence per day.
One expense which exists with electric forklifts that doesn’t apply with gas-powered models is that of the battery, which must be purchased at the same time as the forklift itself, and can be expected to last 5-7 years. However, even taking this into account you can expect a significant saving in fuel costs over the lifetime of an electric forklift truck.
Maintenance and servicing
Unlike internal combustion engines, the power trains of electric forklifts do not require oil changes or fluid top-ups since they have neither oil nor other fluids within them. Indeed, with only two moving parts, electric motors are a great deal more reliable and require only occasional servicing or maintenance. Such reduced servicing and maintenance requirements bring apparent cost savings by themselves, but will also save you time and money in staff hours, and also increase the efficiency of your business by reducing the amount of time your forklifts are out of use.
Propane and diesel fuels are unpleasant, dangerous substances which are complicated and costly to store safely. Switching to electric forklifts allows you to do away with the need to use these fuels altogether, and replace them with a simple electric charging station, as close to 100% safe as it is possible to achieve.
Additionally, switching to electric removes the requirement to comply with health and safety legislation, tax and revenue conditions, and other compliance issues surrounding fossil fuels, saving you significant amounts of staff time and removing what is a risk to your business from any non-compliance.
Electric forklift trucks have a much-reduced carbon footprint in comparison to more traditional models powered by internal combustion engines.
Considering the fuel itself, burning gas or diesel in a traditional forklift truck produces a high level of carbon dioxide and is hugely inefficient. By comparison, a high percentage of the electricity supply generated in the UK today comes from renewable sources such as wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources. Even allowing for the level of carbon emissions at the source of the electricity generation, the ecological footprint of powering your forklift is drastically reduced.
Additionally, by having effectively only two moving parts in the motor, electric forklift trucks have a far longer lifespan than their traditionally powered counterparts. Because this allows you to replace your forklifts less often, the environmental impact of construction and shipping is minimised, as the consumption of materials such as metal and plastic used in manufacturing is reduced.
All combined, this means that electric forklift trucks have a far lower environmental impact.
Longer life before replacement
As already mentioned, electric forklift trucks have a longer working life. In addition to saving you money through not having to replace the forklift as soon, this also saves valuable time in training staff on new models, procurement of replacement forklifts, and potentially adapting your premises and procedures to cope with the changes that new vehicles would bring.
A thriving second-hand market
The longevity of electric forklift trucks also means that there is a thriving second-hand market. Because electric models are so easily maintained, these used electric forklift trucks are often in as-new condition and can make a highly cost-effective option if you find that you are on a tight budget.
Hi-Tec Lift Trucks offer a wide range of electric forklift models, suitable for all applications, and in any environment. These range from lightweight models for simple applications through to heavyweight, industrial electric forklifts which can cope with intensive workloads and challenging environments. Taking the time to consult with a reputable forklift dealer who can help you to understand the options available, and offer you a demonstration of the latest technology, will ensure that you get only the best electric forklift for your needs.