Electric powered forklift trucks have become more and more prevalent over the last ten years in a trend that is bound to continue. Electric powered forklift trucks offer distinct advantages over machines powered by internal combustion engines. First of all there are less moving parts in an electric truck which naturally leads to lower maintenance costs and less breakdowns over the life of the machine. Electric forklifts, when properly cared for are considerably cleaner than propane powered machines and as such are preferred in many food processing and pharmaceutical applications. They also provide a quieter and healthier work environment as indoor air standards continue to be a cause of concern for employers and regulators. The battery, when purchased represents a pre-payment of energy costs when the potential energy in the battery is taken into consideration. Yes it has to charge and there is a cost but generally the total energy costs of the life of the battery compare very favorably over the price of propane and it precludes the price fluctuations, and potential supply and delivery issues inherent in petroleum products. Batteries are generally safer than propane which has to be delivered and stored in a caged space, generally outside for fire safety reason and the tanks have to be physically handled creating the potential for back injuries and a fire hazard when propane escapes during the mounting process. In the aggregate it would seem that electric powered forklift trucks would be a proverbial “no-brainer” for forklift purchase and as a general rule for indoor material handling applications electric powered forklifts are the best choice for many of the reasons stated above, but…..
At Accurate Lift Truck we’ve been managing fleets of rental and customer owned forklifts for over thirty years. We have extensive experienced maintaining all makes and models of electric powered forklifts and in maintaining their batteries. We also have an industrial battery division to help customers maximize the advantages of electric forklifts and keep their forklift batteries in tip top shape. What we have found though is that many customers squander the advantages of electric trucks because they or their employees don’t understand some of the basic do’s and dont's of forklift truck batteries.
Our forklift battery maintenance page offers a brief overview of some of the issues that we have seen over and over in our years of experience working with customers forklift fleets large and small.