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Is Going Green Right for Your Forklift Fleet?


The Conversion to Heavy-Duty Electric Forklifts

According to the Industrial Truck Association data, customers continue to convert their fleets from internal combustion (IC) to electric forklifts. With industrial users turning to electric-powered forklift options, you may ask yourself why? What are the benefits driving customers to make the change? While there are many reasons often stated, some of the most persuasive points to consider when determining if electric powered forklifts are suitable for your business include:

  • Superior Performance & Run Time With New Technology
  • Lower Maintenance Costs
  • Fuel Cost Savings
  • Safety
  • Sustainability & Green Initiatives  

Historically one of the most common objections customers would present when using electrics was the lack of performance versus their IC machines. Today with the advent of sophisticated AC (alternating current) motors, electric units provide the same high-end torque and top-end speed compared to their LPG and Diesel units. With improved AC technology, electric trucks can now navigate ramps, provide superior lift speeds, and even operate outside, eliminating many of the most common criticisms associated with previous product offerings.

Heavy-Duty Electric Forklift Fuel Costs and Maintenance

Another common area to consider when purchasing an electric or IC forklift is fuel costs. Electricity is fuel, and in most markets, electricity is less expensive than propane and provides for fewer price fluctuations than LP fuel. Detailed studies have been performed comparing the cost of propane versus electricity based on 2,000-hour application, and customers realized thousands of dollars in savings that significantly helped their companies’ operating expenses.  While no two applications are the same, your local Hoist Material Handling dealer can provide a detailed power savings survey that can provide you with specific cost savings information based on your specific factory layout. 

Another cost savings could be the reduction in maintenance costs compared to their IC units. Electric forklifts have far less moving parts, which may result in lower maintenance costs. When this is coupled with the lower fuel expenses, electric trucks provide a whole new definition of going green customers have come to appreciate.   

Going Green with Electric Forklifts

When someone mentions “Going Green,” often they are referring to the environment. Using battery-powered forklifts certainly does bring many advantages. Electric lift trucks create the lowest well-to-wheel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and some lead-acid batteries are even comprised of up to 98% recyclable materials.

There are numerous advantages to “Going Green” when evaluating if electric-powered forklifts are best for your forklift fleet. A complete application survey and power usage would need to be done to consider all of your options. Your local Hoist Dealer representative can provide this expertise as well as review the numerous model options that are now available to you.  

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