Businesses today have more options than ever before to power their materials handling equipment. Forklifts in particular can be operated by electric, diesel, LPG or even advanced fuel options such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). With a plethora of choices available, there’s no time like the present to consider if you’re using the right ones.
Having a well-matched power source can have significant impact on many aspects of an operation, including higher productivity and lower operating costs. By taking the time to re-evaluate your power options, you will be in the best possible position to get the most of your equipment fleet.
At Briggs Equipment, our Solutions Team have worked with hundreds of businesses to identify and install the right power source for their requirements, and have provided five key factors to consider whenever embarking on a project of this nature.
The overall number of shifts in your operations and total travel distance of equipment can have a big impact on choosing the appropriate power sources. A single-shift or light-duty application may not require as much demand from your truck as a 24/7 heavy-duty environment. The amount of time you require your forklifts to run before running out of power can also have an impact as lithium-ion, lead-acid battery charging and LPG bottle replacements each have their own time requirements that may or may not impact critical downtime.
Regardless of power source, all forklifts have some level of planned and unplanned maintenance. Depending on the application and activity levels, some forklifts may require maintenance on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. However, some power sources have higher maintenance requirements than others.
In fact, 80% of a forklift’s total cost is after the initial capital equipment investment. What is your tolerance for maintenance costs and related downtime? Determine if you can afford to have a forklift down for regular service (such as wearable parts replacements, oil changes, balancing, and cleaning), or if you need to keep your trucks running all day at the lowest possible operating cost.
Did you know that your operators can have a significant impact on forklift efficiency? Well trained operators, with good knowledge of charging best practice, can increase efficiency and keep your trucks running for longer. An incorrectly charged power source can reduce productivity as forklifts can have a noticeable lower performance once a power source charge drops below 50%.
Processes such as charging, watering, and equalising rely on operators to follow a consistent schedule, so before you invest in a new power source, make sure your operators are in the know!
In the case of outdoor applications or large open facilities with sufficient ventilation, emissions and other combustion by-products might not be a pertinent issue. However, clean environments like those in the food and medical industries have strict emissions requirements to avoid contamination. Based on local regulations or corporate sustainability targets, it’s important to know what emissions level is allowable in your facility.
While some power sources require space for storage and maintenance, other power sources need very little space for activities like refuelling. How much facility space do you have available to support your forklift power sources? By calculating your cost per square metre and determining whether you can be using more of that space for revenue-generating activities, you can see what your power source’s space is really costing you.
Discover more about how Briggs Equipment can support your power source requirements:
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