The electric lift truck is generally the best choice for indoor applications within manufacturing and warehousing environments. This is mostly because of 2 reasons with the first being that they produce zero emissions. This is an extremely important factor to take into account for indoor work places. Amongst the Internal Combustion or IC units, only the propane-fueled units could be used indoors and these models still require extremely good ventilation. Units which work on diesel and gas are not able to be used indoors under any circumstances.
Fuel cost is the other main benefit of electric lift trucks. These units have lower cost per hour as opposed to any of the other internal combustion or IC models. One of the main disadvantages to the electric forklifts is their higher initial cost. New electric lift trucks could vary from 20 percent to 40% more compared to internal combustion units which are rated the same.
Electric forklifts on the other hand, provide many benefits such as quiet operations, which can be a big plus for indoor environments. Moreover, no need for fuel storage mean no room has to be allotted for tanks of dangerous and flammable fuels. Since electric lift trucks have less moving parts compared to IC models, and they are normally utilized indoors and within cleaner settings, they tend to have a longer overall lifespan.
The electric forklifts biggest downside is the batteries downtime. The big and really heavy, lead acid batteries are somewhat similar to those now found in cars. These batteries are very powerful and extremely big. Normally, batteries offer enough power for one regular 8-hour shift, and this means 5 or 6 hours of continuous use.
Charging a lift truck battery would take around 8 hours. An extra 8 hours of cooling time is needed before it could be utilized after the charging process is completed. Due to this long method of slow charging speed and additional cooling time, if you require forklifts for 2 or 3 shift operations, you will have to buy extra batteries so you could always be charging the next battery. These extra batteries would add about $1000 to $2000 to the purchase price.
On the market these days, there are several new fast charge electric lift trucks. These fast charge batteries have revolutionized the industry of electric lift trucks. Their charging could be completed in the course of lunch and coffee breaks, enabling them to get back to work a lot sooner.