What are the types of forklifts?
- LPG forklifts are affordable, powerful and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. LPG is convenient and quick to replace when refuelling stations for diesel and petrol aren’t easily accessible.
- IC forklifts otherwise known as internal combustion – petrol and diesel – forklifts are still among the most popular choices due to their power, sturdiness and ability to perform well in outdoor or heavy industrial environments.
- Reach trucks are compact, maneuverable forklifts designed to work in narrow aisles yet capable of lifting pallets over 10 metres.
- Electric forklifts emit no harmful fumes, offer good maneuverability and generally lower maintenance costs due to having fewer moving parts.
What are the pros of electric forklifts?
- No harmful exhaust emissions
- No noisy engine
- Ideal for indoor use
- Can lift up to 18,000 kilos
- Unobstructed rear vision
- Faster acceleration
- Lower maintenance – no engine or transmission
- Longer lifespan than gas – 15,000 hours v 12,000 hours
- No need for fuel storage
- No hefty fuel costs
What are the cons of electric forklifts?
- The battery can take up to 8 hours to charge
- Needs a dedicated charging station
- Potential for flat battery due to multiple shifts
- Chance of battery overheating in hot weather
- Chance of major damage in the rain
What must be considered when choosing an electric forklift?
- What’s the budget?
- Is most of the work indoors or outdoors?
- What’s the minimum load capacity?
- What’s the minimum lifting capacity?
- What’s the daily forklift workload?
- What are the minimum operator comfort levels?
- What’s the preferred operator position – seated or standing?
- What’s the maximum forklift size?
- What’s the maximum forklift turning circle?
- Does the warehouse/factory layout and width of aisles limit forklift size?
What does an electric forklift cost?
The most you should pay for an electric forklift is $18,000, but around $12,000 will buy a very good one while around $8,000 will buy a limited, but decent one.
What are common problems with electric forklifts?
Even with the most regimented maintenance schedule, forklifts can develop faults. Here are some common electric forklift issues and what normally causes them.
- Won’t start due to a blown fuse, short circuit or blocked control circuit
- Sporadic or reduced speed due to short circuit
- Worn tyres due to a constantly heavy workload
- Worn suspension for the same reason
- Overheating due to outdoor work in hot weather
- Malfunction due to outdoor work in the rain
What type of maintenance do electric forklifts require and how often?
Forklifts are basically cars that can lift really heavy stuff. Maintaining them is therefore the domain of trained forklift mechanics. Here are some things operators can do on a regular basis to maintain an electric forklift between scheduled maintenance visits.
- Clean the entire forklift daily. Before each shift, use a dry rag to wipe away dirt, dust and grease.
- Check these components daily – brakes, battery, forks, controls and tyres.
- Conduct a thorough check of all parts every month.
- Stick to the scheduled maintenance program.