Electric forklifts now dominate the U.S. market, accounting for 70% of the forklifts purchased and placed into production. This article highlights ideal industries and applications, product mix and key benefits of an electric forklift fleet.
Industries: Distribution, General Warehouse and Food Manufacturing
For several decades, internal combustion (IC) forklifts were believed to be the most durable and reliable models; however, with advances in technology and design the electric forklift can support the majority of workplace applications, including multiple shift and some outdoor operations. Companies have also realized multiple batteries may no longer be needed to run their production, supporting the decision to transition their fleet to electric.
There are instances your company may struggle to switch your forklifts to electric, such as space limitations for battery charging stations or decreased electrical capacity within an older warehouse. If your production runs 24 hrs / day, the time needed to charge forklift batteries may also be a challenge. A site survey with a material handling partner is the best first step to understand your options.
Electric Forklift Models, Capacities & Aisle Widths
Toyota offers a diverse product line of electric forklifts, and each is designed for ease of maintenance. Click to ProLift’s website to view model specs and details on options, operator ergonomics, performance, and safety.
Sit-Down Electric Forklifts
- Core electric forklift
- 3-wheel electric forklift
- Large electric forklift
- High-capacity electric cushion forklift
- Electric pneumatic forklift
Stand-Up Electric, Reach Trucks & Order Pickers
Each new Toyota forklift purchase is covered by ProLift’s New Equipment Guarantee. In the event you are unhappy with the equipment you purchased from ProLift after one year’s use, we will simply buy it back for the original purchase price less two thirds of our normal rental rate.
As compared to IC forklifts, electric forklifts have significantly lower day-to-day operating costs due to reduced maintenance and fuel costs. Electric drive motors have less complex mechanics, which is cost beneficial during forklift breakdowns and repairs. For enhanced ergonomics, an electric forklift produces less noise and typically generates less vibration and heat, which reduces operator fatigue.
The Toyota electric forklift product mix also provides you with several equipment models and options. Finding a solution for your warehouse design, the products handled and production schedules has never been this flexible.
Electric Forklift Fuel Consumption
Return on investment is often a primary concern when converting a fleet to electric forklifts. Fuel savings will be noticeable, especially if your company operates higher hours. On average an IC forklift costs $1.25 – $4.00 / hr to operate. An electric forklift drops your cost to an average of $.75 – $1.45 / hr.
Electric forklifts can present options to increase space utilization at your warehouse, and they are suited for indoor and outdoor usage. Smaller turning radiuses and streamlined designs assist operators with easily maneuvering through tight spaces. While IC forklifts require a 12 ft wide aisle, an electric forklift can decrease aisle widths to 9 ft, creating room for additional aisles and delaying warehouse expansion or relocation.
Ease of Maintenance
Many Toyota electric forklifts are designed with AC-power, providing a brushless, maintenance free motor. Several forklift parts needed for an IC forklift, such as belts, engine hoses, spark plugs and filters, are not necessary in the electric forklift design. This leaves major components of the forklift easier to access during service repairs and maintenance.
The elimination of several fluids also reduces the likelihood of electric forklift leaks. Additionally, because it produces less heat than an IC forklift, the electric forklift is less vulnerable to accelerated wear and tear on major components caused by high temperatures.
If you’d prefer to outsource forklift service, ProLift can assist your company with maintenance and service repairs. Learn more about our programs or access blogs.
Electric Forklift Safety
Each electric forklift model will offer features for a safer operator experience. While features will vary, your selected equipment may feature:
- Toyota System of Active Stability (SAS): Exclusive to Toyota, SAS provides forklift stability during turning, forward / reverse tilting and stacking / unstacking pallets. Its goal is to prevent tip-over and keep your forklift operators safe.
- Active Mast Control (AMC): Sensing risks to longitudinal tip-over, AMC controls forward- and rear-tilt speed. This speed control also help to stabilize raised loads.
To assist you with electric forklift safety ProLift provides training resources, including:
- Forklift Operator Safety Training Class
- Forklift Battery Charging Station blog
- Forklift Battery Personal Protective Equipment Kit blog
- Watering Forklift Batteries blog
Electric forklifts positively impact our environment. They generate minimal disposal waste and emissions, which reduces your carbon footprint and employee exposure to contaminated air – plus, a high percentage of the forklift battery is recyclable.
Electric Forklift Battery & Charger
Technology for electric forklift batteries and chargers has drastically changed, providing you with options that require little to no maintenance, a decrease need of changing out forklift batteries and shortened charging times. Forklift batteries are now handling multi-shift and cold storage applications.
When investing in an electric forklift, selection of a forklift battery and charger is important. Review ProLift’s blogs for tips:
Electric Forklift for Sale & Rental
Toyota offers reliable electric forklifts for sale and rental. Electric forklifts may be purchased new or used, and financing options are available. Electric forklift rentals can be scheduled for daily, weekly, monthly or long-term projects.
Complimentary Power Study
Considering a conversion to electric forklifts? ProLift’s team of material handling specialists offer a complimentary power study. We’ll come to your site to learn more about your application and track current forklift usage, and later present you with the best electric forklift solutions. Contact us to schedule your power study!Schedule Power Study