The Best Investment Forklift Fleet Managers Can Make

Capital expenses are a big part of a business budget and managers need to evaluate every expense to determine if it’s a good investment of the company’s money. Materials handling equipment such as battery lifts and battery storage systems are a good example. What do these items bring to forklift fleet operations?

Improved Productivity

An idle forklift isn’t doing any work. When you have forklifts sitting in an area plugged in and recharging, you have equipment that isn’t earning you money. Workers have fewer trucks to work with. Loads have to wait until a forklift is available and the workflow slows down.

When you bring in materials handling equipment you can swap out a discharged cell for a new one in a matter of minutes. The forklift gets back on the line immediately rather than having to spend hours in a recharge station. Battery swaps are faster with materials handling equipment than they are when done by hand, so workers can service more forklifts in less time. These factors work together to keep your fleet moving at all times even if your facility works 24 hours a day.

Reduced Cost

If your facility works one shift then you have the luxury of long recharge times for your trucks, but it’s not cost-effective for most industries to run only one shift per day. A growing number of businesses have found they need to run 24/7 to keep merchandise flowing to customers and departments within the company. That means buying large fleets to compensate for the percentage of the trucks that will be in recharge, and short battery life as power cells are put back in service before getting a full charge.

Swapping batteries with materials handling equipment doesn’t just improve productivity; it saves money. With all forklifts in service, a company operates just as efficiently with a smaller fleet and that saves on vehicle purchase costs. Batteries can be stored for a full 8 to 12 hour charge to maximize battery life, minimize sulfation and reduce power cell replacement expenses.

Increased Safety

Although batteries are safe vehicle power sources when compared with propane or gasoline, they still carry some dangers to workers who are removing or charging them. Electric shocks, acid burns and physical injury from the heavy batteries are just a few of the risks workers face. These dangers can be reduced or eliminated with the use of materials handling equipment.

Battery lifts allow cells to be removed from forklifts without workers straining their backs or risking dropping the heavy batteries on unprotected toes. Carriers transport the batteries quickly and safely to a recharge area. Workers never need to get close to the batteries so there is much less chance of shock or acid burns.

Better productivity, lower costs and enhanced safety are just three reasons battery materials handling equipment is a great investment for any forklift fleet.