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Sunday, August 7, 2022
Pneumatic Electric Forklifts

When thinking of forklifts capable of working outdoors, many will be quick to mention an IC Pneumatic forklift. However, what is often mentioned less is an outdoor electric forklift. These forklifts are just as efficient and environmentally friendly.  The Toyota Electric Pneumatic Forklift is an excellent alternative to IC Pneumatic products and has many incredible benefits that can take one’s fleet to new heights.

Benefits of Pneumatic Electric Forklifts

Choosing to go with an outdoor electric forklift over an IC product has multiple advantages. One of the most significant being reduced emissions. Electric forklifts are just as powerful as their IC counterparts due to new technology. The Toyota Electric Pneumatic Forklift has the ability to lift up to 11,000 lbs. and can be utilized for both indoor and outdoor spaces.


Going electric for your outdoor forklift also means that it can be less noisy and produce fewer vibrations. It can take a toll on your operator if the truck is too loud, increasing fatigue and possibly reducing worker productivity. If you find that your associates are experiencing this, switching to an Electric Pneumatic truck may be a solution.


Electric forklifts, in general, are cheaper to run from an energy standpoint and can help save on fuel costs. Electric forklifts also have fewer moving parts, which can help save on maintenance and service in the long run.

While IC Pneumatic forklifts are still a great choice, having an electric option to choose from can be beneficial for many operations.

Posted by tfinco at 8/7/2022 6:26:00 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A Toyota Reach Truck for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

Do you spend most of your day outside in a lumberyard or inside a rugged warehouse? Maybe you are required to work inside and outside? Many material handling trucks are not equipped to work indoors and outdoors or durable enough to work in a rugged indoor facility. You may think that a quick trip outside is harmless but repeat use of indoor trucks outside is not only harmful to your operators, but also your trucks. The buildup of dirt and debris and exposure to elements like rain and snow can wreak havoc on forklifts and their components, which leads to more downtime for repairs. Submitting your operators to the outdoors without proper protection can lead to reduced productivity or bad operating habits. It is vital to protect your trucks and operators for whatever environment they will be in. This is where Toyota’s Reach Truck products can assist with its indoor and outdoor capabilities.

Toyota’s Moving Mast Reach Truck products maximize productivity, performance, and efficiency. With an indoor model as well as an indoor/outdoor model, there is a truck to fit your needs. Each model features a right-hand control unit and an optional air-ride suspension seat to maximize productivity and comfort. Operators can customize performance and operating characteristics to meet their needs while also getting continuous updates on lift height, load weight, and fork alignment on a touchscreen display. Both indoor and indoor/outdoor models promote operator comfort and functionality to support productivity shift after shift.


The Moving Mast Reach Truck has lift heights up to 42.5 feet and a 5,500 lb. lifting capacity. Innovative ergonomics and technology offer clear and precise control for fast, smooth handling shift after shift. With an innovative mast design, a tilting cab, and an optional transparent roof, operators can maintain visibility at high lift heights. The Moving Mast Reach Truck features the tilting cab to reduce the risk of operator strain in repetitive high-level applications. It improves the visibility of the load so the operator can see the fork tips when elevated without moving their head.


The Indoor/Outdoor Moving Mast Reach Truck excels with lift heights up to 24.5 feet and 3,500 lb. lifting capacity. The Indoor/Outdoor Moving Mast Reach Truck features weather protection options such as overhead and mast-direction windows, additional side windows, fan heater, and a fully enclosed cab with a door to support operator comfort in outdoor environments. This Reach Truck offers unmatched versatility due to the diameter of its large rubber pneumatic tires, high ground clearance, and multiple weather protection options. While reaching high and heavy loads can be challenging, the Indoor/Outdoor Moving Mast Reach Truck maintains a clear view with an optional panoramic roof and unique mast design, maintaining upward visibility and minimal load view obstruction.

Toyota’s Moving Mast Reach Truck products are capable of handling your most demanding challenges in warehousing, manufacturing, distribution, factory, retail, food storage/processing, and even cold storage applications. Its unmatched versatility, performance capabilities, and operator comfort contribute to keeping you going shift after shift. Whatever your needs may be, indoor or outside, these Reach Trucks are built for you. To learn more about Toyota’s Moving Mast Reach Trucks and optimizing indoor and outdoor capabilities.

Posted by tfinco at 3/2/2022 12:20:00 PM
Wednesday, February 16, 2022

As environmental concerns and fluctuating oil prices continue to push consumers toward alternatives to traditional internal combustion (IC) engines, forklift operations have increasingly looked toward electric vehicle solutions over the last decade.

Customers are now buying far more electric forklifts than those powered by IC engines. Electric forklifts now make up 70 percent of total sales, and with increasing demand for electric power comes a need to provide a solution that provides all of the benefit of IC without a loss in productivity.

Lead acid batteries have been a capable solution for years, and they continue to dominate the market today. It is estimated that lead acid batteries power 90 percent of electric forklifts in operation.

But a new player has emerged on the scene in recent years and is revolutionizing the way some companies do business. Lithium-ion battery (LiB) technology represents the next generation of forklift efficiency, and experts say that LiB market share in electric forklifts will grow significantly over the next five years.

So, what’s all the hype about? Does lithium-ion make sense for every customer? Is it true that lithium-ion is better for the environment than lead acid? Here’s what experts at a few of the top LiB manufacturers had to say.

Does Lithium-Ion Technology Make Sense For Every Customer?

While LiB technology offers unique benefits, experts admit they don’t always make sense for every customer. Each battery manufacturer is different in how it determines whether LiB is a good fit for a specific customer.

Navitas Systems uses a calculation called Equivalent Battery Usage, or EBU, to determine if LiB is the right solution for a given customer. Navitas uses a threshold of 1.6 EBUs, meaning customers using their lead acid batteries more than an average of 1.6 times per day is a potential fit for LiB. If a customer’s EBU number falls below 1.6, however, Navitas will likely recommend that the customer continue using lead acid.

“Typically, multi-shift – 2-3 shift applications – are above 1.6 EBUs,” said Samer ElShafei, Navitas’ Vice President for Commercial and Industrial Sales. “We deal with automotive, general distribution, food distribution, retail, paper industries. It’s well-rounded. It’s really any type of application that operates equipment more than 1 shift a day.”

Electrovaya doesn’t have a specific metric it uses to determine the viability of LiB for a given customer. Instead, the company advises on more of a case-by-case basis.

Electrovaya initially offered sample batteries to customers and let them use them for 2-3 weeks. Then, based on the data collected from the battery, they could determine whether or not the battery was well suited to that customer’s application.

“Based on the lessons learned from these trials and the wealth of data, we can now do a really good job prescribing the right solution for you,” said Dr. Jeremy Dang, Electrovaya’s Director of Business and Project Development. “We can talk to a new customer today and ask them a few questions like, ‘how many trucks do you have? How many chargers? How many lead acid batteries? How many shifts?’ And from there, we can prescribe a solution that is right for them.”

Flux Power offers a similar view. The company installs its own telematics on the forklifts, the batteries, and the chargers to help determine if their batteries are right for a particular customer.

Flux conducted a survey with a small Costco distribution center that had eight units and was operating at about a shift and a half. After testing LiBs on the fleet, Flux recommended they stay with lead acid.

“It didn’t make sense for them to spend $20K for a big battery for some of their stand-up units,” said Tod Kilgore, Flux Power’s Director of Sales. “The lead acid out right now is very good technology, but there’s a time and a place for it. The same is true with lithium. If you’ve got smaller fleets and a single shift, you don’t go with lithium.”

The reason lithium-ion doesn’t make sense for every customer today is simple – the high upfront cost and the high variability in return on investment. LiBs are more expensive than lead acid batteries, and they’re best used in high-throughput applications, experts say.

“The higher the EBU, the quicker the return,” said Navitas’ ElShafei. “Generally, at greater than 1.6 EBUs, we’re seeing positive returns on investment in 18-24 months. The primary thing is finding the right application for the right technology.”

“We do often get inquiries from customers who are interested, and many times, we do tell them that this is not the right product for them based on their operation,” said Electrovaya’s Dang. “If you’re a one- or a two-shift operation, we find that the return on investment is not as great. In those cases, even if they’re still interested, we minimize the capital cost by offering a smaller battery and play around with the battery/charger ratio such that they don’t have too many chargers. But most of the time, we look for customers who are of a 24/7 or 24/6 nature. This is where you’re really going to see the true benefit of lithium.”

Exploring the Target Market for LiB: More Than Just Cold Storage

There are quite a few applications where lithium-ion makes sense – but some are garnering more attention of battery manufacturers than others.

The cold storage industry is the most obvious because of lithium’s ability to perform in a wide range of temperatures and environments.

“In cold storage, lead acid batteries don’t perform that well,” said Dang. “The impedance and impact on capacity is a killer for them.”

Lithium-ion batteries, however, can be manufactured with heaters installed to thrive such conditions. Nearly all of Electrovaya’s batteries, for example, come with an ingress protection (IP) rating of IP65, meaning the battery’s internal components are protected from water and condensation, as well as in temperatures as low as minus-35 degrees Celsius.

IP ratings range from 0-69, and are used to qualify levels of dust- and water-sealing effectiveness. LiBs for cold storage applications typically have an IP rating* between 65 and 67. A rating of IP65 means the product is “water resistant”, a rating of IP66 means it is “water resistant against powerful jets”, and IP67 means the product is protected from “immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth”. For comparison, modern cell phones typically have an IP rating of 67 or 68, which protects the product from “long-term immersion up to a specified pressure”.

“Some of our competitors are offering two separate battery solutions based on the temperature application,” Dang said. “For cold storage customers, they’ll provide a battery with some sort of heater, and in an ambient environment, they’ll take away the heater. In our case, we have a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. We don’t care if it’s a minus 35-degree application or a 35-degree application, we prescribe the same battery model.”

Cold storage makes sense for LiBs, but the applicability of lithium-ion is much broader than just one industry, Navitas’ ElShafei says.

“It’s really associated with how much energy is being used,” he said. “It has great application and returns in the cold storage industry, but the applicability is much broader than cold storage. Some might reference it because that’s their initial target market where they focus their product or their efforts on.”

Another area where LiBs are a good fit are for third-party logistics companies.

“Those are some of our heavy-duty users,” said Dang. “It’s the nature of the business. They are moving goods all the time, so they may require heavy-duty, high-capacity batteries, something lead acid won’t necessarily be able to handle.”

The Transition to LiB: ‘A Culture Change’

Most companies have been using lead acid batteries for many years, so the decision to transition to a new technology isn’t always easy – and the transition itself isn’t always seamless.

Perhaps the top factor for customers considering the transition?

“Obviously the cost,” says Navitas’ ElShafei. “For the new technology, it is more costly up front. If the customer is able to look at the investment from a total cost of ownership, then that helps out with lithium rather than just the upfront price.”

Added Flux Power’s Kilgore: “The thing about lithium is you need data from telematics because your initials costs are so high. We’re not going to sell a battery to a customer that doesn’t make sense or isn’t going to generate a return on investment.”

If a customer determines LiB makes sense for their application after analyzing the total cost of ownership, there are still several things to consider in preparation for the transition. Adopting LiB requires significant training, reconfiguring of facilities, and more.

For example, forklift operators need to be trained on lithium – especially if they are unfamiliar with opportunity charging. With LiB powered forklifts, operators are asked to plug the batteries into a charger every time the forklift is not in use – even if it’s just for a short break.

“This is not something that they’re used to. So, in the first two months, operators were not plugging in their batteries, and batteries were too drained for the next shift,” says Electrovaya’s Dang. “It took two months to fully train them, show them that it’s very important to plug in during any break, whether it’s a five-minutes or 30 minutes. In that time, even though it doesn’t seem like much, the battery will recover a lot of energy that was already used, so it’s beneficial to the next person that wants to use the truck.

“With every customer we’ve done this with, there’s always a culture change. The first two months will be rough, but after the first two months, things will be a lot smoother, and you’ll see the true benefit of our lithium-ion battery system.”

Regardless of the battery type, though, Navitas’ ElShafei says opportunity charging will become more and more common in the future – even for lead acid batteries. While there may be a learning curve for operators, there are undeniable benefits to an opportunity charging approach.

Opportunity charging offers the ability to decentralize the charging location by having multiple charging stations.

“We have some situations where customers have smaller charging areas and they may have 20 trucks park in one area, but they do that in 5 different areas within the facility,” ElShafei says. “We’ve seen other facilities where they spread out chargers all throughout their manufacturing facilities and they don’t even need to take the truck to the break room in that situation. They might park it at a piece of equipment on the manufacturing line. The bottom line is opportunity charging offers a lot of flexibility.”

Battery manufacturers can help make the transition from lead acid to LiB smoother by helping companies train their employees and re-think their facility layout.

“In the beginning, the training was a bit ad-hoc, but now we do have formal training programs – both with the customers’ maintenance team and master trainers, and with some of the forklift dealers themselves,” says Electrovaya’s Dang. “In most cases, our customers install the chargers right beside the break room or by the bathroom because it’s more practical that way. It’s an easy way to remind and encourage operators to always plug the batteries in. But in some cases, customers don’t have the flexibility to add chargers to a specific location due to limitations in their facility.”

Flux Power conducts a full site survey prior to any installation to come up with a custom design that works based on the customer’s unique operational needs and concerns.

“It’s a learning experience, and education is a big deal. It’s a totally different technology, and a totally different mindset,” said Flux Power’s Kilgore. “Most customers have forklift operators that have been working for 10 or 20 years with lead acid on their mind, and it’s not easy to change that mindset. It’s like going from a cassette to a CD.”

But the experts we talked to all agreed: Retraining and rethinking facility layouts are not deterring customers from shifting to LiB.

“Our customers are understanding, they’re quite progressive. The number one factor is cost,” says Electrovaya’s Dang. “Not everyone can afford or has the budget to buy lithium, especially for a smaller operation. But for someone like Amazon or WalMart, a 24/7 distribution center, the return on investment is clear, and they have the budget to afford the initial high capital investment.”

Not Always Greener

There are many reasons why the material handling industry has shifted to electric products. Electric forklifts require significantly less maintenance, offer lower operating costs than IC products, and are quieter.

But one of the top reasons for the gradual shift to electric? Companies are becoming more and more conscious of how they’re impacting the environment, and electric forklifts produce zero emissions during operations.

Because lithium-ion batteries are more efficient than their lead-acid counterparts, it’s reasonable to think that LiBs would be a greener option. But that’s not always the case – LiBs have their own environmental concerns.

The major components of a lithium-ion cell require the mining of lithium carbonate, copper, aluminum, and iron ore. Lithium is only a minor portion of the battery cell by mass, so the environmental impacts of copper and aluminum are much more significant.

The biggest differentiator, though, is the recyclability of the batteries. Lead acid batteries have been around for a long time, and as a result, have much more mature recycling programs. Lead acid batteries are recycled approximately 99 percent of the time, compared to LiBs, which currently have a recyclability rate of less than 5 percent.

“It definitely depends on how the lithium is mined and how it is recycled and returned to the environment,” says Electrovaya’s Dang. “You only find a select few vendors in North America that are willing to recycle LiBs. But I believe that as the world transitions more towards using lithium, more recycling companies will pop up, and better recycling programs and technologies will be developed.

“There are some areas in which lead is greener than lithium, but the area in which lithium is really more environmentally friendly is in the application or the use of. Our LiBs are completely sealed with no gassing.”

As recycling programs are developed for LiBs, battery manufacturers are exploring unique ways to give these batteries a second and third life.

Flux Power asks that their customers send the batteries back when they’ve reached their limit, and Flux uses them as backup power for solar energy.

Navitas and Electrovaya are also finding ways to refurbish the used LiBs when they reach the end of their first intended use – which usually means a high-throughput operation.

“I think of the analogy of a cell phone,” says Navitas’ ElShafei. “You personally use your cell phone a lot, and at some point, you might say ‘my iPhone isn’t lasting as long anymore and doesn’t get me through my day’, so because of the battery life, you get a new phone. That will happen with a lift truck as well. There’s certainly a market for people who don’t use their iPhone as much as you do. Maybe they use it 4 hours out of the day and you use it 8-10 hours a day. The same is true with lift trucks. Maybe they put new software on it, they clean it up, they repaint it, they put new contactors and a fuse in it, and then they resell it to a 1-shift application that just uses it less frequently than the first customer.”

Electrovaya offers up to a 10-year warranty on their batteries. While their oldest battery is currently four years old, Electrovaya plans to repurpose batteries with any remaining life at the end of the 10-year warranty.

“We will find some second life application, whether it’s energy storage or maybe a one-shift operation like a mom and pop shop,” Dang says. “Every year, we do an annual inspection of the batteries. In our most recent inspection at the three-year mark, the batteries had minimal degradation, so they will actually surpass the warranty period. At the 10-year mark, as long as they stay on track, we do not plan on breaking down a battery and recycling it. We plan on repurposing it.

“The beauty of lithium is, depending on the specific lithium formulation and chemistry used, the batteries can last a very long time. In our case, we use NMC, or Nickel Magnesium Cobalt Lithium technology. This chemistry combined with our proprietary formulation permits the battery to last up to 9000 cycles. So, if you’re an operator that uses about 2-3 cycles a day, this battery is going to last up to 12 years, and that’s on the heavy usage side. If you’re a medium-duty user that uses 1-2 cycles a day, you’re looking at way above 15 years here. So, after the 10-year mark, you can definitely see another two years or even more in something such as energy storage.”

The Future of LiB

While the adoption of lithium-ion technology is growing, it still represents a rather small percentage of the material handling industry. Experts expect that to change over the next five years.

“There’s a misconception that in five years, someone can just create a battery that lasts twice as long as the battery previously,” says Navitas’ ElShafei. “Technology takes a long time to develop. With LiB, the technology is here now, and what’s going to happen in the next five years is the availability, the scale, and the distribution of the product will all increase and improve.”

Electrovaya’s Dang expects the price of lithium-ion technology to continue to drop as scale increases.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and how much penetration this can get into other markets,” says Dang. “It’ll be a good thing for the entire space in general because costs will come down, manufacturers will find more innovative ways to manufacture lithium cells at a higher scale and a lower price. The same is true when it comes to mining the minerals needed to make lithium cells. It’s human nature for us to discover and optimize. The price we’re offering material handling customers today has significantly dropped since 2017.”

Battery manufacturers are thinking far beyond traditional forklifts when it comes to the future of LiBs. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Ground Support vehicles, public transit buses, and delivery vehicles are just a few areas where experts say LiB technology could be adopted.

“Material handling is the number one space that makes sense, but any vehicle that is actively used for more than 10 hours a day could benefit from lithium,” says Electrovaya’s Dr. Dang. “And in terms of R&D, lithium-ion cells will continue to increase in capacity, so it will be possible to power vehicles like delivery vans and buses safely.”

Flux Power has signed contracts with Delta and Southwest Airlines as they transition into the Ground Support market, and they’ve seen significant traction in the automated guided vehicles arena as well.

“The future of lithium is really big,” says Flux Power’s Kilgore. “There’s great momentum now that all of these industries are getting more and more involved.”

Added Navitas’ ElShafei: “We’re all investing heavily in this market space to be part of the incremental market share conversion from lead to lithium, and from IC to electric. Lithium offers the performance of propane with the benefits of electric – what customer doesn’t want that?”

*International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

Posted by tfinco at 2/16/2022 1:22:00 PM
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

There are quite a few applications where lithium-ion batteries make sense to power your forklifts – but some are garnering more attention than others.

The cold storage industry is the most obvious because of lithium’s ability to perform in a wide range of temperatures and environments.

In cold storage, lead acid batteries don’t perform as well because of condensation, and also because cold temperatures impede the chemical reaction in lead-acid batteries that releases electricity to power the forklift.

While this can also happen in lithium-ion batteries, the temperature of LiBs can be more easily regulated to combat this outcome. For example, unlike lead-acid batteries, LiBs can be manufactured with heaters installed to endure cold environments, and some LiBs feature active cooling elements to help in extreme heat applications.

Many lithium-ion batteries come with a rating of IP65 or greater, meaning the battery’s internal components are protected from water and condensation, as well as in temperatures as low as minus-31 degrees.

The main reason condensation isn’t an issue in lithium-ion batteries is the fact the cells are completely sealed and free from air. Lead-acid batteries are vented with air space in the cells, which allows condensation to form and impacts the chemical balance of the battery.

Lithium-ion cells operate most effectively in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees up to 140 degrees. But certain lithium chemistry combinations can expand that range – allowing LiBs to function better and last longer in extreme conditions.

A battery with a chemistry of lithium-iron phosphate or nickel cadmium, for example, performs better in cold applications than other types – effective in temperatures as low as -25 degrees. For high-temperature applications, nickel-metal hydride cells perform best – operating in temperatures up to 275 degrees.

If you use electric forklifts for applications where extreme temperatures are present, making the shift to lithium-ion technology may be the right solution for you.

Original post HERE

Posted by tfinco at 8/31/2021 4:43:00 PM
Friday, August 27, 2021

Your forklift battery is the powerhouse of your electric forklift. On average, with proper care and maintenance, a forklift battery lasts about 5 to 7 years. To safely get the most out of your forklift battery, check out the 8 recommendations below.

1. Dress appropriately for handling batteries  

Because forklift batteries are made from corrosive chemicals that can burn your eyes and skin, make sure to be dressed appropriately when handling batteries. Make sure to wear safety googles, rubber gloves, steel-toed boots, and an apron. Do not wear metallic jewelry.

2. Use the right handling equipment for moving batteries.

Forklift batteries are heavy. Smaller batteries can weigh 100-200lbs, but larger ones can weigh as much as 3,000lb. So, always use the appropriate handling equipment such as a battery lifting beam when lifting or moving batteries. Also, always make sure that the battery is properly secured before lifting or moving.

3. Handle and charge batteries in a designated area.

Having a designated area for handling and charging batteries is an OSHA-recommended best practice. When you charge your forklift battery, potentially flammable gases may be emitted. Having a designated, well-ventilated area prevents gas build-up. This designated area should also have eyewash and shower stations in the event of acid splashes and exposure.

4. Perform battery inspections and maintenance.

Batteries need to be inspected as a part of your daily OSHA-required forklift inspections. When inspecting your forklift battery, be sure to check your fluid levels. Make sure that the charging cables are intact, insulated, and connected. Look for cracks in the battery casing and for crystallization and corrosion. The battery’s contact posts should be clean.

5. Charge your batteries properly.

Properly charging your forklift battery is the best way to extend the life of your battery. A battery has a limited number of charge cycles in it, usually about 1,500 charges. Take care not to opportunity charge your battery. Flooded batteries should have 8 hours of run time, 8 hours of charge time, and 8 hours of cool-down time. If your operations require opportunity charging, see your battery supplier for the appropriate battery and charger combination for this type of charging capability.

To properly charge your battery, follow the below tips:

    • Make sure that your battery and your battery charger are compatible.
    • Be sure that the charger is off before connecting or disconnecting your battery.
    • Charge your battery when it hits 20% charge remaining. Do not charge the battery before it hits this red zone.
    • Always charge your battery completely. Partially charging your battery will count against your battery’s total number of charge cycles. Never interrupt a charging flooded type battery! (Unless you have an opportunity charger and battery combination.)
    • Avoid extreme temperatures when charging your battery. Charging and operating your battery in extreme temperatures will greatly reduce your battery’s life.
    • Allow your battery to cool down after charging. If you have a flooded or wet cell battery, you can follow the battery cycle of 8 hours charging, 8 hours cooling down, and 8 hours of working.

Battery Cycle of a Flooded/Wet Celled Battery

6. Check and maintain your battery’s fluid level.

As you use and charge your forklift battery, the fluid level of your battery decreases. That is why you should check the fluid level of your battery daily. You should add deionized or distilled water to your battery about every five to ten charges. Fill the cell with just enough water to cover the battery plate, usually about ¼” over the plate. Always add this water after charging, but never before charging. Also, do not overfill your battery because the water needs room to expand when the battery is in use.

7. Equalize your battery regularly.

Flooded, or wet cell, batteries need to be equalized on a regular basis. Over time, the water and acid in your battery become stratified. When this happens, your battery will not hold a charge well. By equalizing your battery, the electrolyte concentrate is rebalanced, and any buildup of sulfate crystals on the battery plate gets removed. Be sure to use a battery charger that has an equalizing setting.

8. Clean your battery regularly.

The top of your forklift battery needs to be cleaned regularly with battery cleaner or warm water regularly. Doing so is not only good maintenance practice; it can also help you maintain your battery’s manufacturer’s warranty. Also, cleaning can help you avoid battery build-up which can lead to tray corrosion and faster self-discharge.

Taking care of your forklift battery is greatly beneficial for your forklift and for your business’s bottom line. View original post HERE

Posted by tfinco at 8/27/2021 4:23:00 AM
Thursday, June 3, 2021

Evolving business needs often lead to major changes in organizations and operations. For the management of material handling applications, many companies have undergone a transformation to electric forklift fleets. It’s a trend that has occurred over the last decade for a variety of reasons – including rising environmental standards, the impact on total cost of ownership, and, in some cases, efficiency advantages that can be provided by electric forklifts under the right conditions.

Among those conditions to consider include:

  • Do I have the facility space, electric power sources, and layout to facilitate electric forklifts?
  • Am I willing to pay the higher initial upfront cost for electric models in order to realize the long-term benefits for ROI?
  • Do I have a full solutions material handling provider who can facilitate such as transition?

If you determine an electric conversion is right for you, here are some things to consider as you begin on the path to transition.

What is my current ownership/financing model for forklifts?

How and when you make the transition to electric forklifts may be a matter of financing structure. Some organizations have full ownership over their fleet. If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure your usage either justifies a replacement process or that you can receive enough capital from resale to justify the transition to new/used electric models.

If you leased all trucks in your fleet simultaneously, prepare your conversion for the time those leases expire. Work with your forklift provider to facilitate transition to new leases – this can be easily facilitated by a provider who works directly with a captive finance company (like Toyota does with Toyota Industrial Commercial Finance).

Other organizations will have a mixture of leased and owned models, or leases that expire at different times. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider the more complicated question of whether your facility is equipped to perform a gradual transition, replacing internal combustion forklifts with electric forklifts as it make sense to do so. Maintaining operation and maintenance, as well as fueling and battery swapping activities, simultaneously can be time-consuming and have an impact on things like facility routing and organization. Make sure you’re equipped to handle it.

What do I need to do to prepare my facility for electric forklift conversion?

While you may be used to the speed and relatively low storage needs of swapping propane tanks to power your forklifts, providing energy to your electric models can take more storage space and time. Depending on the battery you select, storage for those batteries can be somewhat cumbersome. They are bigger and heavier than propane tanks and may have to swapped as often as every shift depending on your charging method and usage. Speaking of weight, you’ll also need dedicated space for swapping batteries and associates trained to do so. Preparing your facility for this kind of activity is important before you make the transition.

Making a transition to electric also means considering the type of battery you want to select – including traditional lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. Each can provide unique energy advantages that can be closely evaluated for your specific operation.

Work with a forklift provider who is well-versed in both IC and electric forklifts to help – Toyota authorized dealers can provide an audit of your site to help you prepare.

Is my workforce trained to operate electric forklifts?

After you work with a forklift provider to determine which electric models best fit your operation, you may find yourself with new machines that look and operate differently than your previous models. Remember, OSHA requires that operators be trained on every unique type of forklift that they use. Make sure your associates are properly trained in the use of new electric models.

The transition to electric can have long-term benefits for many operations. But careful evaluations of your preparedness to make the change needs to be completed before a final decision is reached.View original post HERE

Posted by tfinco at 6/3/2021 3:25:00 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

In the material handling industry, high productivity and efficiency are king. Whether you have one forklift or fifty, your equipment must have the power to deliver consistent results in order for you to win in your space, and ultimately, gain a competitive advantage. To do this, you’ll need a powerful tool to help you stand out.

One way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to incorporate advanced energy solutions or, more specifically, lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). Capable of rapid charging speeds and requiring minimal maintenance, lithium-ion batteries can take your operation to new heights.

What are the advantages of lithium-ion batteries for forklifts?

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should consider adding lithium-ion batteries to your fleet.

  1. Increased Productivity

In material handling, we understand time is money and with lithium-ion batteries, you won’t have to worry about getting the job done. Lithium-ion batteries require less time to charge than their lead-acid counterparts, which also have to rest before they can be used again. Thus, your fleet will benefit from increased productivity and throughput.

Since lithium-ion batteries maintain a higher, more stable voltage over the course of a shift, you will also experience higher forklift performance which can translate to increased throughput.

Helpful Tips:

  • Avoid charging lithium-ion batteries when they have too low of battery life left. Instead, charge them more often. They do not need to be fully charged to operate correctly as do lead-acid batteries. In fact, you can fast charge a LiB in a matter of 10-20 minutes during an operator’s break.
  • Keep the battery away from elevated temperatures to avoid causing stress and changing capacity capabilities.
  1. Reduced Downtime

Unlike traditional lead acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries can be opportunity-charged, or recharged throughout the shift when necessary, eliminating the headache of battery swapping, thus increasing your fleet’s performance and reducing downtime. On average, a lithium-ion battery will last two to four times longer than a lead acid battery.

  1. Virtually Maintenance Free

Frequently having to maintain your lead acid battery can be time consuming and costly. However, lithium-ion batteries are virtually maintenance free and don’t require constant watering, equalize charging, or cleaning.

  1. Reduced Maintenance Labor

Lithium-ion batteries come equipped with cells that are sealed so you don’t have to wash or add water to keep the batteries operational, which reduces maintenance costs. Depending on your operation, it is possible that you don’t have to remove or swap batteries as you proceed through your workday because the battery can remain inside the forklift longer, eliminating the cost of additional storage and labor which is required for lead-acid batteries.

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Posted by tfinco at 3/24/2021 8:26:00 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Electric forklifts can be beneficial in many different work indoor applications (and now even outdoors with Toyota’s 80-Volt Electric Pneumatic Forklift). Using electric forklifts in your warehouse is one of the most common uses of these machines and for good reason. Electric warehouse forklifts can reduce fuel costs and be charged at intervals that can maximize efficiency across shifts. Take a look at some of the following benefits electric forklifts could have in your warehouse space.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Less Noise

You may not think about it, but having a quieter forklift may impact you or your operator’s ability to operate safely and effectively in certain applications. In smaller, confined spaces, with multiple forklifts running, it could get pretty loud. With electric forklifts, it lowers the noise level, allowing for easier communication, and less fatigue from your operators. Really, the only noise that electric forklifts have is the horn. In certain warehouses, this can make it easier for operators and pedestrians to hear forklift horns, co-workers, or other important workplace sounds.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Lower Emissions

When you are using a gas or LPG burning forklift, you are producing emissions that could be harmful to your associates and products if not properly addressed. Electric forklifts do not generate any CO emissions. This helps keep your employees healthy and lower the impact of emissions in your warehouse.

Certain products can also be harmed by emissions including food items, other perishables, and various consumer products. Toyota electric forklifts come in a wide variety of lifting capacities to fit many different applications. Also, fewer emissions are great for the environment!

If you are using a gas or LPG forklift in your warehouse instead of electrics, we understand there are many reasons that might have influenced that decision, and Toyota is the U.S. leader in internal combustion forklifts. However, make sure you are using proper ventilation techniques if you’re using one in your warehouse.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: A Wide Range of Options

Because your warehouse needs to maximize space, it could be hard to fit a full-sized forklift down your narrow aisles. An electric warehouse forklift can help solve that issue. At Toyota, we have many different electric forklifts to fit your needs. Maybe you need to squeeze in those narrow aisles? The 3-wheel electric would be perfect. It has a tighter turn radius than most forklifts but still has the capacity to lift up to 4,000 lbs. Maybe your warehouse stacks pallets behind each other. This is where reach trucks work great. Being able to place pallets in front of each other makes sure you are maximizing your warehouse space and racking. No matter what type of warehouse blueprint you have, Toyota Material Handling has an electric forklift to fit your needs!

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Operating Cost

When it comes to the operating cost of forklifts, electric forklifts can usually be lower than that of internal combustion models. While IC models run on gas, electric forklifts run on, well, electricity! You may need to set up a charging station in your warehouse, but the cost of electricity can be significantly lower than that of fuel.

While IC models are still the most popular in the market, electric forklifts are increasing in popularity. So remember, if you are looking to increase productivity and ROI in your warehouse, take a look at all of the different electric forklift options from Toyota.

Written By: Lucas Collom, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Posted by tfinco at 11/11/2020 10:11:00 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2020

BYD’s new forklift charger sets a high bar for the industry. Thanks to the device, BYD forklifts can be fully powered using a 110V charger that requires no extra wiring and can be connected to a standard wall plug.

BYD forklifts can fully charge in under 90 minutes and can run 10 hours per day, seven days a week. The reliable batteries in BYD forklifts require zero maintenance and come with a 10 year warranty.

Posted by tfinco at 10/29/2020 8:57:00 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BYD is an innovator in the marketplace. Trusted and reliable, BYD (Build Your Dreams), the world’s premier manufacturer of batteries, celebrates #BatteryDay today and every day.

Founded in 1995 as a pioneer in battery technology, BYD’s mission is to change the world by creating a complete, clean-energy ecosystem that reduces the world’s reliance on petroleum. BYD’s innovative products are leaders in multiple sectors, including battery-electric automobiles, buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and forklifts; the SkyRail monorail system; solar power generation and energy storage systems; and consumer electronics.

BYD always aims to make battery safety its key indicator of quality. BYD puts its batteries through rigorous safety tests, from burning, to overheating, dropping, perforation, crushing, and even shooting nails through their casings. Throughout these tests, BYD batteries have proven extremely safe, never overheating or exploding.

BYD forklifts can fully charge in under 90 minutes and can run 10 hours per day, seven days a week. The reliable batteries in BYD forklifts require zero maintenance and come with a 10 year warranty. 

BYD’s new forklift charger also sets a high bar for the industry. Thanks to the device, BYD forklifts can be fully powered using a 110V charger that requires no extra wiring and can be connected to a standard wall plug.

View BYD Forklifts

Posted by tfinco at 9/22/2020 9:03:00 AM
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