Forklifts are a mainstay of the material handling industry, relied upon for decades to swiftly transport large amounts of often heavy, bulky goods with ease and relative precision. Visit just about any warehouse, loading dock, or factory, and you are bound to see at least one forklift in action, handily accomplishing tasks that would be difficult or impossible even for a large team of skilled, strong human workers. Unfortunately, all that hard work does take its toll, and even the best equipment will eventually need to be replaced.
If your forklifts are nearing the end of their service lives, you know you need to upgrade before a mechanical failure sidelines your business. Thanks to advancements in material handling technology, there are now several types to choose from. Making sure you pick the best option for your company based on the specifics of your facility can save ample time and lower your operating costs significantly.
Traditional forklifts rely on the combustion of propane or diesel fuel, and as such they do produce exhaust gases – requiring the operation of sufficient ventilation systems to keep indoor air clean. Alternatively, electric forklifts produce no operating emissions, keeping your facilities clean and your air quality higher. Reducing the strain on your ventilation system may save you enough money to power your electric forklifts, and choosing electric equipment when you set up a new facility may mean that you can install a much less expensive ventilation system in the first place. That said, if you need to operate your forklifts in cold or wet conditions, or if you need to operate only one forklift for long periods such as multiple back-to-back shifts, electric may not be right for you.
How much power you need from your forklifts should be one of your biggest concerns. Modern batteries are more powerful than ever, and all of the torque of an electric motor is available at any speed – even just one RPM. This makes controlling electric forklifts much easier, which can lead to fewer mistakes and smoother operation. However, if you frequently require high or constant driveline torque to lift heavy loads, a propane or diesel forklift will offer greater capacity than many electric units.
Refueling combustion-powered forklifts is much faster than charging electric units, especially important if you need to rely on a single forklift. Instances like these, and demands for higher torque, make a strong case for internal-combustion power. The cost of fueling such units can add up fast though, and if you will be operating your forklifts in a climate-controlled facility, electric power can offer substantial cost savings in this area. In many cases, electric forklifts cost less than half as much to operate as propane models.
Clearly, there are strong advantages and disadvantages to each type of propulsion system used in forklifts today, so when you know you have to replace your aging equipment or add more machinery for increased productivity, make sure you do thorough research and consider all of the factors at play in your facilities.
The biggest barrier to choosing the best forklift for the job at hand is, for many facilities, the cost of new forklifts and any equipment needed to power them. Thankfully, there is a great way to get the modern, reliable forklifts you need without depleting cash reserves or cutting critical line items from your budget.
Financing your forklifts and other material handling equipment through a provider like TimePayment lets you upgrade right away, and gives you the flexibility to pay for your new tools over time in manageable monthly installments. In some cases, the monthly savings you gain from upgrading your forklifts can even outweigh the cost of your payments.
Don’t let upfront cost stand in the way of a decision that can yield your business substantial long-term savings and other benefits. To learn more about leasing your forklifts and associated equipment, the financial products available to you, and how you can run a more productive and efficient facility with the right equipment for the job, contact a representative of TimePayment today.