Thursday, June 3, 2021

Environmental Concerns Drive Fork Lift Truck Market Toward Battery Power

Diesel Moves Into the Realms of History
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – As the pressure to ensure products meet ever higher standards with regard to their environmental credentials even the oldest and most respected names in the supply chain are having to innovate to stay ahead of the game. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the handling materials field where the heaviest bracket of cargoes has always previously relied on diesel.

The fuel is obviously going to be a no no in the logistics warehouse of the future, and even a likely replacement, LPG, produces noxious exhaust gases so the answer, as so often is now the case, is to beef up the existing ranges of fork lift trucks using modern battery technology.

This has prompted one of the industry’s best known brands, Hyster, to overhaul its portfolio which now includes a range of electric 10-18 tonne lift capacity trucks. The new Hyster J10-18XD trucks lift up to 18-tonnes and feature lithium-ion battery packs providing full power and acceleration, claiming comparable performance to a diesel forklift but with no emissions. Jan-Willem van den Brand, Director Global Market Development, Big Trucks, for Hyster, explains:

“This is a breakthrough for businesses in heavy industry that are keen to achieve green objectives in factories, warehouses and yards. With support from Hyster, the transition to clean electric power is now simpler than ever and comes with no compromise on performance or efficiency.

“Operations undertaking tough tasks in demanding industries, such as those typically found in timber, metals, and construction applications, can rely on these new electric forklifts inside and outside, for ICE-like performance across one, two or three shifts, alongside the convenience of opportunity charging.

“Regardless of if the truck is used for periodic or continuous operation, you can drive these trucks like a diesel. With less time needed for charging, a wide range of applications can benefit from greater truck availability. Operations with two or three shift operations can easily top up the charge, preventing the need for battery exchange and a separate charging room. As the battery and electric motor are maintenance free this also helps reduce costs, further contributing to a low Total Cost of Ownership.

“Green objectives are also important to many businesses, some of which are exploring the implementation of solar panels and other onsite methods of generating electricity. In many countries there are also tax incentives and grants that support companies looking to invest in zero-emissions equipment. These types of applications will find these new trucks an ideal choice when compared to diesel, both environmentally and economically.”

The integrated lithium-ion batteries produce higher performance than lead-acid counterparts and have a longer life cycle, helping to keep costs down. Additionally each truck can be equipped with modular battery packs to store the necessary power required to meet the operational needs. The system is optimally designed for high power opportunity charging, removing the need to swap batteries, so uptime is maximised, and shift changes and breaks become productive. The new truck option requires just 11 minutes of charge for up to one hour of work.

To support businesses in their journey from a diesel to an electric fleet, Hyster says it works closely with operations to plan the transition, providing options that enable the correct electric lift truck to be configured for differing application needs. The experts at Hyster also advise on the necessary changes to electrical and infrastructure needs, plus a suitable charging strategy and process. Further support is given through training and servicing throughout the lifetime of the lift truck.