The material handling industry is always asked one question by customers. IC vs. Electric…which is better? There are a few things to consider when making your choice for your company. Is the forklift going to be used out more than 80% of the time? If the forklift will be then it only makes sense to go IC. #1 you do not have to worry about emissions the forklift is letting off if being used outside. #2 Electricity & water do not mix! Now that we have determined that outside use of a forklift should more times than not be handled by an IC truck let’s move inside.
When thinking of a forklift to be used indoors you will need to take into account how many shifts the forklift will be ran. Electric forklift batteries require an 8 hour charge followed by an 8 hour cool down before the battery can be used again for a 8 hour shift. If the forklift is going to be required to run more than one shift in a day then you will need to purchase an additional battery for each shift. When looking at the cost of a new battery, yes it is very expensive but when you look at it from the point of view that you are purchasing all of your fuel upfront then it makes it a little easier to comprehend. With the price of fuel going up the way it has you will almost always come out better when compared to purchasing fuel over the life of the battery. If you have multiple forklifts and batteries you will have the added expense of a charger and battery changing station. Obviously when working indoors with an electric forklift you do not have to worry about the emissions that you will need to take into account when purchasing IC. When looking at the total cost of ownership electric forklifts are less expensive to maintain over the life of the equipment.
I hope this has helped maybe answer some of the unknowns when deciding which fuel source to go with for your forklifts. As always it is best to get with a material handling expert who can weigh out the pros & cons for your specific company’s forklift needs. As always please contact http://www.forkliftsystems.com for all of your material handling solutions.