Electric Forklift on ramp

We are considering purchasing an electric forklift to handle carpet rolls up to 1500 lbs. In addition to our concern with battery maintenance, 2 vendors indicated that multiple trips (20/day) on a ramp to the loading dock (30' - 16% grade ramp) will use up the battery capacity. Does anyone have experience with using a 3 wheel 4,000 lb battery powered forklift on a dock ramp? Due a 22' aisle width, propane forklifts would be tight.
  • Posted 9 Dec 2020 00:06
  • Discussion started by Wayne_G
  • Georgia, United States
Showing items 1 - 8 of 8 results.
i've seen a few of my customers that have used electric's on ramps.
They do have a tougher time doing it and yes, it will eat up battery power quickly especially if the ramp is as steep as you indicate. Will it do it 20 times a day on a single charge? Hard to say, it may at first but as time goes and the battery ages it will lose that ability to hold it's charge because of having to add fluid/water to it during maintenance. All batteries do this as time goes, batteries are by design only meant to last by a certain cycle duty rate, once it gets to that threshold it's ability to retain charge diminishes due to sulfating/contamination of the plates. Every time you have to add water (distilled is preferred) it dilutes the acid and the electrolyte weakens.
I would make sure you have a decent maintenance plan in place to make sure the battery(s), charger and the truck itself is kept in good running condition.
A good average maintenance plan is usually done based on hourly usage, in your case i would have maintenance done at least once a month just because your running up and down that ramp. (maintenance based on hours is generally calculated for normal conditions) which yours is not.
Oh and one other thing, ramps will eat up tires and can be a challenge in adverse weather conditions if it is outside. Keep this in consideration and make sure the operators are well trained before you cut them loose on it. ;o)
  • Posted 21 May 2021 04:15
  • Modified 21 May 2021 04:17 by poster
  • Reply by swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
You've been swooped!
Hi. What length are the carpet rolls and are you planning to use a counter balance truck or a sideloader type. You mention 22' aisles. How about a Combilift CB or Combilift C series and drop those aisles to half the width. They come in both Electric and IC. You could use the WR4 pedestrian truck with easy interchangeable batteries and/or lithium. I imagine there is an option there.
  • Posted 20 May 2021 22:56
  • Reply by Richard_Irwin
  • Monaghan, Ireland
hello , buy a 3500 kg forklift or a 4000 kg version with easy swap battery to a new one by side door with pallettruck.

Linde E 30-E50 or Still RX60 are perfect for load ramp drive and for swap battery if empty. Lithium very expensive ,for one of it you can buy two lead acid battery....
  • Posted 17 May 2021 18:23
  • Reply by tr_doctor
  • Netherlands
I would recommend a Lithium Battery powered forklift. Battery is maintenance free, lasts longer, charges much faster, allows opportunity charging (during lunch break etc) with no effect on battery and provides full power for the entire charge.
  • Posted 17 May 2021 10:38
  • Reply by Shane_Driscoll
  • Victoria, Australia

I would offer this input on your situation. Once you've selected a lift that you think will do the work, considering aisle width, capacity etc. the decision becomes power. Electric lifts are getting more efficient in terms of their consumption rates and they can definitely handle your work. Todays lifts use more power by running the hydraulic functions than traveling (with a load). So, lead acid will work but as mentioned in other replies the maintenance will become an issue sooner than later. If you haven't already discussed the improvements a lithium ion battery offers, you should look there next. In many cases using lithium ion can double and sometimes triple the capacity of lead acid in the same size battery case. Voltage is important too and is directly related to overall efficiency of the combination of lift truck and power source. You should be looking at the highest voltage you can find in a lift truck combined with a high ah capacity lithium battery. The work will get done. Oh and you might even be able to find a lift that offers a smaller battery compartment (read smaller wheelbase, smaller aisle width). You'll spend some money to acquire the equipment but your cost of ownership will most likely be really low in terms of daily maintenance, repairs, electricity/charging costs, etc. over the next 5-7 years compared to whatever you're doing now. And it's safer & better for the lift than lead acid overall. The ramp is definitely an issue but the good news is you can get a demo to run in your operation for a few weeks, where you'll able to see what actually works and collect consumption data along the way. That way you can buy the power you need for the operation. It's totally doable and easier than you think. Good luck!
  • Posted 12 Dec 2020 13:29
  • Reply by Mark_DAmato
  • Nevada, United States
Mark D'Amato
Sales Manager
OneCharge, Inc

Thanks for your assessment. You provided a better explanation than nearly all the sale reps I talked with. I didn't account for the thickness of the removable rug pole or the fact that the roll will not but up to the face of the carpet pole. With a 19.8' right angle stacking aisle width (using the Toyota 5k lift), hopefully, we will get by with a 22 1/2' aisle. You were also correct about the grade. The ramp is on a 16% angle, 4' rise over 29.8' length. So much for my engineering degree.
  • Posted 10 Dec 2020 12:46
  • Reply by Wayne_G
  • Georgia, United States
Am assuming you will be using a carpet pole to handle your carpet rolls. Carpet rolls most often come in 12' to 15' lengths. Which means the effective load center of that 1500 lbs load is at least 72" to 90". plus the lost load center (thickness of the mounting plate & any operating clearance) of the rug ram/carpet pole. If your max. load weight is 1500 lbs. You will need a forklift that has a basic rating of at least a 4500 to 5600 lbs. @ a 24" load center (you need to confirm with your dealer). A 4000 lb. basic rated forklift seems to be a bit light. The only lift truck company that offer a 3 wheel electric above 4000 lb is Clark they have a model (TMX 25) that has a basic rating of 5000 lb. @ 24" L.C.
You have to remember that the effective load center of the load will not be exactly half of the carpet roll length - it will be longer as the roll won't be butted up against the face of the carpet pole to protect the end of of carpet roll from being soiled. You also need to provide the the dealer with the physical characteristics (weight, lost load center, etc) of the rug/carpet pole your will be using.
Yes driving up a 16% grade ramp with or without load will consume battery power faster. Typically most ramps are set a 10% grade (where possible).
PS: There is more to battery maintenance than just maintaining proper electrolyte level.
  • Posted 9 Dec 2020 23:12
  • Modified 10 Dec 2020 01:21 by poster
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
1500lbs isn't very much weight so I personally don't see it being a problem. If regen is enabled, it will even be slightly recharging when going down the ramp. Battery maintenance consists of adding distilled water regularly, that's about it. Of course battery choice will be the deciding factor. Lithium is expensive up front but requires less charging and provides longer run time. Otherwise a lead acid battery, maybe paired with an opportunity charger(allows multiple charges per day vs the normal once a day)
  • Posted 9 Dec 2020 03:46
  • Reply by Triggs
  • California, United States

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