One of the first decisions to make when choosing a forklift truck is what power source to use. This usually means diesel, LPG or battery. Environmental friendliness cannot be your only consideration, as there is no point in buying an especially green truck if it is unable to cope with the work for which it has been acquired. The greenest option will vary between applications and in some cases it might be, for example, a large diesel.
The advanced Cat 48V electric trucks, with capacities from 1.3 to 2.0 tonnes, are easily programmable for energy-saving performance.
Many people automatically assume that an electric truck will always be more environmentally friendly than an IC engine forklift. This is not necessarily the case, but if a business is able to obtain its electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as wind or solar power, the electric truck does become very environmentally friendly.
In any case, electric trucks do have a number of other environmental advantages. One is that they require less maintenance and less replacement of worn parts than an IC engine truck. Another is that their performance is highly programmable, so parameters can be set with energy saving as a priority and operators can be 'forced' to drive economically and safely. For indoor duties, where IC engine emissions cannot be allowed, batteries - or perhaps fuel cells in the future - are the only option.
Having decided on your power source, you will have to look at the green information offered on each model and decide which are the greenest trucks that will match your operational requirements. Key issues will include, for example, their energy efficiency and emissions.
Technological advances in IC engines, like the latest generation of three-way catalytic converters available for Cat® LPG trucks
, are constantly reducing fuel consumption as well as emissions. At the same time, the energy efficiency of Cat electric trucks is also increasing as electronic technology becomes even more sophisticated.
The Cat GP15-35N LPG counterbalance truck features a clean, economical three-way catalytic converter with closed loop control.
You should also bear in mind that the most advanced electric trucks
are the most versatile in terms of programmability. This allows you to configure the perfect performance settings to achieve the balance between economy and productivity that you want. It also means that over the years you can reconfigure your truck to meet changing needs, rather than dumping it on the environment and buying a new one.
Consider all costs
Energy is not the only continuing cost associated with a forklift truck. Another is the expense of maintenance and repairs. It makes economic and ecological sense to pay a little more for a truck whose components are durable
, rather than a cheap model that will require regular replacements, more of the service engineer's time and longer periods off duty in the repair bay.
You can look for low-wear technologies such as the wet disc brakes present in the Cat EP16-20(C)PN
, which are virtually maintenance-free. It's also worth thinking about choosing features that will reduce the cost of excessive wear or accidental damage. For example, in some applications a load weight indicator and a lift height indicator will help operators to avoid accidentally exceeding the truck's safe residual capacity.
Forklifts will vary in the amount of coolant, hydraulic oil and other fluids that they use. This can offer an ongoing cost saving, as well as reducing the amount of toxic waste that has to be disposed of at some point.
Manufacturers like Cat Lift Trucks
build forklifts with recyclability and remanufacturing in mind. Their construction allows worn-out or outdated parts to be swapped easily, while many of their components can be remanufactured rather than scrapped.
If you choose a durable and versatile truck you will not only be rewarded with dependable performance every day, over a long lifetime, but you will also benefit from a good second-hand price when you decide to sell it.
To learn more about this subject, read what Mark Nicholson
has to say in eurekapub.eu
Monica Escutia, Sr. Marketing Communications Coordinator
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