What are the benefits of electric forklifts?
When looking to buy a new or used forklift, many ask the question: what are the benefits of electric forklifts? Of course, you will also want to know the benefit of the other types of forklifts such as diesel and LPG, but electric has proven to be extremely popular across most industries that have a warehouse or manufacturing facility.
To ensure you get the best electric forklifts for your requirements, you really do need to know the benefits to ensure you are in fact buying the correct unit.
Having established ourselves as leading experts in the forklift market, we have learnt the benefits of all types of forklifts through being around all types and brands as well as receiving ongoing feedback from our customers.
Below is a line up of key benefits of electric forklifts. Some of the benefits are also found with other types of forklifts such as LPG, so if you feel you need further advice, call us for no obligations advice. We are also happy to provide a forklift site survey to fully assess your current location and to propose the best fork truck solution for you.
Electric Forklift Benefits at a Glance
- Easy to Drive
- Ergonomic Driving Experience
- Lower Upfront Costs
- No Propane Required
- Affordable Operating Costs
- Extended Operating Times
- Expertly Designed
- Low Running Costs
- Replacement Batteries Easy to Buy
- Zero Carbon Emissions
- Smaller Turning Circles
- Usable Indoors and Outdoors
1. EASY TO DRIVE
As electric forklifts have no clutch, they are much easier to drive than other alternatives such as diesel. You simply operate the forklift using the steering wheel and accelerator. Electric forklifts have progressed a lot and the overall automatic drive is extremely smooth and comfortable for the driver. The overall experience of driving electric has been said to reduce stress on the operator which is much better for onsite safety and reducing avoidable accidents. As there is no clutch, the operator’s concentration is fixed on driving. This is similar to the benefit of driving an automatic car.
2. ERGONOMIC DRIVING EXPERIENCE
Electric forklifts have been said to provide the operator with a much more comfortable driving experience compared to alternatives. This may be down to the quiet engine and less vibrations when sitting in the driver’s seat. Whatever the reason, if you are looking for more comfort when lifting heavy equipment electric may be the option for you. Different electric forklifts will have different specifications, so it is likely they you will be able to buy a forklift with a comfier seat or a more cushioned steering wheel which will also improve the driver experience. If you are looking for the best electric forklift available at a great price, it is recommended you buy a used unit. You can find high spec forklifts at much lower prices than if you were to buy new.
3. REDUCED NOISE POPULATION
One of the great things about electric trucks is that they are much quieter than other unit types. Whilst some may see this as a disadvantage, as long as you carry out the correct safety procedures such as sounding your horn when going through entrances, there are no real reasons why reduced sound should be a disadvantage. From feedback, we have received from those that change from diesel to electric we have learnt that the reduced sound is a positive when working in smaller warehouses where sound can echo throughout. It can in fact make it far safer as the driver can hear the warehouse operative who may be instructing what direction the forklift needs to go. It makes teamwork far more efficient and can also reduce workforce stress through improved communication.
4. LOWER UPFRONT COSTS
Electric forklifts tend to have lower upfront costs than alternatives as they have less components and parts. If you are buying new, they may be more expensive because of the added novelty that comes with upgraded specifications. However, if you are buying used forklifts you are more likely to find that an electric forklift is much more affordable. Depending on where you choose to buy your used electric forklift from you may see price variations. We always aim to offer the best prices for any forklift that we have in stock. We also ensure that any unit we sell is safe and in good working condition.
5. NO PROPANE REQUIRED
One of the many benefits of electric forklifts is that you can charge them at your place of work without the need for any fuel deliveries or timely refills. LPG forklift is a great investment, but when you buy an electric unit you do not have to top it back up with propane. Whilst you still have to pay for electric, you don’t have the added effort of managing propane deliveries which saves money through time. It also takes away the stress that comes with forgotten orders or late deliveries.
6. AFFORDABLE OPERATING COSTS
As electric forklifts require fewer parts, are cheaper to ‘power’ and are less likely to need regular oil or coolant changes, they are much more cost-effective to operate. Due to there being fewer moving parts, they are also less likely to breakdown which is a huge benefit from a time and cost perspective. Feedback from our customers suggests that they are extremely happy with the operating costs of an electric forklift.
7. EXTENDED OPERATING TIMES
Due to advancements in technology, electric forklift batteries now provide extended operating times which is a huge bonus for any business. With charging times getting faster and operating times increasing there is a huge benefit when buying electric. Of course, it is far more instant to refill a diesel forklift or change the gas bottle on an LPG unit but there are times when you may not have any diesel, or your LPG has not been delivered. Whilst this is unlikely and uncommon, it is a consideration when choosing the type of forklift you want to buy.
8. EXPERTLY DESIGNED
Most electric forklifts are lightweight which makes them easier to drive. They are then expertly designed to ensure there is a counterbalance on the back so that when you are lifting heavy equipment there is no risk of the forklift falling or causing an unnecessary accident. All forklifts do come with a lifting capacity, so it is important that you choose the right forklift for the items you will be lifting. Most electric forklifts have a high lift capacity, so for most industries, they are suitable. For industries that require extreme heavy lifting, alternative forklifts may be a better option.
9. LOWER MAINTENANCE COSTS
Electric is far easy to maintain than other types of forklifts such as LPG or diesel. Due to there being fewer mechanical components, the servicing and parts required is much cheaper and easier to remove or install. As a result, mechanics and technicians charge less when annual maintenance is carried out. The battery does need to be regularly maintained through cleaning and servicing to ensure you forklift operates at an optimum level of efficiency, but apart from that, you will enjoy a long lasting piece of material handling equipment without the nightmare of high servicing or maintenance costs.
10. REPLACEMENT BATTERIES EASY TO BUY
With electric forklifts becoming more popular, it is becoming much easier to buy replacement batteries for forklifts. It is also extremely easy for them to be replaced than parts on other types of forklifts.
11. ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS
It is no secret that we are living through unprecedented times when it comes to the future of our planet. Looking for zero-carbon solutions is becoming a priority in both work environments and homes. Choosing to buy an electric forklift you will be helping to reduce carbon emissions. Electric is the best solution for environmentally conscious businesses – especially if you are already looking at solar solutions.
Reduced carbon emissions are also better for the person operating the vehicle as the vehicle emits no fumes. This also means that you require no warehouse heating as the doors do not need to be left open for ventilation. It also reduces your businesses outgoings when it comes to warehouse ventilation as there is no need for expensive ventilation solutions.
12. SMALLER TURNING CIRCLE
As most electric forklifts have 3 wheels, they have a much smaller turning circle. This makes them ideal for smaller warehouses, or even larger warehouses that have a lot of racking or storage areas. Plus you can buy electric articulated forklifts which can load or unload from the side which means no turning circle is required and you can organise your racking so that it is closer together.
13. USABLE INDOORS AND OUTDOORS
As electric forklifts emit no carbon emissions, they can be used indoors without the fear of pollution affecting your employees. They can also be used outdoors on level surfaces, which makes them ideal for many businesses – especially if you are operating an eCommerce business selling heavy items that need to be loaded onto a lorry. Whilst diesel is still the best option for outdoor use, electric forklifts have progressed massively in the past 20 years. Their stability and ability to operate outdoors is far better than it was in the past.
14. IMPROVED VISIBILITY TO THE REAR
As electric forklifts do not require large gas tanks to run, there is improved visibility to the rear of the vehicle. Whilst the LP tank does sit discreetly on the back of gas units, the benefit of not having one is that you can see lower down behind the truck. This prevents accidents when reversing and can also make it easier to turn when you are in tight spaces.
WHAT TYPES OF ELECTRIC FORKLIFTS ARE AVAILABLE?
When people refer to electric forklifts, they will usually mean the counterbalance electric forklift. These are great units that can carry heavy loads without the risk of falling over. However, there are several other types of forklifts including the electric pallet truck and electric reach trucks.
ELECTRIC PALLET TRUCKS
The electric pallet truck is an efficient piece of equipment that is perfect for transporting pallets and other large loads throughout the warehouse. They are easy to operate, are small and compact and are a good choice for moving items in tight spaces. They can lift up to 1.3 tones and are extremely safe to use.
ELECTRIC REACH TRUCKS
Electric reach trucks may be the best electric forklift choice for warehouses with tight spaces and high shelves. Due to their small size and extended lift capacity they can easily unload and load items from tall warehouses. Furthermore, their lift capacity ranges between 1 to 2 tonnes.
Articulated forklifts are an ideal option for very narrow aisles. Whilst the reach truck is great in small spaces, the articulated model allows you to lift from the side which allows shelves and racking to be closer as no turning circle is required. The two leading articulated forklift brands are Bendi and Flexi. We keep a great selection of these in stock and at competitive prices. If you’ve never used an articulated forklift before, feel free to contact us and discuss whether it is the best electric forklift for your requirements.
CHOOSING THE BEST ELECTRIC FORKLIFT FOR YOUR REQUIREMENTS
When it comes to buying the best electric forklifts for your requirements you really want to consider every option. All-electric forklifts have great benefits overall, but there will be better standard units available that are more comfortable and just generally better to use. Trucks Direct are always available to help when it comes to selecting the best forklift for your requirements. We post images of all forklifts online so you can fully inspect the unit before you buy, and we also offer a 30 days money-back guarantee. We understand that you may want to try before you buy so you can visit our showroom to fully assess the unit before purchasing. We are happy to answer any question so feel free to contact us no matter what your question is.