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How To Reduce Forklift Fleet Operation Costs

Posted on February 6, 2012 19:02 by Admin

Forklift fleets will always incur some costs, but wise fleet management can keep these costs to a minimum. Here are a few tips to keep your fleet in top shape. These tips may cost you a little money up front, but they will save you many times your investment over the months and years to follow.

1.    Keep Batteries Charged - OK, we admit we are a little biased, but here at Multi-Shifter we think the most important components of a forklift fleet are the industrial battery systems. Batteries charged too often or not often enough will at best reduce productivity as trucks stop working and need battery replacement, and at worst cause permanent damage or worker injury.

2.    The Impact Of Impacts - Your forklift can take the occasional bump as a driver misjudges a turn, but that doesn't mean your warehouse should become a demolition derby. Minimize collisions by ensuring aisles are plenty wide, obstacles are well marked, and drivers are alert to any dangers.

3.    Fleet Maintenance - Use Multishifter equipment to keep your industrial battery systems clean of corrosion as well as fully charged. However don't forget other components. Replace worn tires and wheels and inspect all systems regularly. Proper maintenance now prevents breakdowns or accidents later.

4.    Floor Maintenance, Part 1 - Remember forklifts tend to go back and forth over the same ground. A damaged threshold or hole in the floor might not hurt the tires much if a driver goes over it once, but that damage builds up as he goes over it repeatedly. Address any floor repairs as soon as possible to minimize damage to the fleet.

5.    Floor Maintenance, Part 2 - Sweep up any debris in forklift aisles. It may not seem like a stray bolt or a splinter off a pallet will do much damage, but these small items can damage tires and increase maintenance costs. Plastic wrap or twine can foul the wheel and damage bearings. The floors don't need to be clean enough to eat off of, but they should be free of debris.

6.    Worker Training - Drivers can't read your mind. New drivers should receive training in fleet operations, industrial battery systems maintenance, and safety procedures. Training should be repeated annually, since even the most dedicated drivers forget things over time.

7.    Find The Right Truck - Don't use the wrong forklift for the job. If you do, you run the risk of damaging the truck, injuring workers, or slowing down production. If the truck doesn't fit the job, you either need to change the job or get a new truck.

Pay attention to details like tire wear and industrial battery systems, and you will extend your fleet life and reduce repair and replacement costs.


When winter arrives many fleet managers are surprised at how quickly forklifts and other electric vehicles required battery recharge. Low temperatures affect how industrial battery systems operate and can have a negative impact on fleet performance. Here are a few tips to keeping your batteries and vehicles at top productivity during the cold winter months.

How To Keep A Charge On Batteries

Industrial battery systems provide power by a chemical reaction between the electrolytes and the metal in the battery. The speed of chemical reactions is affected by temperature, proceeding more quickly when it's hot and more slowly when it's cold. This in turn affects the battery's power output--a slower reaction means less power. A cold battery puts out less power so has a shorter operating life before needing recharge. Managers can increase the frequency of battery replacement, or can use battery heaters to keep the units warm.

One benefit of this relationship between power and temperature is that unused batteries hold their charge longer when it's cold out. All rechargeable batteries slowly leak power when unused, but the rate of loss slows as the temperature drops. Refrigerated batteries hold their charge much longer than ones stored at room temperature.

Freezing Dangers

The liquid in industrial battery systems can freeze, preventing the battery from operating and potentially damaging the casing. Battery solution has a lower freezing point than water, and the actual temperature it freezes is based on the battery's charge. Fully charged batteries can be stored safely even at temperatures well below zero, but partially discharged batteries freeze at temperatures only slightly below the freezing point of water.

If possible, keep vehicles inside on very cold nights. The area doesn't have to be warm, but should be kept above freezing. Charge the batteries at night since charging batteries, like running water, can't freeze. If the vehicles can't be stored indoors, consider removing the batteries and taking them inside at night. This doesn't have to happen every night, only on nights where the temperature is going to drop below freezing.

Ventilation


Most fleet managers know to keep battery recharging areas well ventilated due to the hydrogen gas given off by industrial battery systems during the charging cycle. Explosive hydrogen gas plus the ignition source inherent in the battery recharging process is a disaster waiting to happen. Good airflow ensures the gas is never able to build up to explosive levels.

During cold months, workers may close doors and windows to keep out the cold. Managers need to consider whether or not recharging areas are getting enough airflow in this case. If not, workers need to be educated about what needs to be kept open during charging operations. Worker comfort is important, but so is worker safety.

Follow these simple hints and your fleet and the industrial battery systems they depend on will run just as well in the winter as they do in the summer. Contact us for more information!


An Industrial Battery Systems Primer

Posted on December 29, 2010 20:25 by Admin

If you have a small fleet of electric forklifts or other vehicles, you might be charging the batteries overnight or replacing them by hand. As your business grows, this is no longer an affordable or safe way to keep your fleet operational. We understand that new customers may be confused by the different industrial battery systems we offer and what role they serve in fleet operation.

Lifts And Transports

It's rarely cost effective to remove a vehicle from service for a long recharge. Instead, it's better to replace a drained cell with a fresh one and move the dead cell to a recharge station. Rather than taking the unit out by hand, which can be dangerous, our battery lifters use powerful magnets to raise the cell out of the vehicle and move it onto a bed for transport. The lifts then carry their cargo to the recharge area, load up with new units, and head out for another round of replacement.

Recharge Stations


It's a bad idea to use standard industrial shelving to store batteries during the charging cycle. Our battery storage systems are solidly built to take the weight, protected against acid spills, and have rollers to make it easy to insert or remove power cells safely. Designed specifically to accommodate the dimensions of the most common power cells, Multi-Shifter industrial battery systems let you store more batteries per square foot than would be possible with other storage solutions.

Washers

Acid leaks and corrosion, as well as just good old fashioned dirt, accumulate on terminals and the outsides of batteries. Washing them by hand is not only tedious, but can be dangerous as the corrosive and toxic chemicals are sprayed everywhere. Multi-Shifter industrial battery systems include a line of self-contained washing equipment that automatically move the cells along rollers through a wash cycle and a dry cycle, collecting the water for later treatment. The hands-off cleaning treatment keeps your workers safe, and gets the batteries cleaner than manual washing can.

Water Treatment


Another reason to use our industrial battery systems for washing is we collect the waste water for treatment. The acid and heavy metals in the wash water cannot simply be dumped into the sewer system. Outside treatment is expensive, but our water filtration products have been designed specifically to clean up the contaminants found in wash water from batteries. They neutralize the acid and, more importantly, capture the lead, copper and other heavy metals that are devastating environmental pollutants. The closed-loop design ensures the water never comes near your sewer system, instead feeding it back to the washers for the next cycle.

Contact one of our representatives and let us demonstrate how our products save you money and keep your fleet in operation.