If you’re in the material handling industry chances are you need a fleet of lift trucks. Deciding whether to use electric or fuel powered trucks can be difficult. The forklift’s application will determine what type you need for your business.
Electric forklifts have no harmful emissions, and are extremely quiet in use. The battery acts as a counterbalance, this combined with the counterweight makes them highly maneuverable, stable and compact in size. The center of gravity is very low providing stability even at greater lift heights. Electric forklifts have only an accelerator and brake pedal, no clutch or inching pedal, making them less complicated to drive. Though the initial cost may be higher than fuel powered forklifts, their maintenance and servicing cost are considerably less over the lifetime of the truck. They are mechanically simple having no transmission or torque converter. With Electric trucks you will need a charging station and it takes about eight hours to fully charge a battery. Their ideal use is inside away from moisture, and they are great in tighter spaces.
If your application is outside, on a rough terrain, and you need a large lifting capacity, diesel is the way to go. Diesel forklifts are also great if you require attachments, because have the extra power needed. These trucks are available anytime day or night, with no charging or battery charging station required. These trucks generally hold their value, and have a higher residual. The engine componentry is very sturdy and operates at low “revs” so the trucks have a long life span. Diesel trucks also have a fuel gage to let you know when it’s time to refill. These trucks are the goliath of lift trucks with capacities over 50,000lbs.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) forklifts have always been popular with their competitive pricing and diverse indoor/outdoor usage. They are convenient and work around the clock. Parts are readily available due to the engines being derived from car engines. They are at the top list when it comes to travel speeds, rates of acceleration, and lift speeds, making them highly sought after. LPG powered forklifts also do not require charging or a charging station. Their versatility is great when you need a truck to perform inside and outside. Though it is an internal combustion engine they are still very quiet with low vibrations for driver comfort.
Let us come out to view your application and help you decide what the best lift truck is for your needs. We sell new and used lift trucks; view our inventory at www.sielift.com or call us (866)-696-9125.
Teenagers are required to have a drivers permit prior to receiving a full license. He or she needs proper guidance, training, and practice. The same is true when becoming a licensed forklift operator. These machines are 9000lbs or more depending on their capacity; they also steer from the rear, and have the capability to lift thousands of pounds. OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) requires forklift certification of employees operating these machines so it is important to make sure your company is in accordance with these government guidelines. In some instances It may help you receive better ratings on safety inspections; which could reduce insurance premiums.
A forklift operator who has been properly trained will know how to:
- Handle asymmetrical loads
- Understand the center of gravity
- Be able to stay within the stability triangle
- Know what traveling speed is safe for his or her task
Train your employees to always be aware of their surroundings, use the horn frequently, especially at intersections, and to ask for a spotter when visibility is limited. Doing these things could prevent damaging products, or colliding with a pedestrian. Tipping the lift truck is one of the most common operator errors. To help avoid this, the load must be within the capacity range of the forklift, and the operator must understand how a change in the center of gravity can affect the forklift’s ability to safely lift. Proper training is the first step in creating a safe and efficient work environment.
Investing properly in employee training has a huge long term return. You will see an increase in productivity and the life of your lift truck, it will lower operating costs, and most importantly the risk of accidents or injury is greatly reduced. When maneuvered correctly, the numerous benefits of a forklift definitely outweigh the risks.
If you’re not sure how to begin proper operator training, don’t worry we can help! Call us (866) 696-9125 or go online www.sielift.com to make an appointment. We have training programs to certify your employees, and we can answer any questions you may have regarding safe practices and OSHA guidelines. If your company has a large facility with more than five forklift operators; the train-the-trainer program may be beneficial. This program is designed to educate one of your operators to be able to instruct others. In doing this, you will always have a certified trainer on site. No matter which training program you choose; we will be there to teach, train, and instruct all of your operators.
“Powered Industrial Trucks.” Occupational Safety & Health Administration. United States Department of Labor. Web. 21 Mar 2014. <https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html>.
At Southeast Industrial Equipment we offer a variety of lift trucks, construction equipment, and other industrial equipment for your material handling operations. When considering your business needs, there are many choices you will have to make. One of the questions many companies find themselves asking is: should I purchase or rent? There are pros to renting and owning, but it’s important to consider what your application will be and how long your business needs the equipment. Making this decision can be tough, especially when your application may call for everyday or just sporadic use. Also consider how quickly a need can arise for a piece of equipment. For example, generators though rarely used, are needed in the case of an emergency and would be smart to purchase for those occasions when it is needed right away.
If your application requires continual use, or equipment is operated to its maximum ability, it would be more cost effective and convenient to own it. The hour meter reading would not be monitored. When you own the lift truck, it will always be there when you need it. Purchasing is also made easier with the financing options that are available. In addition to financing; purchased equipment is tax deductible for the year it was bought, this helps business owners fiscally.
On the other hand, if a machine is not versatile and is infrequently used; renting is a more cost effective option. For companies without a significant amount of capital or well established credit, renting may be best. If you are renting; the cost for maintenance is generally included and the machine provider will service your lift truck at regular intervals.
Keep in mind the needs of your company, and the amount of upfront costs you can handle. In weighing these options you can make an educated decision on what’s best in your situation.
Here is a chart to better view your options when it comes to renting or purchasing a lift truck.
- Equipment is always available for use
- No need to depend on a third party
- Hour meter reading is not monitored
- Tax deductible
- Financing options available
- Lower monthly costs
- Most dealers will offer a trade-in price for lift trucks when you are ready to purchase a new machine
- Lower upfront cost
- Do not need well established credit
- Short term or long term rental options
- Current models always available
- Do not have to purchase equipment that is used sparingly
- Rental company provides maintenance
- No long term commitment
- Do not have to find storage for equipment after the job is completed
Whether your company decides to own, rent, or a combination of both; Southeast Industrial Equipment has you covered. We have equipment available that will fit your needs. Please call (866) 696-9125 or go online www.sielift.com to make an appointment.
When trapeze artists perform in a circus they are provided with a safety net. A “just in case” the routine doesn’t go the way it was planned. Banking institutions require a high credit score or collateral prior to lending money. Shareholders like security to reduce the risk of loss when investing their money in stocks. Vehicles deploy airbags in the event of an accident. These are all safety measures. Being prepared for the worst case scenario is not a new idea; neither is preventing the worst from happening. As the saying goes “better safe than sorry,” when it comes to material handling there are several different factors when creating your safe work space.
Safety goes beyond wearing a hard hat and safety goggles. There are many ways employees can increase safety precautions to reduce the risk of accidents and injury. According to OSHA, lift truck accidents cause about 100 fatalities and 36,340 serious injuries every year in general industry and construction. Of these accidents approximately 20-25% are caused, at least in part, by inadequate training. Training is the most important factor in preventing accidents, and should be enforced from the top down. OSHA’s website provides videos, PowerPoint slides, and numerous resources to aid in preparing your employees for the equipment they will be using. Safety education and equipment certification should be thought of as an additional insurance policy to provide your employees with a safe environment.
Quick Safety Tips:
- Operators should be trained to handle asymmetrical loads, and should never handle loads heavier than the weight capacity of the lift truck.
- Designate walkways for pedestrians that are clearly marked and easy to follow. This will prevent forklifts and people traveling the same paths.
- Narrow spaces make it hard to maneuver a forklift, make sure there is adequate space for your machine to move around.
- Set speed limits and enforce them. The slower a forklift is traveling the easier it is to stop.
Accidents even with no injury to workers are costly to companies. Repair of facilities and replacing damaged goods is expensive and unproductive. A disabled machine means efficiency will be down and workers could be idle for hours or even days depending on the needed repair. Employees being trained and constantly aware of their surroundings will help minimize risk of accidents and injury. The best practice really is safety first. It saves time, money, and people’s lives. Keep employees safe and keep costs down by creating a safe work environment. If there is a question about a practice being safe, it probably isn’t.
At Southeast Industrial Equipment we provide employee training to assist your company. To request an appointment, please call (866) 696-9125 or visit us online at www.sielift.com.