Battery Power

Battery Power

Previously we talked about maintenance on a fuel driven forklift. While that may be great for some, not all of us utilize an internal combustion forklift. Increasingly, electric forklifts have become common for lighter duty indoor work. In fact, there are certain situations that require forklifts used indoors to ber electric. The exciting thing about electric powered forklifts is the advancements that have been made in the last few years in battery storage and electric motor design. Soon, electric forklifts will be common place no matter where they are being used. Regardless of the type of forklift you choose to run, MasterLift can repair and maintain your investment. We know that you depend on your forklift, regardless of whether you have a fleet or a single unit, to get the job done.

Battery Maintenance

An electric forklift has an incredible amount of potential, the only issue that they have is the battery. This is also the limitation of solar home energy systems and why there are very few electric airplanes. Battery technology is just not where it needs to be when it comes to storage capacity. Basically, current batteries just die too rapidly to make them viable for heavy use. While the technology is still evolving fairly slowly, recently the curve appears to be rising exponentially. This is mainly due from the push of automotive manufacturers trying to get electric cars into the hands of commuters. While automotive batteries allow a car to go around 150 to 200 miles on a charge, it depends on how fast you go and many other variables. Generally, electric forklifts utilize batteries that are still able to be maintained and are incredibly heavy.

By maintenance, we mean that the batteries are still the old style that require acid and water to function. An old style battery, not a lithium battery, is effective, but once they have been discharged and charged numerous times, they must be discarded. They really don’t last all that long and the maintenance is a pain. Batteries essentially are stacks of plates that ions move between and produce power through a chemical reaction as the ions flow through the plates. As a battery ages, the coating or the plates themselves begin to degrade and this is why forklift batteries have a limited lifespan. Not to say that rechargeable forklift batteries do not last for a long period of time, in fact, some have been known to last several years with the proper maintenance.

The Future

It seems now that the world is dominated by wireless devices and all of these devices are powered by batteries. It may be that cell phones have become an essential, as opposed to a luxury, or it could be that we are much more mobile and connected than ever before. Regardless of the reason, batteries will power everything in the future. How many times have you complained about the life of your cell phone battery when it dies after 12 hours of use? Charging stations have become commonplace in every coffee shop and airport in the world. How long before this technology reaches the lift truck industry? Electric cars have already become commonplace, with charging stations popping up everywhere. Soon forklifts will be powered by batteries instead of internal combustion engines. Battery power will not simply be for smaller warehouse forklifts, but commonplace on job sites and areas where heavy lifting is required.

Moving Forward

As with any technology, eventually it will need to be repaired. The technicians at MasterLift are some of the best in Canada and as forklift technology changes, we have an obligation to stay on top of the developments. Just as the vehicle industry has adapted to electric and hybrid cars, the forklift industry will be just fine.

Forging Partnerships

Electric, gas, propane, they all can be a pain to maintain. If you run a business, chances are you have little time to roll up your sleeves and worry about forklift maintenance. This is precisely why, at MasterLift, we offer a comprehensive preventative maintenance program. We do not force you to sign a complicated contract or commit to years of expensive maintenance. Of course our PM program only covers the basics of forklift maintenance and major repairs are available at an additional cost. If you are trying to track your maintenance costs and are unsure of how to get started, MasterLift proudly offers Mastertrack.  Mastertrack is a resource for business owners that allows them to track maintenance costs in real time. Essentially you can maximize your ownership of your fleet and choose the right time to trade in your equipment. With profit margins growing ever tighter, small things like maintenance cost tracking are invaluable to your business. The Mastertrack program coupled with our PM program is the best way to get the most out of your equipment. Contact us today about the industry leading maintenance tracker from MasterLift.

So whether you are looking to have your electric forklift maintenanced, are looking to the future with Mastertrack, maintenance tracking software or simply need an oil change done, contact Masterlift. From complex hydraulic issues to simple preventative maintenance our technicians are competent, honest, and highly skilled. You don’t want to trust the specialized lift truck maintenance to just any shop choose MasterLift for our experience. We are proud to be your local forklift solution and we invite you to check us out and see what MasterLift can do for you!

Gary Wilson
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