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6 reasons why you should choose electric counterbalance forklifts

Are you thinking of going electric, or having a healthy mix in your fleet? 

John Blagg

Electric counterbalance forklift trucks can positively impact your TCO, have a greater residual capacity and are more environmentally friendly than their internal combustion engine counterparts.

Read on to explore 6 reasons why you should choose electric counterbalance forklifts.

1. Lower carbon footprint

Electric forklift trucks are zero-emission, energy-efficient and are the most environmentally friendly option on the market. The UK government has pledged in their ‘Net Zero Strategy’ to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 in order to reach a more sustainable future. Of course, 2050 sounds far away, but early investment in these electric vehicles will work to set you ahead of the curve and help you on your journey to reducing your carbon impact. This positively impacts the health of your employees as well as the wider environment.

2. Improve TCO

TCO means total cost of ownership and it takes into account the overall cost of the vehicle, beyond just what you pay to buy or rent. As well as the purchase price of the vehicle, TCO includes all operational costs and expenses such as maintenance, downtime, electricity used, insurance, additional periphery, cost increase or upgrades of parts, familiarisation for the operator, and more. Of course, not all of these will be applicable to everyone but they are key contributors to your total cost of ownership.

Related read: Which forklift truck is best for my material handling operations?  Electric counterbalance vs. IC engine

3. Compact machines

Advanced dynamic cornering of electric counterbalance forklifts (such as the Intelligent Cornering System on EDiA models) enables safer manoeuvring, slowing the truck earlier in the turn for smoother, more stable operation throughout. The compact nature of the chassis on these machines gives them more room to operate in confined environments safely. In addition to this, the machine recognises the load that you have; if you’re carrying more than 500kg, for example, the lift, tilt and side shift becomes more responsive.

4. Maintenance benefits

It's 20% more expensive to maintain an engine truck than an electric one. That means those who use electric counterbalance forklifts can enjoy a significant saving on maintenance. Whilst electric counterbalance trucks have one hydraulic motor, it requires less servicing than engines which have filters and oil changes that require regular, often extensive maintenance.

It’s known that fuel-powered equipment is more likely to break down as they have more moving parts. This increases the risk of things going wrong, breaking or having faults. As they are battery-operated, electric vehicles have fewer components which means they don’t require as many replacement parts.

5. Better residual capacity

Residual capacity is a hugely important factor to take into account when deciding on your next forklift or fleet. When you’re in a warehouse or on-site, you need to ensure that the load you’re carrying and potentially lifting up to a great height, is not overbearing on your truck. Residual capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight your truck can lift without losing its stability. Even though they’re compact machines, electric counterbalance forklifts have a lower centre of gravity due to the position of the heavy battery.

6. Advanced safety features

Electric counterbalance forklifts are built with safety and efficiency in mind. These trucks have lower step-in which makes mounting and dismounting the vehicle much easier for the operator compared to an engine truck which can sit quite high. PIN code entry enables operators to have individual drive parameters governed by the site management team. 

Drivers can operate at speed and with enhanced precision without compromising safety due to their traction control, which makes steering firmer the faster you go.

Sensitive Drive System+, which is found across the entire EDiA range, intuitively responds to the driver’ reaction speeds and adapts traction and mast performance independently based on steer angle and the velocity of foot and finger controls. It works with the individual to intelligently keep operation safer and predictable.

The choice of performance modes on these trucks can be a real boost to safety when operators with different levels of skill and experience are using the same truck. ECO mode on EDiA trucks not only prolongs the battery life through the shift, but it makes the truck perform at a level best suited for training, new users, and part-time users. More experienced operators will be able to benefit from the PRO mode, which maximises performance parameters.

The much lower noise of electric trucks reduces fatigue levels compared to engine trucks, helping to keep the operator much more focused throughout long shifts and better able to hear their surroundings and be alert to any dangers.

Key considerations when investing in an electric forklift

Renting, leasing, and buying

When looking to use an electric truck, it’s important to consider the condition of the battery. Looked after properly, lead-acid batteries are robust and often would have a 5-year warranty. Ensure that you’re speaking with a trusted partner who can assure you that the battery is in good working condition.

Overall the best option to choose is whatever works for your operations. If you need a forklift truck for a one-time operation, then buying a vehicle isn’t likely to be the right move. Similarly, renting can be less impactful on your bottom line.

Inside vs. Outside

Electric counterbalance trucks are made weatherproof and specifically designed to operate in all conditions. Almost all the applications where we use an engine truck can get the same results with an electric truck, yet there is still some uncertainty around using electric trucks outdoors.

The Mitsubishi EDIA series, for example, is ideal for handling tasks in fast-paced environments, both indoors and outdoors. These incredibly reliable machines offer unique handling efficiency thanks to advanced manoeuvrability and intelligent control systems which maximise agility and productivity, whatever the situation.

At Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, we’re focused on helping you achieve your goals by improving your material handling. Choosing the right forklift truck for your operations will ensure your site, warehouse, and employees are all operating comfortably, safely and with optimal efficiency. To discover which solution is best for your materials handling, take a look at our range of rugged, durable, and highly-efficient electric counterbalance trucks.

To discover which forklift would be best for your solutions, get in touch with one of our experts here  and we will help to find the most suitable solution for you.  Get in touch with us here for advice, information, products or services.