Do you operate in a lumber, steel, or port type environment? If so, that means you are challenged with moving extremely large, heavy loads that require forklifts with very high capacities. Until now, the main solution available to the industry has been the internal combustion, diesel powered forklift. Fortunately, Carer is once again revolutionizing the landscape. They have unveiled their high capacity electric A series forklift truck with lift capacities designed for 36,000lbs to 60,000lbs with a 48″ load center.
When we review these types of industries, and the applications they operate in, we can typically expect to see their forklifts have high hours of daily use, over multiple shifts, and often equipped with high energy consumption attachments. These characteristics made it very challenging, in fact almost impossible, to consider an electric forklift as a solution.
High Utilization, Multi-Shift Applications
Ports, foundries, steel manufacturers, and the lumber industry, are undoubtedly some of the most challenging sectors for forklift trucks. As mentioned, these are all high utilization, multi-shift applications. They often require the use of attachments, the need for high residual, high lift capacity forklifts, all of which consume a great deal of energy to operate. With these demands, and very high load weights, we see environments that consume much more fuel, create more expense, heat, exhaust, vibration and sound that operators are forced to contend with day after day.
One would think then, why has there not been with all the technology that is being developed in the forklift industry, an electric solution that could overcome many, if not all these challenges?
Historically electric forklifts were not a viable solution in these applications. Firstly, the forklift efficiencies and battery power output were unable to keep up with the energy consumption demands required with such high capacities. Secondly, companies operating high daily utilization would not consider an installation where the forklift operator would be required to change lead acid batteries during the day, as this could increase possible downtime, and would be costly. Thirdly, and most importantly, there had not been an electric forklift solution at these lift capacities and designed for all environments and weather conditions available.
The Solution: The New High Capacity Carer AX Series
The design team at Carer were paying close attention to the steel, lumber, and port industries. They recognized that an electric forklift solution needed to be developed to address these challenges. It was obvious that only a solution offering a power system that could keep up with high utilization, multiple shifts, high energy consumption, without the need for changing batteries, was the only answer. This led to the official launch of the new Carer AX series. The new high capacity Carer A series forklifts have been built for roll on/roll off ocean freight loading demands. The integration of high energy storage, no maintenance, lithium batteries now allows for ongoing, multi-shift operation.
Carer: The Best Solution
Carer Electric Forklifts, located in the auto hub region of Italy outside Bologna, has been manufacturing only electric, high lift capacity, forklifts since 1976. Distribution for Carer in North America, including full parts inventories and technical support departments, are based out of Seattle, WA and Vancouver, Canada. The department of engineers at Carer, which represents approximately 40% of total staff at Carer, are tasked with the continuous development of new electric forklifts. The engineers have accomplished this goal and now companies operating diesel forklifts in the port, steel, and lumber industries can save an enormous amount of money, while also eliminating harmful exposure to carbon emissions.
With a Carer electric forklift, it is not only emissions that are dramatically reduced. Substantial cost savings are equally as significant, and we typically see a 12 to 24 month return on investment (ROI) for most demanding applications. The financial justification for the premium on capital acquisition, is an easy decision for most financial directors. However, the measurables of an internal combustion truck to electric conversion typically only consider energy consumption (fuel) savings. In reality, a more realistic ROI would incorporate the following:
Total current monthly operating cost analysis for diesel forklifts:
- Capital costs (extended depreciation and internal cost of funds)
- All repairs and maintenance costs
- Intangible costs (emergency rentals, freight, down time, administration, etc.)
- Energy (diesel) consumption cost (today and forecasted future costs)
- Costs associated with unproductive labor (fuel tank refilling)
- Tire replacement
Total forecast monthly operating costs for electric forklifts:
- Reduced utilization through elimination standby idle time
- Capital costs (extended depreciation term and internal cost of funds)
- Reduced repairs and maintenance costs
- Reduced intangible costs
- Energy (electricity) consumption costs
- Costs associated with unproductive labor – limited battery maintenance
- Reduced tire replacement costs
These friendly giants will be able to cover an entire work shift, maintaining speed, and residual capacities that are comparable to that of diesel forklifts. They are ideal in high utilization, multishift, energy consuming applications, where reducing monthly operating costs continues as a most attractive strategy. They are also being the best environmentally solution available. When negotiating new contracts we are seeing more and more requests for figures and data that support carbon footprint reductions. In short, when looking at the endless challenges that face any industry, and specifically those industries relying on high capacities to move their product, eliminating obstacles, while eliminating additional expenses is key. At Carer, developing new and innovative solution is what we do. The new Carer high capacity AX series is a perfect example.