Carer is your conductor for rail car or shipping container loading.

Do you use a railcar or a shipping container to transport your goods? Do you face the same difficulties as people around you? Railcars and/or cargo containers are frequently loaded and unloaded with forklifts that have a high lift capacity, a small wheelbase or turning radius, and a low overall machine height. The railroad and shipping container loading industries have been transformed by Carer electric forklifts.

Considering the development of electric forklifts for these applications was particularly difficult in the pulp bale handling and paper roll shipping industries, where the applications typically operate for long periods of time, over multiple shifts, and use high energy consumption clamp attachments.

Rail cars and shipping containers have limited space and restricted settings, necessitating a forklift solution that can navigate in these conditions. To enter containers, they need a forklift with a small footprint, a tight turning radius, and a low overhead guard. These high-volume, multishift applications frequently employ clamps that cost a lot of energy to operate, and thus necessitate forklifts with lift capacities ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 pounds. This, in turn, causes up to 40% higher fuel consumption costs, as well as additional heat, pollution, and sound, which operators must struggle with daily.

IC Forklifts have been loading and unloading railcars and seaborne containers for decades, but manufacturers have always struggled to design a solution that will solve these application challenges. After all, how could a propane forklift cope with the heat, fumes, and noise while meeting the needs of such restricted spaces?

An electric solution would be the best fit for these types of situations. Electric forklifts, on the other hand, haven’t always been a feasible option in these situations. To begin with, forklift efficiency and battery power output were insufficient to meet the required energy consumption demands. Second, organizations with high daily utilization would not consider a system in which a forklift operator is required to change lead acid batteries during the day because the penalties for delaying rail car movement would be prohibitive. Third, the forklift was physically too big to fit in these tight and constricted locations due to the quantity of the lead acid batteries required.

For the rail car and shipping container loading industries, an electric forklift solution required to be created where the battery power system could keep up with the high usage, multiple shift, high energy consumption applications without the need to change batteries.

We built and introduced the KR55H2-Short with these issues in mind, as well as Carer’s technology developments, to particularly address the continuous pain points these sectors have had to deal with.

Since 1976, Carer Electric Forklifts, located just outside of Bologna in Italy’s automotive heartland, has been producing only electric, high lift capacity forklifts. Carer’s North American distribution centers, which include comprehensive parts inventories and technical support departments, are located in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Carer’s engineering department, which employs over 40% of the company’s total workforce, is responsible for the constant development of new electric forklifts. Engineers have achieved their goal, and now enterprises using LPG and diesel forklifts in the rail car and container loading industries may save a lot of money while also avoiding dangerous carbon emissions within these restricted spaces for the forklift operator.

A Carer KR55H2-Short electric Forklift has a smaller footprint, produces similar or greater power, can operate in all weather conditions, is designed for multiple shift applications operating up to 6500 hours per year, dramatically reduces fuel, maintenance, and labor costs, eliminates carbon emissions, and produces almost no noise or vibration.

There is no need to change batteries with the lithium battery power system. We were able to pair a high-output battery charger that can meet the high energy demands of loading and clamping over many shifts for up to 6500 hours per year. The lithium batteries do not require any maintenance, battery watering, or facility ventilation, and they will last far longer than the forklift’s useful life. The batteries have all the necessary safety certifications for industrial use and may be recycled at the end of their useful lives.

Operating the Carer KR55H2-SHORT will result in significant cost reductions, with most rail car and container loading applications seeing a 12 to 24 month return on investment (ROI). For most financial directors, the financial justification for the premium on capital acquisition is a simple option. The measurables of an internal combustion truck to electric conversion, on the other hand, normally exclusively measure energy savings (fuel). A more realistic return on investment would include the following:

The following items are included in the total current monthly operating cost analysis (for diesel forklifts):

  • Capital expenditures (extended depreciation and internal cost of funds)
  • The total cost of all repairs and maintenance
  • Intangible expenses (emergency rentals, freight, down time, administration, etc.)
  • Cost of energy (diesel) use (today and forecasted future costs)
  • The costs of labor that isn’t productive (fuel tank refilling)
  • Changing the tires

The following are the total projected monthly operating costs (for electric forklifts):

  • Capital costs (longer depreciation term and internal cost of funds)
  • Repairs and maintenance costs (reduced utilization through elimination of standby idle time)
  • Lowering intangible expenses
  • Costs of energy (electricity) use
  • Reduced tire replacement costs
  • Costs associated with unproductive labor – limited battery maintenance

When it comes to the never-ending issues that any sector faces, especially those that rely on railcar and shipping to move their products, removing bottlenecks while reducing costs is critical. The Carer KR55H2-Short is an excellent illustration of what we do at Carer: we offer fresh and unique solutions.


KR55H2-Short: The 12,000lb KR55-SHORT from the factory’s SPED department is an outstanding example of a specialty model. The KR55-SHORT is an industry-leading material handling system for containers and railcars. It can maneuver in confined locations because to its compact footprint while maintaining a high lifting capability.


A80-300X series: Capacity ranges from 17,500 pounds to 60,000 pounds at a 48-inch LC, with a full rated capacity of 19.6 feet, a 96-120-volt operating system for high-efficiency energy consumption and long operating time, high-performance dual drive motors, elevated seating position, large diameter super elastic tires, and all-weather cabin options. Steel, timber, port terminals, and multi-pallet handling applications are ideal for this series.

The side of the Carer KR55-SHORT electric forklift

K100-120 series: Capacity ranges from 22,000 to 26,000 pounds, using a 96-volt chassis for optimal efficiency operation. For use in settings with limited height access, such as shipping containers, mining, heavy industry, and port terminal operations, the chassis and mast are designed to be 88″ low. Cabins that may be used in all types of weather are offered.

For any heavy-duty application in the most demanding working environments, Carer electric forklifts has the perfect machine. For more information on how Carer Electric Forklift Solutions can help you integrate industrial electric forklifts into your facilities, call 1-844-33CARER (1-844-332-2737).

TICKET TO RIDE was last modified: December 23rd, 2021 by Spencer McLellan