New Forklift Technology Helping Business & The Environment
As businesses move to newer breeds of forklifts in an effort to save time and money, one positive side effect is the positive impact on the environment.
Fuel costs have increased over the last decade or so, and forklift manufacturers have been trending toward more environmentally friendly technologies. The newer more technologically advanced industrial power equipment runs on batteries instead of gas, and tends to have up to a 30% longer life span over internal combustion engine technology.
This conversion from gas to alternative energy forklifts such as electric, propane, and hydrogen fuel cells can save companies millions of dollars in the long run and makes more sense from an ecological standpoint as well. Battery powered forklifts technology especially, has been making its way to the forefront as more orders were placed for electric forklifts than other types during the year 2010. This trend seems to have taken a foothold, especially with big companies.
The newest breed of battery-powered forklift even contains technology such as regenerative braking, found on newer model hybrid cars. This technology takes advantage of previously wasted energy by sending energy created when braking, back to the batteries, which can then be used to power the forklift. It also can capture energy from lowering a load in the forks.
The newer breeds of forklifts also have more advanced technology such as laser guidance systems which enable the equipment to pick orders in warehouses and other environments sort of on auto-pilot. Forklifts navigate through the work area automatically by bouncing beams of light from one point to another throughout the warehouse.
As businesses migrate rapidly to newer forklift technology in an effort to save time and money, warehouse managers and forklift operators have the responsibility and duty to stay up to date on the newest advances. Forklift certification is an integral part of staying on top of the newest technologies in the marketplace.
OSHA regulations are in place at both federal and state levels and the responsibility for forklift training on new and improved equipment falls squarely on businesses using these new forklifts. There are many courses and classes available on the Internet to help facilitate this forklift certification. In addition, manufacturers of the latest forklifts and hand trucks offer beginner training as well as hands on training and refresher courses. Take advantage of all the training and certification classes available to you as both an employer and an employee. A smart employee is a safe and well paid employee.
by: Jim Daniels