DBL Logistics has made the decision to improve business performance while enhancing its green credentials by converting part of its forklift fleet from IC engine LPG to electric.
DBL Logistics' fleet
DBL Logistics is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and in 2013 installed solar panels on the warehouse roof of its custom-built facility. To meet its own environmental targets, the business made the decision to switch some of its gas-powered IC engine 2.5 T counterbalance forklifts to electric machines.
The family-owned transport company enlisted Hoppecke, which worked closely with CAM Fork Lift Trucks to arrive at a cost-effective and ecologically sound solution.
Five of the 80 V TCM FBH25-FI four-wheel counterbalance trucks in use at DBL's Sheffield warehouse have been fitted with Hoppecke's low-maintenance 49.6 Kw Trak Uplift Air batteries. The materials handling solution also incorporates Hoppecke's TCHF Air chargers.
Gus Whyte, Hoppecke sales director - UK and Ireland, says: "Like many businesses considering this type of conversion, DBL had its doubts about the capabilities of electrically powered trucks to support its busy and growing operation, so took the time to assess what the materials handling marketplace has to offer.
"A number of equipment suppliers focused on the provision of lithium battery-powered electric machines without carrying out any detailed analysis of the DBL Logistics operation. CAM Fork Lift Trucks took a different approach and called us in to examine actual power requirements and help develop a solution that capitalises on the latest innovations in vented lead-acid battery technology."
An analysis of fuel costs showed that DBL Logistics could save more than GBP15,000 (USD32,000) over a five-year contract by switching some of its LPG gas trucks to electric.
Lewis Fox, sales manager at CAM Fork Lift Trucks, says: "When switching from IC engine to electric trucks, the main consideration has to be whether the trucks can support the customer's operation effectively. For some applications, a lithium battery solution is absolutely the correct call, yet for others it might not deliver the best combination of power availability and service life at a sensible price."