Home » Archive by category "Blog" (Page 12)


Why is Forklift Battery Rotation Management Important?

If you don’t rotate your car tires, you can expect to pay for early replacements thanks to premature wear — and likewise, you’ll need a good forklift battery rotation schedule to get the most out of your forklift fleet. The benefits of battery fleet management systems are well documented. Fleet management software provides a clear plan for battery rotation, helps managers trim battery collections to the demands of their fleet, ensures the completion of key maintenance tasks, and provides vital data that can be used to improve overall productivity. Still, many facility managers don’t implement strict battery rotation schedules, which can have substantial long-term consequences. If you neglect forklift battery rotation, here’s what you can expect over the lifespan of…more

How Lead-Acid Forklift Batteries Work

Electric lift trucks made up 64 percent of the U.S. forklift market last year; by now, it’s likely that some (or all) of your fleet runs on lead-acid battery power. When you’re used to seeing electric forklifts zip around a facility every day, it’s easy to take their power source for granted. However, the lead-acid forklift battery is worth considering in some detail. It’s a fascinating technology, and understanding the basic science behind forklift batteries will help you implement effective battery maintenance programs and improve the efficiency of your entire fleet. Lead-acid forklift batteries provide voltage between two output terminals with a series of electrochemical reactions. Here’s how the process works: Three substances interact within the cell of a lead-acid…more

What is International Logistics?

If you’re involved with warehousing in any capacity, you’ve likely heard the term “international logistics.” It’s a fairly large and complex concept — in short, it encompasses the entire process of controlling the movement of goods as they travel from one country to another. International logistics includes a close consideration of every factor involved in the flow of products, people, and paperwork, starting from the acquisition of raw materials and ending with the product’s purchase. In a traditional framework, the flow of goods is as follows: raw materials are harvested, components are produced from the raw materials, the final product is produced, goods travel to wholesalers, wholesalers distribute the goods to retailers, and customers purchase and use the goods. Along…more

Planning a Spare Parts Inventory for Your Lift Truck Fleet

To keep your operation productive, you need to look for every possible way to improve day-to-day efficiency — and in many cases, this means planning for the unexpected. Every operation that uses material handling equipment will eventually need to repair both its lift truck fleet and its battery handling equipment, and immediate access to spare parts can drastically improve recovery times and keep your trucks operational. Of course, you don’t want to buy more parts than you need, and if you’re frequently performing repairs, you may see a better return on investment by upgrading older equipment. These tips will help you optimize your spare parts inventory and keep your operation efficient. Analyze Costs and Identify Essential Equipment. There are a…more

Order Picking and Shipping Strategies for Omni-Channel Retailers

In order to survive, online retailers need to streamline the order picking and shipping processes. Efficiency is always an important factor — regardless of the size of the operation — and while the largest distribution centers may rely on automated goods-to-picker systems, this technology isn’t cost efficient for small to mid-sized stores. The Internet provides these smaller retailers with ample opportunities to compete, and with the recent rise of omni-channel logistics, many brick-and-mortar retailers are entering e-commerce for the first time. By shipping directly from their existing stores, omni-channel retailers can serve their customers more efficiently than centralized distribution centers. This approach can improve cash flow during down periods while allowing retailers to offer a more diverse set of products.…more

Planning for Battery Room Expansion in the Logistics Industry

Even if you’re not ready to add to your current lift truck battery inventory, you should always be prepared to expand. Any facility may suddenly need to add shifts, hire new workers, and add new lift trucks to its fleet — especially given current growth trends in the warehousing industry. Demand for warehousing services is soaring as consumer spending increases in the wake of the U.S. financial recovery. The 26th Annual State of Logistics Report, published in June, reports that 2014 was the best year for supply chain industries since recovery from when the Great Recession began. Transportation grew by 3.6 percent last year, while the national vacancy rate of warehouses in the U.S. declined to a total of 7…more

Finding Government Tax Credits and Incentives for Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts are superior to combustion-powered trucks in many ways, but while they offer excellent performance with lower fuel costs, full-scale fleet conversion is often a tall order. Electric lift trucks can be expensive, and some businesses stick with gas-powered trucks — despite the clear drawbacks of combustion technologies — to avoid the capital costs of a brand-new fleet. Government tax incentives can help some industrial businesses reduce the costs of electric forklifts, since electrical power is an eco-friendly alternative to gasoline and diesel. The bad news is that programs are often handled at the state level, and finding credits can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. However, if you’re considering lift truck fleet conversion, it’s worth…more

Lift Truck Fleet Rightsizing: Are Heavy-Duty Forklifts Overkill?

Downtime is the enemy of a productive facility. If your lift trucks are off of the floor, they’re not making money — and for many operations, that’s a scary proposition. As a result, some businesses end up overpaying for their lift trucks, choosing gas- and diesel-powered units where electric power would be a much less expensive (and much more productive) option. Facilities also routinely purchase too many trucks, and underutilized fleets can be just as expensive as overutilized fleets. If you have heavy-duty combustion forklifts, you should routinely review your fleet to determine whether or not your operation is overdue for some rightsizing. Ask yourself these questions to decide whether it’s time for a fleet audit: How heavy are your…more

Reasons to Switch from Combustion to Electric Forklifts

At one point, nearly all forklifts were powered by internal combustion. The market has shifted as electric forklifts have become more efficient; according to numbers from the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), 63 percent of new lift trucks purchased in 2010 used electricity as a primary power source. That number is up from 2007, when the market was only about 57 percent electric. Choosing the right power source is an important part of planning your forklift fleet, and you probably know that fully converting away from internal combustion can be costly. However, it’s often a worthwhile goal, as battery-powered lift trucks offer a number of advantages over their gas-guzzling brethren. To help you decide whether conversion is an appropriate option for…more

5 Pieces of Essential Safety Equipment for Battery Charging Areas

While forklift batteries present some challenges, they are extremely safe when paired with appropriate safety equipment and well-trained personnel. In fact, with some planning, the process of changing and charging lift truck batteries can be as safe as filling a car’s gas tank. Battery room hazards are usually related to four specific issues: the great weight of the batteries, the corrosive electrolyte in flooded lead/acid cells, electrical current at terminals and within cells, and the potentially explosive gasses generated by the charging process. Each of these hazards can be easily controlled — and danger can be mitigated — with appropriate safety gear and equipment. By ensuring easy access to a few crucial pieces of safety equipment, battery room managers can…more