When it comes to forklift battery change-outs, a small warehouse operation with just one or two forklifts can get by with minimal battery handling equipment. Portable battery transfer carriages take the risk and strain out of battery handling, and they continue to pay dividends — as long as your fleet isn’t too large. But as your business expands, you’ll need a more comprehensive system to keep up with your growing battery collection.
It can be a painful decision to upgrade equipment. But efficiency gains quickly pay back initial investments, and a skilled installation team can make the transition seamless. So when does it become worth it — even mandatory — to make the jump to a system that can handle the greater workload?
Start with a simple question.
How many times a day will you change out forklift batteries? When you only have a few lift trucks, and they aren’t used constantly, you might only require one or two battery change-outs per day. In that case, carts or carriages are the perfect solution.
But when your fleet expands to 10 or 20 or 100 forklifts, you’ll need to drastically reduce the time your staff spends on motive power needs. You don’t want your team bogged-down with changing batteries when they could be filling orders. And trying to keep up with expanding demand using existing equipment is a dangerous road; a transfer carriage just isn’t built to handle dozens of change-outs per day.
Factor your team’s workload into the decision.
Some operations can use a BHS Automatic Transfer Carriage (ATC) up to its maximum recommended limit of 20 battery changes per day. But an Operator Aboard Battery Extractor System can easily cut change-out times in half compared to the ATC. If you rely on lift truck operators to change their own batteries, that extra time may make the transition worth it, since it will keep the fleet focused on revenue-generating tasks.
While every facility has a unique set of requirements and challenges, you’re generally ready for an Operator Aboard Battery Extractor System when you start to notice forklift drivers queuing up for changes. Idleness is a symptom of insufficient equipment, and it can be incredibly harmful to your bottom line.
Plan for the future growth of your battery collection.
A 2015 study by Peerless Research Group recommends choosing all material handling equipment based on your projected needs over the next five years, at minimum. (The report is available here, behind a free paywall). That’s good advice.
Companies benefit from a little prescience in their battery room design. If you expect to continue growing your forklift fleet, the sooner you move to a higher-capacity battery handling system, the better. Even if growth doesn’t match your projections, the increased efficiency and safety of a top-notch battery room will provide plenty of benefits, no matter what size fleet you end up with. This brings us to the next important question.
Which Operator Aboard Battery Extractor System works for you?
The point deserves repeating: every business is different, and there are hundreds of factors that will go into your decision on upgrading your battery handling plan. Generally, though, you can follow these guidelines to choose the size of your Operator Aboard Battery Extractor System.
- 1-99 battery change-outs per day: BHS’ Single Level Battery Extractor
- 100-149 battery change-outs per day: BHS’ Double Stack Battery Extractor
- 150-299 battery change-outs per day: BHS’ Triple Stack Battery Extractor
- 300+ battery change-outs per day: BHS’ Quad Stack Battery Extractor
An Operator Aboard Battery Extractor not only allows your warehouse to keep up with the work, it also helps you to get that work done as efficiently as possible. And efficiency can make all the difference between you and your competitors.
“What You Need To Know When Choosing Material Handling Systems.” MMH. Peerless Media LLC, 16 June 2015. Web. 17 March 2016.