“Cleaner, greener, smarter.” That’s how John Teresko characterized the material handling industry’s shift to electric battery-powered vehicles in a recent online article on Industry Week. “While the continuing transition to electric battery-powered lift trucks may suggest only environmental concern, the trend is really part of a broader search for new levels of performance and productivity,” he said. Over the past decade sales of electric trucks have gradually overtaken and surpassed sales of internal combustion models. The move to electric power is the most significant, most evident trend in the material handling industry.
While Teresko happened to be writing about forklift trucks, the move to clean-energy, electric battery-powered carts and tugs is universal across the landscape of the material handling industry. Fueled by a growing concern for the environment and skyrocketing fossil fuel costs, savvy businessmen have been trading in their gas- and diesel-powered vehicles in favor of cleaner, cheaper-to-operate electric battery-powered equipment. With the capacity to operate a full shift without recharge, electric battery-powered material handling equipment provides significant energy savings without any loss of productivity.
What Teresko didn’t mention is that forward-thinking manufacturers and business owners are moving away from forklifts altogether in favor of cheaper, more versatile, more efficient, safer, ergonomically-designed powered carts and movers. Heralding the next significant shift in the material handling industry, manufacturers are replacing forklifts with highly maneuverable powered movers that allow greater flexibility of use. Their smaller size and ability to maneuver in tight spaces and highly trafficked areas allow motorized carts and powered cart movers to be employed in a wide variety of tasks, increasing the flexibility and versatility of your material handling equipment resources.
Receiving equal consideration is the appallingly high accident/injury rate associated with forklifts. Ergonomically-designed powered carts, tugs and movers have a proven track record of reducing accidents and musculoskeletal injuries. Switching to ergonomically designed electric battery-powered movers results in a significant savings in medical, insurance, disability and workers’ compensation costs and has been proven to reduce absenteeism and lost man-hours. Investment costs are routinely recouped in the first year after purchase. Ergonomically-designed electric battery-powered material handling equipment is the industry’s next most important trend and savvy business owners are getting onboard.