23 January 2020
Forklift protection in the colder weather - are your forklift trucks fit for winter?
As use of electric forklift trucks for outdoor materials handling work grows, exposure to winter weather becomes more of an important issue. How can you be sure your forklifts will survive winter’s effects? What do you do to enable your forklifts protection from the harsher, cold weather conditions? To answer this, Cat® Lift Trucks highlights some weather-resistant features of its 1.4 to 2.0 tonne 48V electric counterbalance forklift truck range – the EP14-20A(C)N(T). Although perhaps best known for their unique agility and intelligent control systems, these forklifts are also built to stand up to harsh, wet, dirty and dusty conditions.
Choose inbuilt Forklift protection
Inbuilt sealing of motors, other electrical components and connectors against water is vital for your forklift to stay up and running through the wetter months. In addition, every part and system needs to be robustly constructed to cope with the extra stresses from the extreme temperatures. A good example on these forklifts is the durable synthetic rubber hoses, specified to withstand large temperature variations as well as weathering and physical wear.
In tough weather conditions, correct maintenance of your forklift truck is even more essential. The Cat® lift trucks’ interactive multifunctional colour display gives service reminders and fault indications, while easy access features enable fast checks and servicing. Wet, icy or snow-covered surfaces demand good tyres. These forklifts have high-quality, super-elastic, pneumatic-shaped solid tyres. Worn tyres give less grip, so it’s vital to check their condition. If a forklift truck is being used for materials handling entirely outdoors, then in snow, you may wish to fit chains or studs.
Keep your drivers warm
It’s important to recognise that the stress of winter weather can affect human health too, leading to sickness absence. Cold forklift drivers may also suffer from low morale, work less productively and eventually decide to leave your company. At the very least, as well as considering your forklift protection, you should provide your drivers with protection too, such as a weatherproof cabin that cuts out the wind, rain, hail and snow. Cat EP14-20A(C)N(T) electrics forklifts have a modular design which simplifies cabin fitting, with options including effective and controllable heaters.