While the weather outside may be frightful, the work must go on. Even as winter whips its way across the country, many people still have to work outdoors with heavy machinery. In this case, choosing the best type of forklift for frigid temperatures is crucial. Here we offer three types of forklifts that are best in terms of handling the plunging temps and your specific type of work.
1) Forklifts Outfitted with High Traction Tires
To prevent unfortunate accidents or downtime when the cold, snowy, icy weather hits, make sure the forklifts you choose are outfitted with the best in traction tires to grip the ice. These tires will have optimum tread levels and tire conditions for the ultimate in forklift traction. Many components of a forklift can be adversely affected by cold temperatures, such as engines, hydraulics and batteries. No matter what type of forklift you have, you must keep up with regular maintenance, such as lubrication, to ensure these parts do their job throughout the winter.
2) Cold Storage Warehousing Forklifts
These types of forklifts are specifically designed to work in sub-zero temperatures. Because extreme temperatures tend to slash the productivity of the forklift, it’s important to choose a machine that can handle those frigid working conditions while still performing at its highest level. As such, operators enjoy such benefits as controls that are easy to access and use. When you implement a forklift with cold store modifications, you not only get a heated seat, you get bearings that are sealed with a higher durability, oil that’s suited to the coldest of temperatures and a protective coating on steel parts. These all make for optimum comfort for the driver and protection of the forklift itself. It’s no secret that cold weather can decrease the functionality and life of your truck’s battery. If you have a forklift with a battery, it’s best that it’s at least a 48-volt for the highest rate of productivity.
3) Forklifts with Electric Heaters and Air-Tight Windows
Some forklifts, such as those designed for cold rooms, feature heating plates and heating resistors through the vehicle that keep all components operating at normal capacity — no matter what the temp outside. You can add cold storage options onto your forklift, such as primer that is resistant to rust, oil that is conducive to low temp operations, tractioned tires and cables that can withstand sub-zero temps. Keeping heat inside where it belongs to warm up the operator is an important consideration, especially when you figure these operators must be subjected to freezing conditions for the entirety of their shift. This means a cold store cabin with high visibility and range is crucial. Air-tight windows should be heated to provide de-frosting capabilities, along with air vents and wipers that provide a high setting for quick clearing.
When the nature of the job requires outdoor handling for your forklift, it’s imperative to outfit your machine with all the necessary components, not just for operator comfort but for energy efficiency and high production rates. Your bottom line — and your workers — will thank you!