The typical life expectancy of a forklift working multiple shifts in a -25 degree cold store can be as low as 3 to 4 years. However at cold store specialist Norish’s facility at Brierley Hill in the Midlands a fleet of Flexi articulated trucks is approaching its seventh year of service.
Furthermore, all the trucks in the Norish fleet still feature their original major components.
The electric-powered Flexi Cold Store (CS) articulated forklifts in operation at Norish’s site were specifically designed and built to suit the cold store environment in which they work. For example, because they are spending a significant proportion of their working day in temperatures of 25 degrees or less and then transferring to ambient/chill zones, all the main components of the trucks are stainless steel or zinc coated and all other electrical hydraulic parts are cold store specified.
According to John Maguire, sales and marketing director of Flexi Narrow Aisle, Flexi’s policy of only using quality European components is the key to longevity of the trucks.
"Because the quality of the components has a major impact on the performance of any forklift truck, we source drive motors, control systems, hydraulics etc from top quality European suppliers," he says.
For electric-powered forklift trucks operating in a cold store environment the quality of the battery is also vitally important. Norish’s Flexis are fitted with Hoppecke’s Trak Air batteries and recharged using the Trak Air High Frequency charger system.
The Trak Air system has allowed Norish to make considerable savings in truck running costs because it requires less battery cooling time between charges and, therefore fewer batteries and chargers are needed.