Historic materials handling equipment at the unique National Fork Truck Heritage Centre is mobile again thanks to a new portable power pack built by Albright International using batteries from stored energy specialist EnerSys® and a battery tray from Strongs Plastic Products. The pack will be used to supply temporary power to any of the more than 80 lift trucks at the National Fork Truck Heritage Centre so that they can be moved around more easily and without equipping each truck with brand new batteries. The companies have donated the equipment as part of their support for this unique museum project.
“Old batteries can sulphate and cause a mess as they deplete so we take them out of the trucks,” says James Brindley, founder and owner of the National Fork Truck Heritage Centre. “But this means we have to push the trucks around. Rob Pickworth from Albright visited us, saw the problem and offered to put something together to help us. The power pack will make things so much easier whenever we want to rearrange the collection.”
The National Fork Truck Heritage Centre is the only museum in the world dedicated to the display and history of the lift truck. It was established by industry veteran James Brindley ten years ago to record and explain how lift trucks have evolved over the years and in particular how this has affected machine safety and design.
The archives hold information on more than 170 manufacturers worldwide from the last 100 years with in excess of half a million references relating to the materials handling industry. Over eighty trucks are housed in the collection, dating from the 1920s to the 1990s and ranging in capacity from half a ton to over nine tons maximum load. The age of these machines means that the majority have dead or obsolete batteries while their designs would make it impractical to source replacement units. Instead, James Brindley approached his connections in the UK materials handling industry for support.
EnerSys supplied four of its 12 TP150 powerbloc flooded monobloc batteries and one of its Hawker® Lifetech® 48V 1kW modular chargers to Albright International. These were specified to offer an ideal combination of power and reliability over an extended lifetime in this unusual application. Powerbloc batteries are particularly suited to applications that require maximum performance, extended run times and high duty-cycle reliability with relatively low maintenance. They are installed in a special wheeled enclosure designed and manufactured by Albright International using a battery box donated by Strongs Plastic Products, with voltage switching and other equipment so that the power pack can be used to supply 12, 24, 36 or 48V to any truck on the site. The power pack can be moved around site on its own or on the forks of the truck to which it is connected.
“We are pleased to be able to support the National Fork Truck Heritage Centre with the help of Strongs and EnerSys,” says Rob Pickworth, International Technical Sales Manager at Albright International. “The solution we designed is universal to any truck on the site. The driver simply selects the right voltage and plugs the power pack into the truck.”