There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to selecting the right power option for a retail application. But here’s why some options are more suitable than others for different operations.
LPG lift trucks are a powerful choice
In retail operations where lift trucks need to be multi-purpose, lift trucks need to be flexible and available at all times during long, busy shifts. This is where Hyster® lift trucks powered by LPG are particularly well suited. There is high energy content in each gas bottle giving the lift trucks full power through a shift until the bottle is empty. In just a few minutes the bottle can easily be replaced, unlike batteries that need switching or charging (full or opportunity) requiring stricter processes and the space for charging rooms.
Where diesel lift trucks thrive
Some retail operations, such as those selling building materials, are usually outdoor applications and are a good example of where diesel trucks thrive in all weathers. Drivers can work the trucks very hard throughout a shift and leave them outside overnight, coming back the next morning ready to go in the rain, snow or summer sun.
Hyster® diesel lift trucks offer good uptime and a low cost of operation with an easily available, low cost fuel.
Lead acid batteries – a good choice for many
Hyster® electric lift trucks with lead acid batteries are still often considered the best option for many indoor retail logistics operations. Applications benefit from efficiency and performance comparable to LPG/diesel alternatives and a potentially lower cost of ownership where savings can be made with just one lift truck.
Retail warehouses are often multishift operations so forklift batteries can be exchanged easily between shifts without regular opportunity charges.
Choosing lithium ion trucks
Lithium-ion is a popular power option for Hyster® electric lift trucks in the food and drink retail and warehousing industry, where operations are mostly indoors and there is a priority to reduce contamination. Lithium-ion has no acid which could spill and no fumes. With no equalising, watering or cleaning required, lithium-ion batteries do not need the high levels of maintenance that their lead acid counterparts require.
The big difference with lithium-ion is that it allows for opportunity charging during planned breaks and lunch time. This ‘top up’ approach can simplify operations as you only need one battery, not two. Plus, over a period of years, lithium-ion may work out cheaper in the right application, with lower total battery costs.