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Evaluating Alternative Lift Truck Fuel Options

November 12, 2012

With energy costs on the rise and the increasing awareness of the impact on the environment, businesses of all types and sizes are considering how to run their operations as efficiently and ecofriendly as possible. Nearly all facets of operation fall under review and are scrutinized to refine processes and practices with the ultimate goal of greater efficiency and stewardship. A company’s material handling function is no exception. As more companies look to make improvements, they will inevitably evaluate their lift truck fleet and the fuel that drives that fleet.

These evaluations as well as current and pending government regulations have created an increasing demand for lift truck manufacturers to provide alternative fuel options on the vehicles they provide. While electric lift trucks continue their hold on the smaller capacity applications, high-load capacity applications and vehicles remain largely powered by internal combustion engines. As technology advances, new fuel and hybrid options are emerging that meet many of the challenges of the high-load applications, while being more eco-friendly.

As more alternative fuel and hybrid options emerge, it can be difficult to grasp or decipher the nuances between the benefits and challenges that each option provides. While moving to a more eco-friendly and sustainable solution, the lifting, traveling and load capacity of lift trucks must be evaluated simultaneously, and a proper balance of cost, energy efficiency and productivity considered.

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