Features

Emission-free materials handling

Organisations who are looking to go emission-free have struggled to find an electric forklift that could life up to eight tonnes. Until now.
Organisations from across the globe are working hard to implement initiatives and strategies to help make the world a greener place by reducing emissions.
The clean energy revolution is impacting every sector. Apple hit its 100 percent renewables target for its own operations in April of last year and businesses all around the world are embracing renewable and clean energy to power towards a low-carbon future.
Sweden has committed to eliminating fossil fuels from electricity generation by 2040. Similarly, Germany has set an ambitious target to get 65 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
At home in Australia the Government has committed to reduce emissions from 2005 levels by 26-28 per cent by 2030 as well as 20 per cent renewable sources by 2030.
In the logistics arena, Toll recently created Australia’s first carbon-neutral warehouse with Nike in Melbourne’s Altona North. The entire building has achieved a carbon neutral certification under the National Carbon Offset Standard.
This was closely followed by DHL’s New South Wales warehouse attaining the same certification one week later. Under DHL’s environmental protection program the business has committed to get to zero logistics-related emissions by 2050.
In the intralogistics sector, there is a clear trend towards electric forklifts. One business that is driving innovation to help its customers achieve their goal of emission-free logistics is Linde Material Handling.
Linde Material Handling is driving toward innovative emission-free technologies in every area of materials handling. Offering a wide-range of electric forklift trucks for loads weighing between 1 tonne and even as far up to 8 tonne, there is an emission-free solution for virtually any application.
Electric power for heavy loads 
Linde’s offering in the emissions-free space is advanced in that they can provide trucks that can carry a load capacity of up to 8 tonnes.
Daniel Tamatea, Account Development Manager recently led the first sale of this truck in Australia. “I worked with a customer who had a directive of removing fossil fuels on site wherever possible, they came to me and said – “We want the biggest electric unit you can provide.’ They were shocked to learn that we could offer up to 8 tonne capacity,” Daniel says.
After learning about Linde’s offering in this space, Daniel’s customer was quick to order a full electric forklift solution from the forklift company. “There are very few competitors in this space that make an 8-tonne unit,” Daniel says.
The customer took a selection of electric forklifts from Linde but the E80’s capacity really took them by surprise. “It was the only truck on the market that allowed them to meet the directive of emission free materials handling,” Daniel says.
In addition to the heavy load capacity as a forklift truck, the E80 also has towing capabilities. “This is extremely uncommon for a forklift to have this capability. We work with the Linde World software to work out what weight they can tow and what gradient and speed the truck needs to be limited to,” Daniel says.
Driving technology and innovation
Linde Material Handling prides itself on its innovation and high technology equipment developed to better serve its customers.
“One of our organisational fields of action is to develop new products using advanced power technologies,” George Pappas, Senior Director, Service and Sales.
For George, one of Linde’s main goals is to be a global leader in this space and the journey to being able to provide such a high load capacity truck has been a long and rewarding one.
“We started with a much smaller capacity truck in the 1.6 tonne to 2.5, then we quickly developed a 3.5 to 5 tonne version. Last year we launched the 6 to 8 tonne version,” George recalls.
One of Linde’s main points of difference is that in the development of their electric offerings, they did not simply retrofit existing forklift trucks.
“We have designed these trucks from the ground up. We have made sure that they have the same performance characteristics as a gas or diesel truck. They provide the same capacity, speed and general throughput capabilities,” George says.
In comparison to when an existing truck is retrofitted with electric features, the performance characteristics are much higher, George says. This allows the Linde range to match the weight load and lift speed of the fossil fuel equivalent.
According to George, a common issue with electric forklifts is that if they are required for an entire shift, often an organisation is forced to buy two because of long charge times. However, with the offering this is not an issue as their electric forklifts operate what George refers to as an 80 per cent duty cycle capacity. “One of our key design focuses was for our customers to be able to run a full shift on a single charge,” George says.
Tailer-made trucks  
Linde offers customers the opportunity to customise each particular model to suit whatever their requirements may be, Daniel says.
“From 1.6 tonne to 8 tonne the customer can have the same control configurations for the entire range. This means that an operator can move from one machine to another and feel familiar driving and operating the truck,” he says.
While the E80 is a considerable investment for a business, according to Daniel if an organisation has reducing emissions and the environment as a core value then this solution is necessary.
“It is a big investment and it is part of our Performance Plus range. But any business that is prioritising reducing their carbon footprint doesn’t really have a choice. If they need to lift up to 8 tonnes then this is the only emission-free option on the market,” Daniel says.
No compromise on safety
When dealing with loads weighing up to 8000 kilograms, safety is of the upmost importance. “With this truck, no expense has been spared on its safety features,” George says.
All of the trucks are fitted with the Linde’s safety management system so that the company can have full eyes on their fleet.
The protective roof of the E60-E80 electric forklift trucks combine with the cab’s frame to form a large protective zone for the driver. The cabs have great visibility while handling loads, and the automatic parking brake guarantees the ultimate in safety even when working on ramps.
The truck is also extremely quiet, reaching a low of 12 to 14 decibels, this allows the operator to concentrate on their activity.
The material handling industry has long been a pioneer in electro mobility and according to George the E80 is a fine example of achieving the same high vehicle availability as with combustion engine powered vehicles with an emission-free electric solution.

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