Switching from diesel to electric forklifts has become a lot easier, thanks to recent developments at Grant Handling. The UK’s sole importer and distributor of Heli materials handling products offers competitively priced, purpose-built, lithium-ion battery-powered counterbalance trucks at all capacities from 1.5 to 10.0 tonnes. As well as matching diesels on performance, they are designed to slot very simply into previously diesel or LPG-fuelled applications and operating practices.
A simple swap
Steve Shakespeare, CEO of Grant Handling’s parent company, explains: “Like traditional diesel trucks, our electric models have a robust construction and higher ground clearance for outdoor applications. But unlike diesels, you can also use them indoors. Drivers find their controls look and feel the same as those on a diesel – although electric operation is much quieter and smoother. You can simply plug in for a quick opportunity charge – much the same as stopping to refuel a diesel.”
He adds: “The higher weekly price for electric compared to diesels sometimes puts buyers off, but Heli has made its electric products extremely competitive on price. What’s more, as most people are recognising, electric is very cost-effective in the long term – especially in the case of Li-ion. At the same time, Heli forklifts are high on quality. All models offer the very latest in lithium-ion technology with fast charging capabilities. I should also stress that our Heli Li-ion models are specifically designed for Li-ion technology. They’re not just lead-acid battery trucks converted to Li-ion. That means they maximise Li-ion’s benefits.”
For customers with different preferences or needs, Grant Handling has a comprehensive range of Heli materials handling solutions. Their wide range of products, up to 25 tonnes, offers the very latest technology. It comprises of three- and four-wheel counterbalance forklifts in lead-acid, lithium-ion, diesel and LPG and a versatile warehouse range. All their trucks meet the latest emissions standards
The company is keen to give maximum choice and a close fit with the user’s application and wishes. With this in mind, each model range comes with a variety of possible specifications. The resulting trucks are tailored to the customer’s business, without the expense of unnecessary or unwanted features or capabilities.
Steve Shakespeare notes, lithium-ion is becoming a popular choice for many consumers. The first reason Heli buyers give for this is their maintenance-free batteries, which save time and effort while avoiding the need for battery rooms. Also, the ability to opportunity charge through the shift, makes forklift use a convenient option for many. Whether there are environmental or cost of diesel concerns, customers are opting for electric machines. The higher energy efficiency and longer lifespan of Li-ion batteries add further sustainability value.
Fast opportunity charging, without damage to the battery, is a major Li-ion advantage. Plugging in for 20 minutes or so, during mealtimes and breaks, allows the truck to work almost continuously, and so raises productivity. Another key reason for the switch to Li-ion is its lower running costs. Savings relate to reduced maintenance, more efficient energy use and longer service life.
Ready for anything
When it comes to toughness, the rigorous testing passed by Heli electric counterbalance trucks proves their ability to cope with harsh environments. Amongst others, it includes a wading test in 20cm of water, a cold storage test below freezing and poor weather conditions test. The condition, performance and safety of their Li-ion batteries is assured by the Heli Intelligent Battery Management System. This even has an automatic heating function which warms the battery if its temperature goes below 5⁰C.
To maximise the availability of Heli forklifts, and keep them operating at peak performance, Grant Handling has developed a strong national supply and support network. Already a leading materials handling supplier in its own right, Grant Handling is backed by the expertise of the global Heli organisation. In China, which is the world’s largest lift truck market, Heli has been the number one forklift truck manufacturer for 31 consecutive years. All equipment imported fully meets the very latest and most stringent standards to meet the needs of the UK market.
Grant’s central hubs and local depots provide the basis for rapid truck supply and service response. Its engineers benefit from manufacturer-approved training programmes, fully stocked parts stores and specially equipped service vans. In addition to large truck volumes for sale, contract hire or lease, Grant has an extensive short-term rental fleet ready for immediate dispatch. This gives a useful opportunity for customers to try out Heli products before committing to, for example, a switch from diesel to electric.
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