Ensure forklift truck productivity in cold stores with eight top tips

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Keep forklift trucks operating efficiently in cold stores with the help of these eight top tips
Keep forklift trucks operating efficiently in cold stores with the help of these eight top tips

Related tags: Cold stores, Temperature, Trucks

Advice is now available to support improved productivity of forklift trucks operating in cold store environments from RTITB, the regulatory body for workplace transport training.

“With more energy consumed and battery life reduced by up to 35%, it can be difficult to keep trucks operating efficiently in the demanding cold store environment,”​ said Laura Nelson, RTITB md.

“Considering a few key things can help food and drink businesses increase productivity and reduce costs.”

To help overcome the challenges of the cold store and achieve efficient supply chain operations, RTITB recommended employers take the following eight steps:

Overcome the challenges

  1. To reduce damage, breakdowns and accidents, businesses should first and foremost choose a forklift truck specifically designed for operating in cold stores. It could include special micro switches and motors for cold temperatures and use low-viscosity hydraulic oil systems that can be filtered to trap moisture.
  2. For protection and longevity, forklift trucks should be parked outside cold stores in an ambient temperature when not in use or on charge. To prevent condensation build-up on trucks, which can become ice on re-entry to cold stores, trucks should pass through a low humidity, 0°C temperature zone when leaving a cold or sub-zero area
  3. Users should choose the maximum nominal capacity battery for the size of the truck employed. This will help to compensate for the reduced capacity of batteries at low temperatures.
  4. Batteries should be charged correctly at temperatures above 10°C (and kept charged).
  5. More regular maintenance should be conducted, checking braking system performance, the condition of the tyres, wheels, forks, steering, battery and lubrication.
  6. Pre-use checks should take place.
  7. The right level of training is needed.
  8. Operator comfort is necessary to ensure better performance in a demanding cold store operation. Also, drivers should not spend too long in a cold environment.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Processing equipment

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