Why Vertical-Extraction Forklift Fleets Need Backup Battery Handling Equipment

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By Jennifer Taylor July 18, 2016

Warehouse managers tend to hope for the best while planning for the worst. If you rely on forklift batteries to power your fleets, there's probably one scenario that keeps you awake at night more than any other: What happens when your Gantry Crane system has to go offline for routine maintenance, or, even worse, accident repair?

Without the ability to change batteries, the forklift fleet would soon grind to a halt, and with it, all the revenue-generating daily tasks of the warehouse or distribution center. To avoid catastrophe, every facility needs to plan for this possibility.

Battery Handling Equipment for Vertical Extraction: Good News and Bad News

Gantry Cranes from Solus Group are designed for the rigors of the battery room, with durable, all-steel construction and an acid- and scratch-resistant powder coating. It would take a catastrophic accident to take one offline. That's the good news.

The bad news is that serious accidents can happen. Even the most well-designed piece of machinery can’t withstand dangerous abuse. Less catastrophically, a lengthy maintenance task might limit front-line gantry availability for an entire shift, or even longer. So what's the busy fleet manager to do?

The solution is to stock your battery room with backup battery handling equipment. Before you start sweating over your calculator, rest assured: Simple, inexpensive accessories can convert lift trucks or other lifting devices into battery changers for vertical-extraction fleets. They might not match the efficiency of your go-to Gantry Crane, but they'll keep the fleet running in a pinch. They're really useful for transporting batteries for repair and maintenance, too.

Fork Attachment, Skid Load

Using Forklifts to Change Forklift Batteries

If your fleet is configured for overhead battery removal, it's incredibly simple to use lift trucks themselves to replace batteries. All you need is a Battery Lifting Device called a Fork Attachment (FA-6) and a Battery Lifting Beam (BLB), available from Solus Group. The FA-6 slides easily onto standard lift truck forks and attaches to the BLB for easy lifting of a forklift battery.

These lifting tools are designed specifically for forklift batteries. They're constructed with heavy duty, non-conductive hardwood for safety and reliability, and they can even be outfitted with a grab handle to improve control during lifts.

If all of your forklift batteries are about the same size, choose the Fixed Position Hook (BLB-FEX-HK) option for the greatest dependability. Even facilities with a variety of battery profiles can function with a single BLB, though. Just opt for the adjustable hook build to match differently sized batteries on the go. Or, keep your options open with the Four Point Battery Lifting Beam (BLB-4PT), which includes four hook-and-chain connections.

Combined, these handy devices make lifting batteries safe and worry-free. Simply attach the BLB’s swing latch hooks to battery grips and raise the forks until the battery clears the compartment. A strong securing chain attaches to the fork carriage for an extra level of safety.

Fork Attachments and Battery Lifting Beams from Solus Group are available individually or discounted by the skid, in increments of 20, so you can outfit your entire fleet with a single order. When they’re not in use, conveniently store your FA-6 and BLB with a heavy duty steel Staging Stand (CS-BLB), sold separately.

BLB

Changing Forklift Batteries with Overhead Lifting Devices


Even if your main gantry crane system is out of order, you can convert basically any overhead lifting device with sufficient capacity into a battery changer by attaching a single low-cost piece of equipment: a Battery Lifting Beam (BLB-6000) from Solus Group.

No matter how much you trust your front-line battery handling equipment, it pays to be prepared. Battery Lifting Devices from Solus Group provide a low-cost, low-risk way to keep your fleet in action no matter what.

Check back soon for information on reliable backup equipment for side-extraction fleets.

References:

Battery Room Basics.” Solusgrp. Solus Group, n.d. PDF. 21 May 2016. 

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