Trio Brothers Trading has traditionally used mostly internal combustion (IC) counter balance forklifts in the past.
More recently the company invested in a new battery electric Nichiyu FBT 70-AC series three wheeled unit with a 6 metre mast for use in its 5,000 square metre distribution centre.
National Operations Manager Glen Stewart said, “When we considered the purchase of a new forklift there was a considerable amount of detail that we analysed before making a decision we were comfortable with. Top of the list for most people is normally price; however, this was only one aspect of the total picture we looked at”.
“While you can always get a cheaper machine, what you can’t always know is what the long term maintenance costs are or the type of service backup you get from your supplier. For example, we purchased a second hand Nichiyu battery electric truck 6 years ago that has been driven every day for up to 6 hours on some fairly steep hills without any problems at all, “he added.
According to Glen Stewart, even though new IC trucks are cheaper to buy than one with an equivalent specification in an electric alternative, the deciding factors of which type and brand to buy were related to long term maintenance costs; fuel cost comparisons; environmental considerations and the quality of the service backup he would receive from the supplier.
“As electric trucks have fewer components we knew from experience that maintenance costs are less expensive than they are for IC trucks and recharging batteries with electricity is a lot cheaper than buying LPG gas bottles on a regular basis. Battery electric forklifts are also pollution free when running and are much quieter and safer to use inside our DC.”
“Our decision to buy a new Nichiyu -70 series was based on discussions we had with our local Nichiyu distributor and service provider NYK Forklifts Queensland who gave us all the options we needed to consider making it very easy for us to make the decision we did”, he said.
Nichiyu’s new range is built around three core units namely the 70 series sit -on reach truck; the 70 series three wheeler and the70 series four wheeler container truck. All incorporate the SICOS – AC central control system that integrates the travel, hydraulic and the electric power steering system which is tuned to be fully compatibility with AC systems.
“Initially we considered buying a ride on reach truck as we needed it to operate in our narrow aisles, however, in the end we purchased a 1.8 tonne three wheeled Nichiyu FBT- 70 AC counter balanced unit, because it not only turned easily in the aisles its versatility enabled us to use it for unloading and loading trucks and shipping containers outside in the yard as well”, explained Glen Stewart.
The Nichiyu FBT -70 is a three wheeled battery electric forklift specially designed to turn in narrow aisles, making them particularly suitable in warehouse areas where conventional counter balanced forklifts are unable to access due to limited space or where tight turns are required.
With its ‘synchronised tyre rotation system’ the 70T 15, for example, has a small turning radius and provides a significant improvement in stability.
All machines have energy efficient regenerative power capabilities and power steering on demand to ensure energy is not wasted and operating times between recharging shifts is optimised.
Nichiyu’s Managing Director Atsushi Tomita says company engineers set out to design a more advanced, powerful, and more intelligent operating system which optimises the operator’s interaction with the forklift. What this means is the end user will be given a choice of machines providing higher operational performance levels that are easier to operate, as well as being safer and more eco-friendly.