AC-Powered Electric Forklifts: The New Industry Norm

Although direct-current (DC) powered forklifts were once the industry norm in North America, alternating-current (AC) motor electric forklifts are becoming more popular across the material handling industry. However, as AC-powered forklifts grow in popularity, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they can benefit your operation.

AC current originates from a power source that provides a fluctuating voltage of constantly changing polarity and frequency. AC motors can run off AC voltage because the AC current causes only one pole to be continuously connected to the ground.

Most people are familiar with DC power, and we'll take a quick look at its main features and limitations before turning our attention to AC motors. The two main advantages that DC has over AC are cost and efficiency. Older models could be had for less money than their newer counterparts.

Here's a quick list of advantages of AC-powered forklifts:

  • The battery on an AC-powered forklift lasts longer than one on DC power.
  • The maintenance on an AC-powered electric forklift is lower than DC power.
  • AC-powered electric forklifts also accelerate faster and have more responsiveness.
  • AC-powered electric forklifts allow the manufacturer to finely tune the motor controls, resulting in a smoother feel for the operator.

The cost for AC-powered forklifts is more costly upfront, but AC motors require minimal maintenance and have a much longer life. AC motor electric forklifts allow for lighter-duty components to be used throughout the system, resulting in minimizing wear and tear on the powertrain. AC-powered electric forklifts also accelerate faster and are every bit as powerful as DC-powered models. AC motor electric forklift technology allows for finely tuned controls that result in a smoother ride for all applications.

An AC-powered electric forklift can be a real option for your next forklift. If you need more information on AC technology and Toyota's full-electric product line, contact your local Toyota forklift dealer.

 

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