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Blog posts from the Cromer Team. Follow us for information on forklift safety, strategic advice from our team's service experts, and upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Mar 26, 2024

4 Facility Checks to Make Before Renting an Electric Forklift

It’s time to rent a forklift. You’ve decided to go with an electric. Great choice! They’re efficient, clean, and work hard.

Before the rental arrives at your facility though, it’s smart to check a few things out. Here’s four checks to make before you rent.

4 Facility Checks on Rental Electric Forklifts

Verify Your Voltage

Electric forklift rentals come with a battery charger, either built into the forklift itself, or as a separate charging station. The forklift’s battery charger must have the correct voltage input.

First up? Check your facility’s voltage.

If the voltage output your facility has is different, it could damage the charger...or your facility!

Standard voltage for electrics is 3-phase 240/480V. Most facilities do have access to this voltage. Still, best to make sure.

Will You Need to Water?

In general, electric forklifts come with either lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. It varies by brand & by model.

Lead-acid batteries use water to regulate their heat. This water will need to stay topped up.

We recommend checking lead-acid batteries – and adding water when low – following each battery charge. Your Cromer rep will show you the correct watering procedure for your rental.

If you haven’t used lead-acid electrics before, don’t leave them in cold temperatures for very long. The water in the battery could freeze, causing damage.

(Lithium batteries don’t need watering.)

Check Your Space for Charging Space

IC forklifts need a space to refuel. Electric forklifts need a space to recharge.

It’s important to find a charging space that allows two things:

  • Access to power
  • Safe clearance for equipment and foot traffic

Before the rental arrives, check around the facility for a good space. Make sure it’s not in the way of any other forklift paths or pedestrian walkways.

The space amount varies by forklift. Your Cromer rep will tell you what you’ll need. In general, we recommend 3’ of clear space around a battery charger.

(Charging space can be outside, as long as you have overhead coverage.)

OSHA requires specific requirements for lead-acid electric forklifts when it comes to charging space. These specify that the charging space must have good ventilation, is not near any corrosive chemicals, and isn’t anywhere close to smoking or flammable items. (See OSHA 1910.178 for more details.)

For lithium electrics, just make sure the charging space isn’t near water flow. They don’t offgas, so extra ventilation’s not necessary.

Are Your Operators Ready?

This might seem obvious, but if you want to rent electric forklifts, make sure you have operators who know how to use electric forklifts!

Although similar, IC and electric forklifts sometimes have different operational characteristics.

For example, electric units tend to have faster acceleration. They can brake quicker too, thanks to different hydraulics than an IC unit.

If the operator isn’t familiar with differences like these, they’ll need some time to familiarize themselves.

To give them that time, introduce your operators to the rental prior to running their next full shift. We recommend 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Our on-site forklift training addresses electrics too.)

Bonus Tip – Mind the Emergency Stop Button

Most electric forklifts come with an Emergency Stop/Battery Shut-Off button. It’s usually near the controls. Here’s a photo showing where it is on a Doosan.

Electric Forklift Emergency Stop

Watch out for this button! It will immediately shut the forklift down...and it won’t turn back on until pressed again.

If your rental electric won’t turn on, check the Emergency Stop button. Odds are someone bumped it.

Checks Completed? Time to Rent!

That’s it! That should cover what you need to know before renting an electric forklift.

The Cromer Rentals team will address all four of these checks, and cover any questions you may have.

Now’s a good time to rent electric forklifts. Especially with Summer coming up.

Until next month!

-The Cromer Team
Cromer Material Handling

Deal of the Month


Cromer Service Special March-May 2024

Now’s the time to set the maintenance clock to zero. Before the summer “Busy Season” hits all of us.

From now until May 31, Cromer will offer a Service Special discount on forklift maintenance. Each forklift gets a 1000-hour service, plus a full safety inspection...for only $750 per forklift. That’s a 25% savings off normal pricing.

Service performed on-site. Replacement rentals available if your fleet’s already running on all cylinders.

Book your forklift service before May 31 to qualify for the Service Special. Call Cromer at 800-464-3225 to get a jump on this deal—it won’t last long!