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Converting to Electric Lift Truck Fleet Nets Big Savings for Atlantic Plywood

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Before Atlantic Plywood, a New England-based wholesale distributor of building materials, switched from propane-powered to battery-powered lift trucks, they had some concerns.

“We handle very heavy, very large loads, and we didn’t know if the batteries could handle the demand,” says John Blakeney, chief financial officer at Atlantic Plywood. “How would they perform in the winter? Will batteries lose power in the cold? And how long would it take to charge them? Would the charge hold up? We just didn’t think battery power would work for us.”

But after an initial five truck conversion demonstrated dependable all-weather performance and impressive power, Atlantic Plywood expanded to 20 battery-powered trucks and has plans to convert its entire fleet to electric within the next few years.

“It’s worked out very well for us. The lift trucks handle the work as well as, if not better than, the old propane trucks,” says Blakeney. “We’re no longer buying propane, and there’s much less maintenance on the electric lifts, so we estimate we’re saving about $12,000 on each lift truck.”

EnerSys® worked together with a local lift truck dealer to guide Atlantic Plywood through the conversion process. EnerSys conducted site visits to determine the type of batteries and chargers to use at each site, and advised on electrical configuration and installation requirements.

“As an added surprise, we’ve found the warehouse to be much cleaner. We’ve been so pleased with the results that we’re going to have electric lift trucks at
all nine of our locations,” says Blakeney.

Watch Atlantic Plywood’s C2E Story: