For a few weeks the employees at SCAs sawmill in Tunadal just outside of Sundsvall, Sweden, are testing an electric forklift. There are many advantages of electric forklifts, among other things, they are quieter, which benefits both the driver and the surroundings.

The two large batteries at the rear of the forklift is the biggest difference compared to a diesel-powered forklift of the same model when it comes to appearance. The batteries are very large and together they weigh over 7 tons. The biggest difference, however, is the sound. Or rather the lack of sound. Driving an electric forklift is a smooth and quiet experience because there is no sound from the engine. The only sound that is actually heard is from the hydraulic rail that controls the fork.

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The two batteries at the back of the forklift weigh over 7 tons together.

“We currently have 19 forklifts in Tunadal which are powered by diesel. If we replace some of them with electric forklifts, it obviously makes a big difference to the environment. Electric forklifts do well for both the globe and the drivers” says Maria Lemon, Site Manager at Tunadal Planing mill.

“Here in Tunadal we are located near the urban area and since the electric forklifts are so much quieter than ordinary trucks, it would be a big difference for the surroundings” Maria continues.

During the test period, the electric forklift is being used at the Drying facilities, the storage place as well as the unloading and planing mill so that everyone will have the opportunity to test the forklift.

“One of the biggest advantages of the electric forklift is of course that it has a lower impact on the environment and our employees. Because we avoid fumes, the electric forklift is particularly suitable to use in the places where we drive a lot indoors” says Caroline Berglund, Manager at the unloading in Tunadal.

Because electric forklifts lack an engine there are no vibrations which gives the drivers a better working environment. Together with the lack of fumes and the very low noise level, the environment is both healthier and more pleasant for the drivers. Other advantages of electric forklifts are that they have a better operational reliability, which helps our units maintain a good TA value, meaning using our facilities in the best way. Reduced noise, stress and chemical risks and having a good ergonomic workplace are important factors in the health and safety work.

“Electric forklifts are a good investment in many ways, both for the environment, people and finances. We will test the electric forklift in both Tunadal and the sawmill in Bollsta. Then we will evaluate and also collect experiences from other companies who use electric forklifts. Then we will make a decision regarding electric forklifts being something we should invest in. I definitely think that electric forklifts are something that would suit us” says Henrik Dahlbom, Technical Manager at SCA Wood.