In its quest to reduce its impact on people and the planet, leading carpet and artificial grass manufacturer, Belgotex, has replaced 50% of its existing LPG fleet with 15 new Doosan lithium-ion (Li-ion) electric forklifts from Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC).

As the expectations on corporate responsibility increase across all industries, forward-thinking companies are recognising the need to act on sustainability. One such business is Belgotex, Africa’s leading carpet and artificial grass manufacturer, which in recent years has been championing a ‘greener’ path.

As a soft flooring specialist the company designs, makes and distributes high-quality broadloom and modular carpets with custom solutions available to the commercial market. Its extensive product portfolio includes luxury and specialist vinyls and artificial grass. A member of the multinational Belgotex International Group, with seven businesses across four continents, Belgotex has in recent years focused on minimising its footprint.

As part of that approach, the company has taken delivery of 15 new Li-ion electric forklifts from GLTC. The move to Li-ion electric forklifts, explains Terri Clapperton, Sustainability Officer, enables Belgotex to reduce its Scope 1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources, as well as risks associated with the volume of LPG stored and handled on site.

In addition, the company’s investment in solar energy over the past six years has allowed it to self-generate up to 2,4 MW of renewable energy, thus also reducing its scope 2 GHG emissions. “As we move towards the setting of science-based targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions by our activities, we are looking for partners that will work with us to find and implement the solutions we need to meet our targets and reduce our impacts on people and the planet,” says Henderson.

In fact, the 15 new Doosan Li-ion electric forklifts charged by solar supply will help enable Belgotex to reduce its CO2 emissions by 855,4 tonnes over 84 months, which is equivalent to planting a total of 14 148 trees.

Commenting on why GLTC was chosen as the supplier of choice, Henderson says the company, which was one of the first-to-market with tailor-made electric solutions in the local market, has over the years exhibited great understanding of the Li-ion electric forklift market.

“The contract was awarded to GLTC based on various aspects of our procurement processes at Belgotex, but of great consideration were price, service delivery and warranties on equipment,” he says, adding that GLTC’s experience in this field is unparalleled in then local materials handling market, with the key differentiator being its ability to offer customer- and application-specific Li-ion solutions.

Supplied in October this year on a long-term rental basis, the new Li-ion electric range replaces Belgotex’s existing fleet of LPG forklifts. The balance of the LPG-powered equipment will be replaced over the next three years. “By replacing 50% of our existing LPG forklift fleet with Li-ion electric forklifts, we have managed to decrease the total running costs,” says Henderson, adding that Li-ion electric units have proven to be cheaper to run than their LPG or diesel counterparts.

Additionally, says Henderson, Li-ion electric forklifts offer lower maintenance costs as there is no need to pay for regular engine tune-ups or the refilling of transmission oil and motor fluid. Being maintenance-free, the Li-ion battery solution gives Belgotex peace of mind for the duration of the contract, while saving money across the board.

The models in question include the Doosan B40X-7 (2), B25S-7 (12) and B30S-7 (1). Jonathan Rall, Area Sales Manager at GLTC, says these Doosan 4-wheel electric counterbalance forklifts provide great power, excellent performance, enhanced safety, driving comfort, outstanding serviceability and reliability.

The latest technology and innovation using AC power means the ACT System (Active Control Technology) can maximise the efficiency of the motors to provide industry leading performance and drive characteristics. The machines’ twin drive axle is controlled by an integrated drive controller. The twin drive axle effectively transfers the power and torque of the drive motor to the final drive for both smooth and quite operation.

The elimination of motor brushes and commutators means that the electric motors are maintenance-free. The machines come with maintenance-free oil- cooled disc brakes. The enclosed brake system eliminates outside contamination, significantly extending the brake life up to five times longer when compared to conventional shoe brakes. The Doosan electric forklift range are also IP 54 rated so perfect for indoor and outdoor applications.