Forklift Technical Information

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AC Electrical Systems

Over the last few years many manufacturers have moved away from DC control systems and moved on to AC, (alternating current)

These systems offer some advantages over the old systems as follows:

  • The motors don't have any parts which can wear out so the replacement of carbon brushes and contactors is eliminated.
  • It is much easier to use regenerative braking which helps to re charge the truck battery during normal use
  • As the motor helps to brake the truck the brake pads don't wear out so quickly
  • It is generally easier to make adjustments to the system
  • Generally speaking the shift time per battery charge increases - some say by up to 25 %

AC controllerAs a battery only generates a DC voltage an inverter is used which changes the voltage to AC which then drives a brushless motor. The controller can be made quite small as the Toyota controller shown here indicates.

The AC motor can be made much smaller than its equivalent DC counterpart and this leads to other benefits as described.