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Using an electric forklift outdoors: 4 things to consider.

4 minutes to read

Electric forklifts offer several benefits, including reduced emissions, reduced noise levels and energy efficiency.

However, many question whether electric forklifts are suitable for outdoor work. While they are  ideal for outdoor work, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. Keep reading to find out. 

  1. Working on uneven ground.
  2. Working in adverse weather conditions.
  3. Storage, maintenance and servicing.
  4. Additional protection.

1. Working on uneven ground.

Specific challenges must be looked at when considering the suitability of an outdoor electric forklift. One challenge is the diverse terrain and weather conditions that outdoor environments can present. Uneven surfaces, slopes and gravel can pose difficulties for outdoor electric forklifts, affecting their traction and stability. 

You can count on Toyota Material Handling’s outdoor electric counterbalance forklift trucks that offer a stable drive on uneven surfaces, enhancing productivity and driver confidence. The pneumatic and cushion tyres balance comfort and the truck's load capacity, making them excellent for outdoor use.  

The SAS (System of Active Stability) is a standard feature in Toyota electric forklifts that enhances stability on flat and uneven floors. Utilising sensors and intelligent algorithms, SAS detects potential instability and automatically takes corrective actions, reducing the risk of accidents and improving overall safety.


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2. Working in adverse weather conditions.

Unfavourable weather conditions like rain, snow or excessive heat can impact the performance of your drivers if they are not suitably protected. Our outdoor electric forklifts offer a range of optional features to ensure your drivers remain comfortable:

  • A closed cabin that can fit an additional heater.
  • Windshield wipers to help in rainy conditions.
  • Lights to increase visibility during the night or in fog.


At Toyota, we also employ weatherproofing measures to protect outdoor electric forklift components from moisture, dust and other outdoor elements. This helps extend the lifespan of the forklifts and ensures their reliability even in challenging weather conditions.

3. Storage, maintenance and servicing. 

Always store outdoor electric forklifts inside to ensure a longer life for your trucks and their battery components. The battery and electric components can be damaged by weather conditions like rain and snow, particularly if the truck is not in use.

Proper battery maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Regular inspections, cleaning and charging practices help maximise battery life and minimise the risk of breakdowns. Following manufacturer guidelines and ensuring operators are trained in appropriate battery handling and charging procedures is essential.

Temperature variations can also weaken the battery and shorten its life. We recommend charging lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries inside in temperatures ranging between +5 °C and +30 °C.

Maintaining and servicing outdoor electric forklifts is generally simpler and more cost-effective than internal combustion. Outdoor electric forklifts have fewer moving parts, which means less wear and tear and reduced maintenance requirements. Routine tasks such as checking fluid levels, changing oil and replacing filters are eliminated, making maintenance procedures more straightforward.


4. Additional protection.

Toyota Traigo electric forklifts perform well in normal environmental conditions, but to guarantee high performance and durability during extensive outdoor usage, additional protection is advisable, especially against water and dust.
In unique work environments such as harbours, recycling and low-temperature regions, it is most definitely advisable to ask for extra protection on your forklifts:

  • For wet or humid conditions: Additional protection against rust formation can ensure critical components are well-protected and the lifetime of the truck is increased.
  • In sub-zero temperatures: Special ‘cold store’ versions of our trucks are available to provide sufficient protection against freezing temperatures. These trucks have features like a heated display. 


Discover our fleet of outdoor electric forklifts.

Electric forklift trucks have evolved significantly and are increasingly suitable for outdoor work. With their remarkable blend of performance, environmental responsibility and cost-effectiveness, our fleet of outdoor electric forklifts is ready to revolutionise your material handling needs. 

Explore our outdoor electric forklifts today and elevate your efficiency to new heights.


Take a look at our electric forklift range