Cold stores, warehouses where frozen goods are stored, can reach temperatures as low as -35°C and are some of the most demanding environments that forklifts can operate in.
Fortunately, most forklift suppliers offer machines that are capable of working reliably in such cold temperatures. Freezing environments can make steel more brittle, make the oil and lubricants more viscous and reduce the truck's battery capacity, but adaptations can be made to forklifts to reduce the impact of these issues, ensuring both safety and reliability.
However, one issue that can pose a risk to even a specifically-designed cold store truck is condensation — the same effect you observe when you take a shower and notice the bathroom mirror has become foggy. If the truck leaves the cold store and enters an ambient area, water vapour in the air will condense back to liquid water when it comes into contact with the freezing surface of the truck.
This causes problems when the truck goes back in to the cold store and the liquid water that has condensed on the truck freezes into ice. If this happens repeatedly, the ice on the truck can become fairly thick in some areas, which can lead to damage to components — meaning service and downtime for the affected truck.
If you can't afford to have trucks out of action, managing where your cold store machines are operating is vital. Generally, the truck should be kept in the cold store as much as possible — if you need to change batteries, the battery should be bought to the truck, not the other way around.
This isn't always possible in many operations. So if the truck must leave, a solution is to keep it outside as long as is needed for it to dry out. Blowing the truck with warm air can speed up this process. And if this isn't an option, make sure that when the truck leaves the cold store that its stay outside is as short as possible, so that the truck's surface temperature never rises above 0°C.
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