If your forklift is battery powered, it is very likely that plugging is a good practice, but engine powered forklifts should not be plugged.
Forklift plugging, also known as regenerative braking, regen or switch-back, allows operators to change direction of the forklift using only the directional controller and accelerator pedal. By eliminating the use of the forklift brake to change direction, forklift plugging decreases the wear and tear on the forklift brake components.
Forklift Plugging an Engine Powered Forklift
While often found on electric forklifts, plugging is not offered on engine powered forklifts. These units require use of the forklift brake and plugging is detrimental.
If an operator is driving forward and uses the directional selector to select reverse, the forklift drive line suffers a tremendous shock. The forklift experiences wear on the clutch pack, tires, transmission and differential – all parts much more expensive to replace than forklift brakes.
When an engine powered forklift is plugged it can lose its stability during the directional shift, especially on wet floor, gravel or other loose surface conditions. The forklift may slide or cause flying debris.
Training Operators on Forklift Plugging
If your warehouse contains a mix of forklift makes and models, operators must be trained on which forklifts are approved to plug and that in an emergency to use the forklift brakes. If multiple units offer forklift plugging, operators will also benefit from hands-on training to learn differences in plugging aggressiveness.
ProLift is your material handling partner for Toyota electric forklifts. Ask us your question about forklift plugging, or explore the Toyota Forklift product line!