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Explosion Proof Electric Forklift


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These things are pretty rare on the used market, rare on the new market for that matter.  I can't imagine what the cost would be new, since application tends to be fairly limited - you often see them in large scale compressed gas plants and the like - areas that are known c1d1 environments.  I know there are a wide range of different types (it's not as simple as just being EX).

Interested to know though, is this something you are looking for proactively?  Something one of your AHJ's has required?  This isn't a topic that comes up here very often (if at all).

 

 

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Our supplier reached out and told us to put an order if we want one in 18 months. And that wasn't for an explosion proof one. 

Having an explosion proof lift isn't necessary for distilleries, although it's definitely not a bad thing because it shows you are being very safety forward. Our electric forklift was sparking like crazy when I'd go to pick up certain totes, very unsafe. big huge arc from the forks to the tote and a snap you could hear from across the facility. I asked why it was happening and they said they would need to come and ground it. It is a surprisingly easy thing to do, it is simply a strap they put on to a designated spot under the fork lift. No such issues since for a $10 piece.

ground.jpg

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Howdy,

Thanks for the responses! Silk I am not exactly sure what AHJ stands for but word has come from our fire inspector that we need one. The manufacturers have all quoted about 12-18 months but we were hoping there might be one that was available quicker. 

 

 

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AHJ = Authority Having Jurisdiction such as your fire inspector.  

He's the boss and you will have difficulty challenging him.  This is not part of the fire code but he gets to interpret it anyway he wishes.  The only people who might be able to challenge his decision or get him to take a second look would be a company like Dalkita that teaches and consults on this topic.  On the other hand, this might really upset your AHJ because you did not accept his decision and make him start to nitpick.  Dalkita.com

I'm sure that there are distilleries that have explosion proof forklifts but we are not one of them.  We had an extensive code review done prior to building our distillery and an explosion proof forklift is not a requirement in the national fire code.  The focus was on classified areas and air exchanges to make certain that things were safe.  We took it step beyond by wiring an exhaust fan into our ethanol vapor detector along with an alarm if vapor is detected.
 

 

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1 hour ago, ReadeHud said:

Howdy,

Thanks for the responses! Silk I am not exactly sure what AHJ stands for but word has come from our fire inspector that we need one. The manufacturers have all quoted about 12-18 months but we were hoping there might be one that was available quicker. 

 

 

You might suggest to your Fiire Marshall that you will install one of these ethanol gas monitors - https://www.rkiinstruments.com/product/ps-2-model/ .  We have a 5,000 sq ft production area and we place the monitor between our stills.  Super sensitive. You can spill 1/2 oz of spirits across the room from the sniffer and the sensor will go off.  If there is no gas detected in the space, a standard electric or propane lift should be safe to operate.  Also, make sure you have good cross ventilation in the space to prevent any build up of ethanol in any one location.

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There is another thread from a while back which mentions the several types of electric forklifts that are suitable for distilleries.

I contacted a local vendor and was quoted $17k for a used forklift that was compliant.

Crown SC series, with charger. 

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Sometimes just having a peaceful conversation with him, to help see why he feels you need one, helps.

Even better if you can reason with him on the relative safety of the distillery, it might make things better in the future. A lot of times its just such a new thing for them to be dealing with that they have no previous experience with them.

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