Irish materials handling specialist Combilift has officially launched its latest product, the Combi-XLE, as a further addition to its impressive range of electric models. In line with the growing demand for electric-powered equipment, this multi-directional forklift, with up to five-ton lift capacity, combines emission-free operation with powerful performance for a wide range of industries and applications. 

The original engine-powered XL C-Series model was developed to address the requirements of tough working environments such as those in the timber, concrete and steel sectors. The new Combi-XLE incorporates the same key design features as its earlier counterpart, such as high ground clearance, large cushioned front and rear tyres and a spacious cab, allowing smooth operation on semi-rough terrain while offering a high level of driver comfort.

Three forklifts in one

With sustainability ever higher on the agenda, Combilift further helps its customers achieve their environmental goals with its versatile ‘three forklifts in one’ models, which work inside and out, reducing fleet size and thereby carbon footprint. 

A hallmark of all Combilift products is the ability to increase storage capacity without expanding the size of a facility, resulting in lower energy usage and associated costs such as heating, lighting and maintenance, which is of significant benefit to the environment and the workforce. Noise pollution and carbon emissions, which can impact on the health and wellbeing of people as well as wildlife, is also no longer an issue, thanks to electric power. Drivers, employees and visitors on-site appreciate the quiet operation, as do neighbouring residents and businesses, particularly in urban areas.

Performance and capability

The Combi-XLE incorporates up-to-the-minute technology such as the patented all-wheel traction that reduces tyre wear and load swing, and enhances braking. Also included is a newly developed, patented Eco-Steer System, which provides a smaller turning radius and improved user experience. 

Since electric-powered trucks do not have traditional combustion engines, or hydraulic transmissions, there is no longer any need to check and top-up engine fluids/lubricants, resulting in longer intervals between services, ultimately saving costs. The use of toughened, eco-friendly, water-based paint also dramatically reduces the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) during build.  

“The technology we have incorporated into the Combi-XLE means that its performance is equally on a par with diesel- or LPG-powered forklifts when it comes to handling very bulky and heavy loads, whilst of course offering a greener operation,” says Combilift CEO and co-founder, Martin McVicar.

“We made our first electric C-Series over 18 years ago, and now over 60% of the trucks we manufacture are electric, with availability in almost all models across our range. As more and more of our customers are opting for electric power, it is obvious that they are as committed to sustainability and a circular economy as we are.”   

At Combilift’s own manufacturing facility, features such as daylighting technology – LED lights with individual PIR sensors – solar panel energy and rainwater harvesting are all aimed at conserving natural resources and decreasing energy consumption. 92% of all components used in the truck assembly are 100% recyclable, and the company is also on track to save over 473 tons of CO2 by using carbon-neutral woodchip instead of gas for heating within the factory.

Customer testimonial 

“At our South Derbyshire precast factory, we use five multi-directional Combi-XLE trucks to transport product from the factory to storage and then to load-out for distribution nationwide,” explains Dave Clement, production director, Roger Bullivant.

“As we had already been using Combilift units for years, the product decision was straightforward, and from a driver perspective, the operation remains essentially unchanged. 

“The reasons to move to electric were twofold: to eliminate exhaust particulates in the factory; and as part of our group environmental plan to minimise our carbon footprint – so, an improvement to the environment, in more ways than one.”

Key features at a glance 

  • AC electric powered
  • Five ton lift capacity 
  • A ‘3-in-1 forklift’ – counterbalance, side-loader, reach truck
  • New technology Eco-Steer system
  • All-wheel electric traction control  
  • Large diameter, super-elastic tyres
  • Extra-large cabin
  • Multi-directional operation
  • Increased ground clearance
  • 80V 700Ah battery (56kW)