The Forklift Boss Blog

Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, available parts, & upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Nov 7, 2014

Is it Safe to Use an Electric Forklift in the Rain?

Until recently, many businesses with electric forklifts were reluctant to use them outdoors. They were afraid that if any water got into the workings, the forklift’s electronics would short out. Then you’d have a forklift billowing smoke and not working anymore.

Lucky for all of us, this is no longer the case.

Years ago, Europe tackled this problem. 50% of their forklifts operate outdoors. You can imagine how important protecting against water is there!ipcode

Their efforts resulted in the “IP Code” or “International Protection Marking”. The IP Code is a series of numerical codes which identify what a piece of equipment is protected against. There are two scales, each represented by a number: Ingress of solid objects (dirt), Ingress of liquids (water).

These numbers are then combined to a two-digit number which represents the total rating. For instance, IP00 would mean no protection against dirt or water at all. IP22 would mean protection from solid objects the size of your hand, and against dripping water.

The IP Code Wikipedia entry:

How does IP Code Rating Relate to Electric Forklifts?

Jungheinrich equipment has been rated IP54 for years. It’s a German brand, so it had to have a suitable IP Code Rating to meet European standards.

IP54 means their forklifts’ components are fully protected from “dust, debris and liquid.” Both dirt and water.

In other words, these forklifts are rated completely waterproof and safe for outdoor use. I even watched Jungheinrich drive a forklift through a trough full of water to demonstrate!

Here’s an article with more details on the IP54 Rating: IP Rating Chart -

Forklifts Rated IP54 are Waterproof. Use Them Outdoors.

It’s perfectly safe to use electric forklifts outdoors—provided they’re IP54 rated. Jungheinrichs are. Other electric models should be as well; if you’re not sure, we’ll check their IP Code Rating for you.

If you’re keeping any electrics inside the warehouse for fear of environmental damage—take them out for a drive!

Until next month!

Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling

Cromer Deal of the Month


Using an electric pallet jack speeds up load times and saves your workers’ backs. These Jungheinrichs use a specialized 3-phase AC motor for easy use and low maintenance.

They’re the natural choice for our 25th Anniversary Sale.eje120wtext

We have less than 20 of these EJE120s in stock. For our Deal of the Month, you can bring one to the warehouse for $700 off the regular price.


Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the 25th Anniversary Pallet Jack. Hurry, because this sale price will only last while supplies last!