When looking to implement the best option when it comes to the type of forklift to use in your warehouse operations, it’s important to take a look at what’s out there. From gas and propane to electric and diesel, you have many options available to you. Here we take a look at the benefits of using a propane forklift and what the difference is between that and other types.
What’s a Propane Forklift?
First off, let’s explain what a propane forklift is. Propane is a versatile fuel source that’s commonly used to heat homes and water, cook food, and dry clothing. It’s also a popular alternative fuel for vehicles such as industrial machines. This naturally-occurring gas is stored in compressed liquid form but is vaporized into a gaseous form when released from a pressurized container, according to the National Propane Gas Association. Propane is odorless, non-toxic, and is a natural result of two processes: natural gas and petroleum refining. Used in forklifts for its convenience, power and cost effectiveness, propane is becoming an increasingly popular choice with warehouse managers. Here are four benefits of propane forklifts:
1. Easy to Change, Cost Effective Fuel Source
With propane forklifts in operation, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel; when you do, simply change the cylinders from ones you have on hand. In comparison with electric and diesel machines, propane types come with a lower price tag. They’re cost effective, can be used for outdoor or indoor use, and can go about eight hours without refueling. Even then, refueling is simple and quick, taking an average of about five minutes to change tanks. This leads to higher productivity because you don’t have to wait for hours on end like you would to charge an electric or battery operated forklift.
2. Eco Friendly
Propane is also friendlier on the environment than other types of fuel. It has fewer green house gas emissions, with a lower carbon content than gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil or ethanol, says the Propane Education and Research Council. Propane is green, as it’s a non-toxic, clean source of fuel that won’t threaten the atmosphere.
Another key benefit to propane forklifts is in their power. They can maintain consistent power throughout all daily operations and can handle full-capacity loads easily. They can also manage steep inclines faster and have a longer rate of consistency than electric and other types of forklifts.
4. Low Maintenance
You’re also looking at lower maintenance costs and a longer life span — up to two times as long as gas-powered engines. Propane forklifts are also very safe, as they have automatic shut-off sensors that can cut the flow of fuel in the event an accident occurs.
Some Key Differences
When comparing propane forklifts with their electric and gas counterparts, consider some main differences. Electric forklifts, of course, rely on battery power and need no gas. These present the greenest alternative to forklift operations and the lowest in gas costs ($0); however, they can result in lower productivity due to the time it takes to recharge and they may not be able to handle the demands of high-performance expectations. Diesel forklifts has more power and longer life expectancy than propane, but they can’t be used indoors without ventilation systems in place and the capital cost is typically higher than propane forklifts.
Making a choice as to incorporating a propane forklift in your warehouse is one you can make through research and due diligence. Overall, it is a wise choice for any warehouse.