Other than the hassle of having to change the propane cylinder, there are some risks associated with running out of fuel with propane forklifts. These units are rather a bit lower in their value than diesel and electric lift trucks. The discussion to whether or not the propane emissions are cleaner than diesel emissions continues in the industry.
When it comes to performance, propane lift trucks seem to handle better than the majority of electric units available on the market when the task needs constant duty drive line torque and high applications. There are several electric units that are reputed to handle equally or better. Depending on the specific situation, propane lifts may or may not be suitable for handling food and edible goods. Provided that WorkSafeBC criteria are met, propane lift trucks are suitable for the majority of indoor use.
The Drawbacks of LPG Propane Forklifts
The LPG's key disadvantages when compare to the diesel lift truck includes the fact that they are not as effective when performing jobs which require high and or constant duty drive line torque. These units have a liability exposure, due to the possibility of a fuel system leak while the truck is located indoors. Furthermore, operators must be trained on the safe handling of propane fuel. The rearward visibility off of the back end of the counterweight is limited. This is due to the location of the propane tank.
The fuel cost is higher with propane models when compared to the diesel unit. Due to the frequency at which the propane tanks are changed, there are possible injuries which could happen. Unless a site has a bulk fill station, propane might need to be changed every six hours of use. Propane lift trucks can be more difficult to start and run smoothly when they are operating in cold temperatures. In remote places, propane fuel is not always readily available. In the next few decades, the fossil fuel cost is projected to rise dramatically. Take into consideration and plan for overall repair maintenance costs, as well as the total cost of ownership to be the highest of the 3 options.
There is a real possibility that the LPG lift truck units would be perfect for you, but will ultimately depend upon what your needs are. It is best to take into consideration your specific lifting requirements and loads as well as the types of environments you would be operating in an effort to be certain that you purchase the right model to meet all your requirements.