Which Forklift Fuel Type: cost effectiveness, operation & environment.
Forklifts run by electricity are great for working indoors because they have cushioned tyres, which make them easier to maneuver and very stable. Additionally, electric forklifts do not produce harmful emission, fossil fuels or fumes. Sounds like a perfect choice. However it is not that black and white.
In fact, it is suggested that you don’t use electric forklifts outside because they are likely to short circuit in wet conditions. They can be a potential OH&S disaster. The other downside to electric forklifts is their battery charging time. It takes eight hours to charge a battery and another eight for it to cool down so it is suggested that you invest in a second battery if you plan to use your electric forklift a lot.
With high fuel consumption you would assume that liquefied petroleum gas would be the worst fuel system for the environment however LPG / gas based forklifts; in fact, emit less carbon dioxide than diesel. Additionally, the engines are usually derivatives of car engines and, as a result the parts are easily available.
There is a huge range of LPG machines available and their non-toxic nature makes them an ideal forklift to use. That being said, LPG systems are not as powerful as diesel machines. Also many people find gas powered forklifts nosier than electric ones. LPG / gas forklifts are very fuel sufficient and environmentally friendly.
Forklifts powered by diesel are great for working outside because they can carry heavier loads and their tyres are better suited to the outdoors. Diesel generally lasts longer than other fuel varieties and refueling is quick and easy. However, diesel machines do require their own storage area and that can take up valuable space
Diesel as well as gas trucks & forklifts a higher level of skill compared with an electric counterbalance truck.
There is no definitive answer regarding what fuel system is best for your forklift, but when considering what material handling equipment you need, make a list of pros and cons for each and then think about what your needs as a company. This will make sure that you match your forklift requirements with the correct fuel system for your business.