Over 670,000 propane forklifts are currently in use across the United States, according to the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). Why are so many warehousing / manufacturing environments selecting propane (also referred to in these environments as motor fuel or propane autogas) as their fuel of choice?
Let's take a look at a few of the reasons:
Consistent Power: Propane-fueled forklifts maintain 100% consistent power throughout operation. They can push heavy loads at full capacity, regardless of incline. Operators experience no slowdown as a shift progresses. Electric forklifts, however, will experience a decline in power as the battery charge decreases throughout the shift.
Ease of Refueling: Propane cylinders can be exchanged and replaced in a matter of minutes, allowing for warehouse operations to keep moving without excessive delays. Electric forklifts can take hours to recharge, and their batteries should not be allowed to totally discharge. This can limit the number of productive hours for one forklift in a given day. A propane forklift can run three eight-hour shifts, back-to-back, with quick cylinder changes between shifts, greatly increasing the productivity of an individual forklift.
Safe for Indoor Use: Propane is a clean-burning fuel, which is non-toxic and safe to be used inside.Forklifts powered by gasoline or diesel emit harmful fumes and are not suitable for indoor applications.
Versatile: In addition to being safe for indoor use, propane forklifts can also be used outdoors as well.
Long-Lasting: Most propane forkllifts will accommodate a 33 pound propane cylinder, which can provide up to eight hours of continuous use.
Lower Maintenance Costs: Gasoline and diesel fuel are responsible for more engine deposits than propane, resulting in lower maintenance costs for propane-fueled forklifts. A typical propane engine will last twice as long as a gasoline engine.
Free Up Valuable Floor Space: Propane cylinders can be stored in a cage outside the warehouse environment. Electric forklifts require indoor battery charging stations that can take up valuable floor space. Locating the cylinders outside frees up floor space for productive operations.
If your company is considering the use of propane forklifts in your warehouse, we'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Please contact Andy Mirchin at AMirchin@ParacoGas.com with any questions or to schedule a meeting with one of our Motor Fuel Representatives.