Should I Buy an Electric or Propane Forklift?

You are given many choices when buying a new forklift for your business. You will find many brands that with the right care and maintenance will last for many years. One important choice you will have is the fuel source. The most popular forklifts are propane and electric. You should completely understand all the benefits of both before making a decision. Cost is also an important factor in your decision as well. You will need a forklift that will meet all the needs of your daily production and that will fit into your budget. A propane forklift has a lower up front cost than an electric, and they also have a lower life cycle cost. Maintenance for propane forklifts are usually cheaper than electric. It is also known that the engine in a propane forklift will last twice as long as those on an electric forklift, which will save you money over the life of the equipment on replacement parts.


Besides being cheaper to maintain than an electric forklift, propane forklifts can be easier to maintain and keep working properly. The fewer engine deposits that propane produces helps lower maintenance requirements and costs. This means your budget will stretch further because of the longer lasting engine. If power is an issue for you, propane will be what you will want because they maintain a consistent power ratios at 100 percent during operation. You will be able to transfer loads faster because of more torque that propane forklifts offers, which means getting the job done faster, and increasing productivity. You will also not have to worry about your power supply running low with a propane forklift. They can also push heavy loads better and faster and on an incline or over rough terrain.

Fuel Issues

Once the power supply is out on an electric forklift, it will have to be plugged back in and then you will have to wait for hours while it recharges. But, when a propane forklift runs out, all you do is change the tank for a new one and go on about your business. This only takes a few minutes and means that a tank of propane will last longer than the charge on an electric forklift. A propane forklift can operate nonstop for approx. eight hours on a tank of propane.

Environmental Issues

Propane is considered a green fuel with little to no impact on the environment. Propane burns clean and is nontoxic so it can be used for both outdoor and indoor uses. Propane will not evaporate into the air so you there will be no damage to the ozone layer.

Depending upon the source of your electricity, an electric forklift can have a huge impact on the environment and our natural resources. If you are into going green and protecting our environment and its natural resources, propane is the obvious best choice. Propane powered forklifts have a lot of advantages over the electric ones. You may have to check into the restrictions on propane forklifts as there are some areas they are not approved for use, like where food is handled. But propane forklifts, in most places will be your best choice. You will save lots of money, your productivity will be increased and you can do more with less. When shopping for a new forklift, look into the huge variety of brands that are offered that use propane power to see if they can benefit you.

Griffis Gas is a Jacksonville propane company offering commercial, residential and industrial services. Griffis Gas offers propane appliances and accessories including water heaters, fireplaces and generators.

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