The sealed fuel system of propane forklifts enhances plant safety. Fuel cylinders and carburetion components are made to strict national code specifications that far exceed the working pressure of propane gas. Propane gas operates with an average of 100-200 p.s.i. compared to CNG's higher pressure of 2,000-3,000 p.s.i.
Propane has built-in safety features that include an automatic fuel line shut-off system that helps prevent the flow of gas in the event of an accident.
You may choose to refuel onsite, or have your local marketer deliver pre-filled cylinders to your worksite. Call 800-64-CLEAR to request Railroad Commission training on safe propane handling.
Propane forklifts are perfect for multiple shift operations. A propane fuel cylinder packs enough fuel for up to two shifts under heavy operation. And cylinders can be changed out in less than five minutes.
Electric-powered models use batteries, which must be changed out, cooled, and then recharged for up to eight hours. Warehouses with more than one shift must invest in extra batteries and a battery hoist, because electric forklift batteries weigh 2,400-3,500 lbs.
Propane models can operate in inclement weather and are versatile enough to handle rugged, unpaved outdoor terrains and steep grades. Propane forklifts run at peak performance from the beginning of the shift to the end.
Electric forklifts can only operate on paved surfaces and cannot handle steep inclines, because of the weight of the batteries, which ranges from 2,400-3,500 lbs. They must be stored indoors and are limited to indoor applications.
Propane is a non-toxic fuel that burns clean and is safe for indoor use. That's one reason why more than 80 percent of Class 4-5 forklifts run on propane. Unlike gasoline or diesel, there is no evaporation or spillage loss from the forklift cylinder, so you don't have to worry about evaporative emissions.
Propane produces less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide emissions than gasoline or diesel. Emissions from propane lifts are on a par with compressed natural gas.* Propane is FDA- and EPA-approved for use in many food-processing plant operations.
*Tests conducted by Southwest Research Institute confirm there is no significant difference in emissions between propane and compressed natural gas forklifts.
Propane refueling stations can be conveniently located onsite, or your local propane marketer can offer a cylinder exchange program that delivers filled cylinders to your warehouse. Since propane is such a clean-burning fuel, propane forklifts run cleaner and last longer. They have less engine wear and can go longer between oil changes, spark plugs, and normal maintenance, thus saving on routine expenses.
Electric forklifts require a hefty upfront investment in extra batteries and a battery recharging station, plus they use up valuable indoor space for the recharger and battery storage. Compressed natural gas forklifts require a substantial initial investment in a compressor station. CNG cylinders must also be recertified every three years.