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If you are trying to buy a forklift, this is one of the most significant dilemmas that you will come across. All three of these forklifts have their advantages. While the environment-friendly side of you would want you to buy an electric forklift or forklift hire, would it be worth it? Here is a look at what these three types of forklifts can do best (and what they cannot)
While comparing the three regarding the application, use and costs, electric forklifts are much popular because it doesn’t emit harmful gases and fumes and also doesn’t lead to noise pollution. It makes it a common choice for the food processing industries and healthcare sectors and other indoor areas and flat surfaces. It uses lead acid batteries that can work for 6-7 hours continuously in a shift of 8-9 hours. Though the initial purchase price can be high at times, it is much more efficient and cost-effective in the longer run.
Propane and LPG forklifts are internal combustion engines and use fuel to produce energy, therefore much more powerful. It can work continuously in one shift and usually requires one full tank of fuel (LPG or Gas). Compared to battery electric forklifts, these are most harmful and can make a fair bit of noise. The Diesel forklifts also work on the same theory and uses diesel to produce energy.
The noise and air pollution and burning of fuel is a big drawback and a major health hazard. Also, this makes it unsuitable for indoor use. As compared to LPG, Diesel is much cheaper and works as it’s a cheaper substitute. It has a longer engine life and also the total cost of ownership is lower compared to Propane.
The major pitfall with the LPG and diesel variants as compared to the electric forklifts is the need to buy fuel regularly. It can be quite costly in the longer run. There are high maintenance costs involved as well. The overall cost of ownership is also higher. Propane Forklifts are not commonly used in freezing temperatures as it causes problems with the engine and gets difficult to start. Even electric forklifts can cause damage to the battery and get stuck in freezing temperatures.
As far as the productivity is concerned, propane and diesel forklifts are stronger and powerful compared to the Electric Forklifts. Electric ones are slower, inconsistent and also take time-consuming as it takes more time to accelerate and lift objects. It is better for lighter weights. The diesel models are much more widely used these days as it’s cheap, with low maintenance costs involved and produces more driveline torque. The debate about whether diesel emissions are cleaner than the Propane ones still continues.
When trying to buy a forklift, the forklift’s use and its application needs to be the major deciding factor. Do not buy an electric forklift for outdoor use if you need something powerful and have quite a bit of work to be done.