Gas vs Electric Forklift: Which One Is Right for the Job?

There are pros and cons to using a gas-powered or electric forklift. Learn how a propane forklift differs from other internal combustion and electric equipment.

Either a forklift that is powered by gas or an electric forklift can be suitable for different applications. Compare the performance and features of forklifts that run on diesel or propane fuel with battery-powered forklifts to decide on the right equipment for your workplace. Learn more about what sets these types of heavy machinery apart and how power sources factor into the use, operating life and maintenance of forklifts. This information will help you find the best propane forklift for sale or electric forklift for sale depending on your needs.

Propane Forklift for Sale vs. Electric Forklift for Sale

The engine is the main difference between gas- and battery-powered forklifts. A diesel or propane forklift burns petroleum-based fuel in an internal combustion engine. As a result, these types of gas-powered heavy equipment release emissions that limit safe indoor use.

One of the primary considerations when choosing a gas or electric forklift is whether you plan to use this equipment outdoors or indoors. Diesel forklifts are best for outdoor use, while propane forklifts can be used for some large warehousing and indoor applications. Industrial Forklift Truck makes it easy to get the best deal on a propane forklift for sale.

An electric forklift does not directly generate emissions, making this battery-powered heavy equipment safe to use indoors. Electric equipment also runs cleaner and has fewer moving parts than forklifts with internal combustion engines. Battery-powered forklifts have higher upfront costs than gas-powered forklifts because it is necessary to buy or rent industrial batteries and set up a battery charging and changing station that complies with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Gas forklifts are more rugged and sturdy than electric forklifts. Heavy equipment with internal combustion engines can be more reliable in cold or wet conditions than battery-powered equipment. As a tradeoff, the engines in internal combustion forklifts require more maintenance and run louder than the battery-powered motors in electric forklifts.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Electric and Gas Forklifts?

The lack of an internal combustion engine is the main advantage of an electric forklift over a gas forklift. Electric forklifts do not require regular engine maintenance or release carbon monoxide and other emissions. A battery-powered forklift only requires regular charging, battery changes and maintenance by trained technicians.

The need to charge batteries before using an electric forklift can be a drawback. Many operations charge industrial batteries overnight and allow for a rest period during which a charged battery cools down before use. Fast-charging systems are becoming more common for these powerful batteries. High-voltage electrical lines are often needed to accommodate industrial battery chargers, and electricians may also need to wire in and install chargers.

The average battery-powered forklift costs slightly more than a propane forklift for sale. In addition to the price of the equipment itself, buyers should also factor in the additional cost of an industrial battery. Forklift batteries range in price from $5,000 to $10,000 and chargers can cost as much as $5,000. If a facility requires electrical system upgrades, the initial cost of a battery-powered forklift can be even higher. However, electric forklifts can pay off over time by eliminating fuel costs and reducing the cost of ongoing maintenance by as much as 40%.

What Are the Facilities Requirements for Gas and Electric Forklifts?

Gas forklifts primarily require safe refueling facilities and practices. The stakeholders at a business considering using a diesel forklift should have a refueling plan in place. Keep in mind that a built-in gas gauge is not a standard feature on most gas-powered forklifts.

A propane tank can power a forklift for four to eight hours based on truck capacity, equipment condition, work intensity and operator performance. Propane tanks take up space on the rear of this equipment and can restrict rear visibility. These fuel tanks pose a safety risk when punctured, and the process of changing tanks can also cause cold burns and impact injuries. OSHA mandates designated areas with storage racks for propane tanks.

An electric forklift will require an OSHA-compliant battery charging and changing station. This area will house an industrial battery charger as well as eyewash stations, safety equipment for working with batteries and a separate battery changing area with ventilation. Damaged batteries pose risks of acid burns and impact injuries, and every battery can pose shock risks. It is important to take proper safety precautions and set up a facility to safely operate and maintain a forklift.

Where Can You Get a Gas or Electric Forklift?

The average price of a new forklift ranges from $15,000 up to $30,000 based on capacity, fuel type and features. The cost of renting a forklift can range from $250 a week up to as much as $2,000 a week based on the same factors. Industrial Forklift Truck simplifies the process of finding the right forklift for any application.

Look for an electric forklift for sale or a used propane forklift for sale near me to find the best heavy equipment for indoor use. A battery-powered forklift is the best option to use indoors with any type of cargo, while a propane forklift can also be used inside with non-food cargo. Be sure to factor in the price of an industrial battery and charger or fuel into cost calculations.

A small 3,000-pound capacity forklift can cost anywhere from $150 to $350 to rent per day, with weekly rates up to $700 and monthly rates up to $1,000. High-capacity forklifts rated for up to 30,000 pounds can range from $200 to $700 to rent per day or anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500 to rent for a month. If you plan on using a forklift for the foreseeable future, buying equipment is the most cost-effective option in the long run.

An electric forklift is well-suited for indoor applications, while a forklift that runs on diesel or propane fuel can be a reliable choice for outdoor or large warehousing applications. Factor in the cost of equipment, batteries or fuel, maintenance and facility requirements to select the right forklift for any application. Industrial Forklift Truck makes it easy to compare the features and prices of electric or gas-powered forklifts and get a quote for a used or new forklift. Find specific quotes for used propane forklift for sale near me, electric forklift for sale, or whichever type of equipment you need.

Find Gas & Electric Forklifts For Sale.