The most important consideration when purchasing any equipment is your application. A good match of equipment to application is the key to safe, efficient, and profitable use. Both electric and propane forklifts offer pros and cons to consider depending on the use case. Let’s dive into the details.
Pros and Cons of Electric Forklifts
Electric forklifts are clean, quiet, and emission-free. In most cases, electric models have a higher upfront cost than propane, but offer a lower total cost of ownership. Electric lift truck models require very limited maintenance over the life of the equipment.
Electric Forklift Applications
- Food & Beverage
- Indoor facilities with poor ventilation
- Underground facilities
- Applications in freezing temperatures
- Applications where maximum rear visibility is necessary
Pros and Cons of Propane Forklifts
Propane forklifts typically cost less upfront which makes them an appealing option for equipment managers on a tight budget. Unlike electric forklifts that lose power as the battery ages, propane forklifts operate at 100% power throughout operation. When the propane tank is empty, it’s a quick easy swap to get back to operating - no charge time required.
Fuel prices fluctuate so it can be difficult to accurately predict fuel costs, but propane is less expensive than diesel. Safety training on how to properly lift and install propane tanks should be planned prior to having a new operator use a propane powered lift truck.
Propane Forklift Applications
- Constant duty applications
- Indoor/outdoor applications
- Remote applications
Electric vs. Propane Forklifts
Both electric and propane forklifts have their advantages. If you’re still unsure which option is best for your application, contact the equipment experts at your local Papé Material Handling. We’re happy to help you determine the right type of forklift for your needs and provide you a quote with model options.