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It's A Beautiful Day at Work, Not a Cloud in the Warehouse

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More than 500,000 forklifts are powered by propane in factories and warehouses. And it's no wonder. Propane-powered forklifts provide operational options and economic advantages that make them a clear choice for your material handling needs.

The reasons for choosing propane forklifts and for converting existing gasoline forklifts to operate on propane are plentiful.


Environmentally Friendly: Propane is a non-toxic, clean-burning fuel that can be used to safely power forklifts both indoors and outdoors. With propane, there is no spillage loss or evaporation into the atmosphere.
Safe: Propane forklift tanks, fuel lines and carburetion components meet or exceed strict specifications. Built-in safety devices automatically shut off the flow of fuel in case of an accident.
Versatile: Propane forklifts can be used in indoor and outdoor applications. Propane is the most portable fuel é cylinders can be stored and moved virtually anywhere within a work site.
Strong: Propane forklifts maintain consistent, 100-percent power throughout operation. They have the ability to push and pull heavy loads at full capacity, up and down inclines, for a longer amount of time, and with better ground speeds than electric forklifts.
Easy Refueling: Propane forklifts require very little refueling time compared to natural gas-powered and electric forklifts.
Economical: From an investment standpoint, propane forklifts offer an economical way to meet material handling needs. Propane forklifts have lower life-cycle costs than electric, diesel or gasoline-powered forklifts.
Low Maintenance: Propane produces fewer engine deposits than gasoline and diesel fuel, resulting in lower maintenance costs. Propane engines can typically last up to twice as long as gasoline engines.
Comparison of Forklift Attributes
Fuel Versatility Cost
Propane é Indoor and outdoor use
é Capable of handling rugged, unpaved, outdoor terrain, and steep grades
é Can operate in inclement weather
é Lower initial investment costs than comparable electric, CNG or diesel forklifts
é Lower maintenance costs than diesel and electric forklifts
é Inexpensive cylinder exchange or onsite fuel storage
é Pilfer-proof; reduced loss from spillage and evaporation
Diesel é Predominantly outdoor use only é Additional cost due to pilfering, spillage losses, evaporation
CNG é Similar to propane é Recertification costs: CNG cylinders must be recertified every three years
é Establishments with CNG forklift fleet may require major capital investment of up to $40,000 in refueling station
é If the electric service goes down, the CNG compressor station will not work resulting in a potentially significant production loss
é CNG compressors are expensive to overhaul
Electricity é Typically for indoor use
é Operate only on paved or hard surfaces
é Cannot handle steep inclines
Higher initial investment due to:
é Extra equipment such as batteries, charger, and battery hoist, battery charging and wash down rooms
é Additional indoor space for recharger and battery storage
é Labor costs for changing batteries for second and third shifts
é Ventilated storage area is required for batteries
Gasoline Typically for outdoor use é Additional cost due to pilfering, spillage losses, evaporation
é High costs to upgrade on-site fuel storage

Comparison of Forklift Operating Characteristics
Fuel Power Approximate Operating Time (Per Tank or Battery) Maintenance
Propane é Speed (max): 9.5-10.5 mph
é Lift (loaded): 83-88 fpm
é Maintains 100% power consistently throughout full operation
8 hours (1 shift) é Easy maintenance
é Maintenance intervals may be extended because of propane's clean-burning characteristics
Diesel é Speed (max): 9.5-10.5 mph
é Lift (loaded): 83-88 fpm
8 hours (1 shift) é Requires expensive oil changes
CNG é Speed (max): 9.5-10.5 mph
é Lift (loaded): 74-78 fpm
2-4 hours (é- é shift) é Requires frequent refueling
é CNG compressors will require expensive overhaul
Electricity é Speed (max): 8-9 mph
é Lift (loaded): 83-88 fpm
é Loses power as battery discharges
6-8 hours (é- 1 shift) é Requires additional training
é Maintenance intervals depend on conditions
é Must operate in a controlled environment (e.g., not in the rain)
é Second and third shifts requires labor for battery change
Gasoline é Speed (max): 9.5-10.5 mph
é Lift (loaded): 83-88 fpm
8 hours (1 shift) é Requires more frequent oil changes than propane
Source: National Propane Gas Association

There are seven classes of forklifts:
Class 1: Electric motor, sit-down rider, counterbalanced trucks (both solid and pneumatic tires)
Class 2: Electric motor, narrow aisle trucks (solid tires)
Class 3: Electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks (solid tires)
Class 4: Internal combustion engine trucks (solid tires)
Class 5: Internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires)
Class 6: Electric & internal combustion engine tractors (both solid and pneumatic tires)
Class 7: Rough terrain forklift trucks (pneumatic tires)
Propane forklifts are primarily Class 4 and Class 5 forklifts.

Powered industrial trucks are classified by their manufacturers according to their

individual characteristics. There are seven classes of powered industrial trucks:

Class 1--Electric Motor, Sit-down Rider, Counter-Balanced Trucks (Solid and Pneumatic Tires).

Class 2--Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks (Solid Tires).

Class 3--Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks (Solid Tires).

Class 4--Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid Tires).

Class 5--Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires).

Class 6--Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors (Solid and Pneumatic Tires).

Class 7--Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks (Pneumatic Tires).

Voir aussi: newsletters\newsletter4\pneus\pneumatiques\pneumatiqueschariot.php

Class chariot, voir le page : classement_chariots.php


MSDSpropane Info_an.pdf Infos an. Propane, propriété, mésures de sécurité, etc.

FDSPropane15Sept03_fr.pdf Fiche de données de sécurité Propane fr.

Classement des chariots selon l'Industrial Truck Association (ITA)  Voir: classement_chariots  





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