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Propane has been a proven fuel for forklifts for decades because of its reliable performance for a variety of material handling operations. It’s especially called upon in the middle and top forklift weight classes for four reasons:
1. More productivity and less downtime.
Propane-fueled forklifts can typically operate for a full eight-hour shift on one tank fill. And swapping out an empty propane cylinder for a full one takes less than a minute, so materials keep moving while eliminating the need for additional expensive, heavy batteries required by electric forklifts. Especially for multi-shift operations that can’t wait for electric forklift batteries to be recharged, propane is the perfect fuel.
2. Propane is versatile.
Propane forklifts can be operated both indoors and outdoors while handling light or heavy loads. Many operators use propane forklifts for loads between 5,000-10,000 pounds in part because of the varied applications for which forklifts are used. Facility managers also use propane-powered forklifts for the top weight class of forklifts (10,000 pounds or more).
3. Propane has low emissions.
New propane-fueled forklift engines can produce 62 percent fewer carbon monoxide (CO) emissions and 90 percent fewer hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide (HC + NOx) emissions than legal limits, according to California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions certification data. Plus, companies are developing near-zero emissions systems for propane-fueled forklifts that can meet increasingly stringent emissions standards.
4. Abundant supply helps keep costs low.
More than 70 percent of propane production comes from domestic natural gas, allowing the U.S. to produce enough of its own propane to exceed customer demand. This readily available supply helps fuel costs remain low even as other fuels fluctuate in cost.
More information about using propane forklifts and where to find propane retailers is available at propane.com.