Forklifts: Propane vs Electric
Gone are the good old days when Propane Forklifts dominated warehouses across North America. With increasing workplace regulations demanding cleaner air and safer work environments it is becoming more common to see Electric Forklifts replacing Propane.
I know what you’re thinking – there is no way that an electric forklift is going to be able to get me through three shifts a day or produce the same power that I get from a propane truck.
These are all worries from the past my friend. In fact it seems like things may have completely changed in the opposite direction. Where as you would have wanted to use a Propane truck to run three shifts 24 hours a day – we are finding with a proper Opportunity Charge solution you can create the same results with an Electric Forklift option.
You have to start by considering the cost of propane tanks and how many you may use running three shifts a day. With the latest advancement in Forklift Battery and Charger technology these new systems can be “Opportunity Charged” by being put on a charger anytime the forklift is not in use ie: Lunch Breaks, Bathroom Breaks, Small Breaks in Production. This will keep the battery above 75% throughout the entire three shifts.
It has even been determined that even a Standard Battery and Charger can typically bring you about 8 hours of life
Now even switching over to complete Electric has some drawbacks. If someone forgets to put the forklift on charge it can totally mess up your production cycle – possibly leaving you in a tough spot with productivity and product throughput objectives. Not to mention that the batteries need to be properly maintained by regularly watering the cells.
Over the long term – electric forklifts require less maintenance than that of their opposing propane trucks. The cost of an electric forklift is a bit more upfront but you save dramatically by not having to continuously stock up on propane tanks.
The life expectancy of a Forklift Battery is about 5 Years and most battery companies offer a 5 Year Warranty on their products which will cover cell damage or manufacturer defects. You will start to notice over time that the battery can’t hold a charge for as long as it used to as the life of the battery ages. The forklift itself does not deteriorate like a propane forklift does thus purchasing a new battery is almost like bringing new life to your electric forklift.
All in all an Electric Forklift can get the job done the same as a Propane Forklift in almost 95% of cases out there and an Electric Forklift will run quieter and will not produce hazardous emissions into your workplace.
Even if you are running a low amount of hours per day – consider a good used electric forklift with a battery that may only last you for a 3 – 5 hour per charge.