Which forklift type is best for your business?
Looking to purchase the right powered forklift can be real difficult. There are many different types of forklift. They are broadly categorised by their power source. Electric forklift and diesel forklifts are very different in capacity and functionality. When choosing between the different types of forklift, the decision of power comes first. Each type of forklift has different strengths and limitations. Different types of forklift are required for different environments and situations.
The type of power is an essential aspect of the different types of forklift. Choosing the right type of forklift will have immeasurable productivity gains. A well-selected forklift will quickly shift loads and create a healthier business. Both financial and physical efficiencies can be created with the right choice. Be sure to consult an expert when selecting a forklift. Forklift Singapore can help with your choice.
The first decision to make, besides the dimensions of your forklift, is the power source. There are many different types of forklift. Electric forklifts and diesel forklifts will have different noise levels. Lifespans and manoeuvrability differ in electric and LPG gas forklifts. A forklift is a big investment. It is critical that the right selection is made for the environment. Functional requirements must be considered.
Electric Powered Forklifts
Battery operated electric forklifts are quiet machines. They are most commonly used indoors, because they are clean. Electric forklifts do not give off fumes, making them ideal for inside use. They are the preferred machine to handle foods that can absorb chemicals. Being clean and very quiet makes them suitable for retail and small warehouses. Electric forklifts run on electricity. Of course, you don’t operate them when plugged into power. They carry a battery which requires charging.
Advantages of Electric Powered Forklifts
Battery powered electric forklifts are quiet, green, and efficient. They do not give off nasty emissions, so are healthier for employees. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, but are more common indoors. The other key advantage of electric forklifts is that they require less maintenance. They have fewer moving parts, so have less requirement for repair. They have lower vibrations, which is important in more delicate operations.
Electric Forklift Batteries and Charging
Most businesses charge their battery-operated electric forklifts overnight. An employee needs to plug the machine in at the end of the shift. If they do not, this could result in productivity losses the next day. The problem is more severe if a small business has limited machines. You can invest in a unit with changeable battery packs if this is a problem. Spare battery packs are useful. Most batteries require eight hours to charge.
Electric Forklift Costs
Electric forklifts require greater upfront investment. They are the more expensive machine to purchase. They are cleaner and greener and are a requirement in some industries. As well as the cost of the machine, you need to consider electricity costs. The charger of the forklift may require greater amps and volts. You may need to consider whether your electrical service can handle the requirements. You need to consider the cost of ‘parking and charging’ space. In most enclosed or food spaces, battery powered electric forklifts are indispensable.
LPG Gas Powered Forklifts
LPG gas forklifts maintain power all day and do not require overnight charging. They operate with heavy loads at full capacity for longer. They cost less in upfront purchase costs, but require refuelling with LPG gas. LPG gas powered forklifts can be used in both indoor and outdoor spaces, but they let off fumes. The fumes can be dangerous, so the space needs to be well-ventilated. LPG gas forklifts are also noisier, so they are generally found outdoors.
LPG powered forklifts are less noisy than diesel engines and emit less exhaust fumes. They also have a smaller engine so can be designed to small dimensions. This makes them suitable for warehouse environments. They have higher vibrations than electric models, but lower than diesel. They are also more noisy than electric but less noisy than diesel. They are the highest performance of the three machines. They are faster, have greater rates of acceleration, and higher lift speeds than electric.
Advantages of LPG Gas Powered Forklifts
LPG Gas powered forklifts are preferred by businesses with heavier capacity requirements. They go up and down gradients at a faster speed. They do not require charging and can be stored outdoors. It only takes a few minutes to refuel, compared to electric machines which take eight hours. The extra downtime is valuable to many businesses. If a business has both yard and well-ventilated indoor spaces, the LPG gas forklift is good for both. This grants flexibility with one machine.
LPG Gas Forklift Costs
Another great advantage for an LPG gas powered forklift is the lower upfront cost. However, businesses need to consider long-term costs. LPG gas is the highest cost in terms of possible power sources for forklifts. The high fuel cost needs to be taken into account when purchasing. Maintenance and repair costs are the most expensive of the three types of forklift. They run on gas bottles and may not have an accurate gauge. This could equate to expensive productivity losses.
Electric vs LPG Gas Forklift
Gas-powered engines require a more highly skilled driver than electric models. They are more complex to drive. They have an ‘inching’ pedal or clutch to slow the traction speed. They also require more regular maintenance. These sacrifices are made by many companies for the flexibility of the machine. Lower upfront costs and around-the-clock operation are also key benefits. Electric-powered engines require many charging hours and valuable downtime.
Electric engines are more expensive, but are better for enclosed spaces with low-ventilation. Electric engines are more environmentally friendly than LPG powered engines. They are generally more easy to manoeuvre around tight spaces. They are typically more compact than LPG engines and require less maintenance and repairs. Lower vibrations make electric-powered engines more pleasant for operators. They are also simpler to use. LPG powered engines are more powerful and do not require downtime.
Diesel Powered Forklifts
Diesel powered forklift trucks are typically used outdoors. Diesel engines are internal combustion engines. They give off heavy exhaust fumes and diesel particles. This makes them unsuitable for indoor use without catalysts and purifiers. Diesel engines are more efficient and run on less gas than LPG engines. Diesel-powered machines are generally bigger and need more space to manoeuvre. They also have higher torque and can sustain heavy loads for longer.
Advantages of Diesel Powered Forklifts
Businesses choose diesel for greater power at lower running costs. Diesel engines are also more reliable and less likely to break down. Diesel forklifts are hard-wearing. They are used for industrial loads. When you need to move your forklift on, diesel has the highest resale value. They operate at lower revs than a gas forklift, so they have a longer lifespan. They are the best for gradients and heavy towing. They can scoop heavy loads with a bucket attachment.
Diesel Powered Forklifts Cost
Diesel powered forklifts cost less upfront than electric machines but more than LPG-powered forklifts. However, they run more cheaply than LPG gas. Maintenance costs are higher than an electric forklift, but less than an LPG forklift. Diesel-powered forklifts need more space to run. They can only be used outside. Businesses need to consider whether they also need indoor work. Finance controllers should also take a high resale value into account with diesel machines.
Diesel-powered forklifts require training and skill from the operator. Like a car, they need to be driven and maintained with care. They will still run when the engine requires a service. This may cause issues if employees do not report issues. Costs can escalate when regular maintenance is not carried out. The World Health Organisation rates diesel fumes as toxic and carcinogenic. The health cost to employees needs to be considered and measures taken to prevent illness.
Electric Forklift vs Diesel Forklift
Diesel powered forklifts operate in rough terrain. They maintain full capacity in wet, damp or humid weather. Electric forklifts require many hours to recharge and need downtime. It takes a few minutes to refill diesel forklifts, and they don’t require downtime. They are stored outside, unlike a battery-operated machine. If hydraulic attachments are required, diesel can accommodate. This is not possible with electric machines as it drains their power. Diesel engines are cheaper than electric engines.
Conversely, diesel engines require more maintenance than electric engines. Diesel engines cannot run indoors without specialised attachments. Diesel is best used outdoors, whereas electric-powered forklifts are best indoors. If you are considering the electric forklift vs diesel forklift, your environment will decide.
Electric Vs Diesel Vs LPG Gas Forklift Comparison Table
Power Source – Advantages – Limitations – Environment
Diesel – Low fuel cost, more power – High initial cost, noisy, exhaust emissions – Outdoor areas
LPG – Low initial cost, easy maintenance, flexible use – High fuel cost, requires ventilation – Outdoor areas
Electric – Low maintenance cost, quiet – High initial cost, no fumes, requires charge time – Indoors
Summary on forklift types comparison
There are many types of forklifts. The type of forklift that is right for your business will depend on many factors. The type of power source of your forklift will influence the many advantages of a forklift. The type of power source will also impact the costs of operation. You can speak to an expert to determine the right type of forklift. Choosing the right type of forklift will result in less long-term costs. It will also create maximum efficiencies.
Singapore Forklift Professionals
Forklift Singapore can help you determine what type of forklift is right for your business. Businesses are unique and complex. A forklift is a big investment so choosing correctly is imperative. Forklift Singapore also offers repairs and maintenance. They also offer a competitive rental service. Contact Forklift Singapore for a no-obligation, free quote on all your forklift needs.