Electric vs. Propane Forklifts

With so many options to choose from, selecting the right forklift for your business can feel overwhelming. It’s not just deciding between new and used and whether to purchase or rent. You must also narrow down the ideal fuel source based on your needs. Many business owners in the material handling industry wonder if they should choose electric or propane forklifts. Both chave unique pros and cons worth your consideration.


Which Applications are Tailored for Electric and Propane Forklifts?


It’s not a question of which is better, electric or propane—it’s a question of which type of forklift best suits your specific needs and operational requirements. Use the information here to help you make the right choice.


Propane Forklifts: The Jack of All Terrains


When convenience and versatility are top priorities, propane forklifts often come out on top. They are the preferred choice for certain industries because swapping out a propane tank is far quicker than waiting for an electric battery to charge. Propane forklifts are also superior at navigating challenging terrain, from gravel and dirt to rain-soaked surfaces. And they’re capable of handling extreme weight that may prove too much for an electric forklift.


Industries that commonly use propane forklifts include:


  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Heavy manufacturing
  • Recycling
  • Building supplies
  • Steel and scrap yards
  • Lumberyards
  • Trucking and logistics


Electric Forklifts: The Clean Operator


If you’re in a sector where emissions or worker safety are key concerns, electric forklifts are a better bet, especially in the case of indoor settings with limited ventilation. Improved maneuverability also makes electric forklifts best for warehouses with tall racking and narrow aisles.


Industries that tend to rely on electric forklifts include:


  • Grocery and retail
  • Food/consumable warehousing and distribution
  • Cold or underground storage
  • Medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, or any application requiring a sterile environment


Pros and Cons of Electric vs. Propane Forklifts


Clearly, forklifts aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for your material handling business. Consider the advantages and limitations of electric and propane forklifts to help you quickly sum up what aligns with your operational needs.


Propane Forklift Pros

  • Consistent power supply
  • Lower upfront cost
  • Versatility across various terrains


Propane Forklift Cons

  • Fuel cost fluctuations
  • Relatively noisy operation
  • Limitations in specialized applications like food and medical


Electric Forklift Pros

  • Clean and quiet operation
  • Safe for specialized applications like food and medical
  • Reduced long-term maintenance and ownership costs


Electric Forklift Cons

  • Higher upfront cost
  • Specialized charging equipment required for multi-shift operations
  • Limited outdoor use options


Choose Ring Power Lift Trucks


When you’re ready to decide between electric and propane forklifts in Florida, turn to Ring Power Lift Trucks. With an unwavering commitment to customer service over the past 60 years, we are ready to assist you from 19 physical locations throughout the Sunshine State. Whether you’re looking to buy new or used or try out equipment with a short- or long-term rental, we can meet your needs. Choose from models with the latest technology, plus ongoing aftersales support to keep your machinery running smoothly. For help finding the perfect forklift solution for your business, please contact us at 877-544-5438 today.


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