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  • Writer's pictureRED FORKLIFTS PTE LTD

Electric Forklifts vs Diesel Forklifts

Forklift Rental Singapore
Forklift Singapore

The Advantages of Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts have zero tailpipe emissions resulting in a better and more safe work environment for the employeesElectric lift trucks produce less noise during operation which results in a better and more safe work environment for the employeesOutside, on – site fuel storage is eliminated which reduces liabilityThe cost of fuel is eliminated, ie save approximately $26,000 in propane over 5 years using a 5,000 lb capacity forklift 6 hours a day, 5 days a weekSpend less on planned maintenance and repair maintenance, ie Electric lift trucks don’t have engines, transmissions or radiatorsCapacity ratings and stability are usually better at high lifting heights, partly due to a lower center of gravityTurning radius specifications are typically better which can increase storage capacity, reduce product and truck damage and / or increase productivityRearward visibility is often better due to the absense of a propane cylinder but a non issue when compared with diesel forkliftsLonger major component life can be expected when compared with propane forklifts but questionable when compared with diesel forkliftsOperator productivity is often higher because there are typically fewer hand / arm / foot movements required to operate an electric lift truckOverall, when placed into the right application, the electric forklift will usually have the lowest total cost of ownership when compared with diesel and propane forkliftsThe debate is on over whether electric forklifts are more green than diesel or propane forklifts. At issue is how electricity is generated and how spent batteries are recycledThere are fewer waste fluids to dispose of, ie no engine, transmission or coolant fluid changes to worry aboutIn the design of the electric forklift, braking happens automatically and electrically as soon as the operator’s foot is removed from the gas pedal resulting in less brake wearThe hour intervals between services are usually longer resulting in less cost and truck downtime over it’s useful life

The Disadvantages of Electric Forklifts

They may or may not meet performance expectations in applications that require high and / or constant duty drive line torque, ie ramps, chiselling…. 80 volt systems are bestThe cleaning, watering and charging requirements of the expensive industrial battery are very important and may not be manageable, particularly in a multi -shift operationForgetting to charge the battery overnight could result in significant productivity consequences the next day, particularly when the business operates with only ( 1 ) forkliftMay or may not meet performance and reliability expectations when exposed to cold, wet weather or abusive and corrosive applicationsInitial purchase price or capital cost is higher when compared with propane and diesel forkliftsAdequate ventilation is required around the forklift when the battery is being rechargedOperating in freezing temperatures will damage the truck and / or battery unless certain precautions are takenBattery chargers have certain voltage and amperage requirements, particularly during start up. An existing electrical service may or may not meet these requirementsIn multishift operations, spare batteries, along with a changing area, may or may not be required. Fast charge systems are available and may eliminate the need for spare batteries

The Advantages of Diesel Forklifts

The total cost of fuel is typically less when compared with propane forkliftsDiesel forklifts produce more drive line torque at low RPM when compared with propane and electric forkliftsRearward visibility is better when compared to propane forkliftsOverall planned maintenance and repair maintenance is usually less when compared with propane forklifts, ie no tune – up componentsThe debate over whether diesel emissions are cleaner than propane emissions continuesThey have a lower total cost of ownership when compared with propane forklifts but not electric forkliftsLonger engine life is expected when compared with propane forklifts

The Disadvantages of Diesel Forklifts

Not suitable for indoor use without expensive emissions accessories and proper ventilationSometimes the capital cost of diesel forklifts can be more expensive than propane forkliftsA bulk tank for fuel storage is sometimes required and is an extra cost above and beyond the cost of the forklift. Municipal requlations may apply to the tank installationThe cost of fossil fuels will likely climb dramatically in the years ahead

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