Diesel, Gas, Electric - Choose the right forklift type.

(2016-01-20 11:47:50)

If your business uses forklifts, there are three primary options: LPG Gas, Diesel and Electric.

It is important to pick the right type. It is impossible to state which is the best type because it depends on many contextual aspects and features. But choosing the right forklift for your warehouse can make all the difference between a productive environment or a sloppy one, and a well-maintained well-functioning forklift will mean quickly shifted goods and a healthier business overall.

There are a variety of factors which are to be considered when purchasing a new forklift for your warehouse. Not everyone is aware of the differences and limitations, and some inexperienced managers won't be hesitant in thinking any forklift will do the job. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when purchasing your new forklift, as we unravel essential aspects like types of consumption, performance in load capacity and type of goods, warehouse dimensions and environmental aspects connected to safety and health.





Selection criteria









  • LPG forklifts are capable of maintaining 100% power throughout the day.
  • The time required to refuel an LPG forklift is much less when compared to electric powered forklifts (it takes only five minutes to refill or change an LPG cylinder).
  • Lower energy density per volume of unit, therefore fuel consumption is higher vs diesel (+30-50% cost vs Diesel according to Vietnam market prices/2015).
    • · Diesel forklifts are capable of maintaining 100% power throughout the day.
    • · The time required to refuel a diesel forklift is very short (quick as the time it takes to refill a car tank!).
    • · Fuel consumption is the lowest in the market. Generally this is a long term advantage in cost efficiency.


  • Electric forklifts are subject to the limits of battery duration and process.
  • The time required to charge a battery is usually very long (8 hours).
  • Electric consumption is a considerable cost. Generally this cost makes electric forklift the highest expensive solution in the market.




  • LPG forklifts can be used for all standard and heavy operations, performing 90% of the power compared to diesel forklifts.
  • They have quite silent engines compared to Diesel.
  • They perform well on uneven surfaces & inclines


  • Diesel forklifts perform high capacity and sufficient speed when handling and lifting the loads. They are generally suggested for heavy duty applications and long loads.
  • They have very loud engines.
  • They require more space to manoeuvre than the LPG or electric alternatives, since these units are larger in size.


  • They perform lower capacity when compared to Diesel or LPG. This is the reason why they are not suggested for heavy duty applications.
  • Electric forklifts are very agile and compact. They help with communication amongst workers by providing a low level of noise.
  • Low centre of gravity – more stable at greater lift heights.




  • LPG forklifts are low carbon emitting – burn cleanly with no soot and very few sulphur emissions. This is why they can be used both indoors and outdoors, unlike their diesel counterparts (indoor workspaces should be ventilated).
  • Poor LPG fuel quality in Vietnam cannot give a considerable advantage on emissions.
  • The process of LPG cylinder refueling is very critical and connected with accident risks


  • Diesel forklifts are internal combustion engines, which create exhaust fumes and diesel particulate matter. Since one worrisome aspect of diesel forklifts is the operator health issue, this option is not safe for indoor use.
  • Perfect for outdoor use, under the rain and in wet conditions.


  • Environmentally friendly, electric forklifts do not produce tailpipe emissions.
  • Usable in small areas and indoors, they aren’t appropriate for use outside, especially in wet weather and heavy rain (battery explosions danger).
  • The battery charging station takes up valuable warehouse space, including the ‘parking spaces’ required for the forklifts while charging.


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