Propane is used to power almost everything from engines to portable stoves to residential central heating. Propane is also used to power, you guessed it, forklifts. But, how much do you actually know about propane? A basic knowledge of propane is fundamental in keeping your forklift in check, so to make sure that everything is working properly.

What is propane?

Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, or LPG, is a hydrocarbon (C3H8). It is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and Energy Policy Act of 1992, it is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels.

What are the benefits of propane forklifts?

  1. There is little chance of running out of fuel, and even then there’s just a small hassle of changing the propane tank (which will probably only happen once in a blue moon)
  2. Initial purchase price + capital cost = overall lower than electric and diesel
  3. As one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels, propane emissions are cleaner than diesel

You will have to keep an eye on your propane tank to ensure that things go smoothly with your forklift.

Here are a few precautions you should take when handling a propane tank including knowing whether your tank is leaking and what to do.

  • You can tell your tank is leaking, most obviously, by the smell
  • An oily film develops around the valve or fitting connections
  • Your tank emits a low “pssss” sound or a high-pitched squeal
  • You should check for a frosting or freezing spot on the container surface

As soon as you realise that your tank is leaking you should get it outside straight away and away from ignition. DO NOT continue to drive the forklift.

There are a few other things that you should be aware of when it comes to propane forklifts. One of them is the possibility of your forklift tank freezing up or sweating whilst on the forklift. There are number of reasons for this happening:

  1. The tank is places incorrectly
  2. The liquid tube is broken inside the container
  3. A vapour withdraw tank/cylinder is being used on a liquid withdraw system

Checking on these things will get you back on the right track with your forklift. Be sure to do regular maintenance on your forklift! Have a look at our Hire page to see how we can cater to your forklift needs.

photo credit: millerm217 via photopin cc

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