Gas Or Electric, What Forklift Do You Need?

Getting the right appliance for your needs is important. There are advantages and disadvantages to both gas and electric. An electric car has its advantages. It may save more money on gas, but it still racks up cash on the electric bill. Plus electric cars are usually a lot slower than a gas powered one.

While choosing, it is important to keep your needs in mind. If you aren’t planning on becoming a racecar driver, maybe speed isn’t a huge factor for you. Electric cars are still better for the environment than gas ones. Plus if you have your own solar panels, you probably have a surplus of power anyways.

When it comes to forklifts, choosing between gas and electric is just as important. Each type fits different needs. Do the research beforehand to ensure that you get exactly what you are looking for.


 Power can be important depending on the operator. Electric forklifts work off of heavy-duty batteries that usually need to be charged every 6 to 8 hours. If you are working off site at a job that has no regular access to power, electric may not be the best for you. Plus instead of just filling the tank up with gas, electric forklifts have to wait hours for the charge. Electric does have its advantages if you do have access to a power outlet. They will last much longer than gas forklifts with less maintenance.

There is some variation in the interest of fuel within the different types of gas-powered forklifts. Usually diesel forklifts are cheaper to run than propane forklifts, although the cost is still higher than electric.

The flip side is: in many cases, gas forklifts are more user-friendly despite their cost. Determining how often your forklift will be used, as well as how much previous training the user has is important when making the decision. No matter which you use, both will help speed up production in the warehouse or job site.


 If you care about emissions, electric forklifts have gas ones beat. Using a gas forklift inside can be a stinky task, but more importantly, it can be detrimental to the quality of the work environment. Because of the emissions produced, there are many types of gas forklifts, such as diesel, that cannot be used inside unless the building has advanced ventilation. Without a tailpipe emitting emissions, electric forklifts will keep workers safer and healthier in any environment.

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Although we often look at emission as air contamination, one other hazard gas forklifts emit is noise. Compared to the electric forklift, gas ones create more noise than somebody’s Gangnam Style ringtone going off in the middle of a funeral. Maybe not that much, but it’s still a lot. The noise level of an environment can change everything.

Warehouse work can be loud, but it can get worse with a gas forklift. At one of the jobs I had, I worked in a foursquare of cubicles. We each worked facing our corner, typing in numbers. One guy decided to play his radio. Loud. We could all hear it; it was even a rock station I liked. Yet listening to it every second of the day got to be too much. Then a new girl started in the cubicle next to him, and the battle ensued. She played her country at a decibel comparable to his. If you have ever wondered what pure country mixed with pure rock sounds like, it’s not good.

The same thing can happen with a gas-powered forklift. There is already unsettling noise present in a warehouse, why add more? Unless of course you are already at a busy job site with drills buzzing and hammers echoing. At that point the noise of a forklift doesn’t make any difference.

The choice

 It seems as though electric forklifts are the better option in many cases, but the gas forklift has its place as well. The need of the operator changes which forklift is best. Here are some of the benefits of a gas forklift:

  • Recharging is as simple as filling up the tank, there’s no need to spend hours plugged into a wall
  • All propane forklifts will shut off if there has been an accident making them a safer option
  • The initial cost is often less than an electric forklift

A forklift will help improve efficiency on a job site or in a warehouse. Choosing the right forklift can make all the difference. The decision between gas and electric can be difficult, research which one will best meet your needs.

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