Choosing the Right Forklift
12 Jan

Choosing the Right Forklift

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Inside of every warehouse across the country you will find and environment much like the inside of a beehive. Operators and workers constantly moving around performing tasks necessary to keep the hive running smoothly. To keep things running smoothly almost every warehouse uses forklifts to help move heavy objects and products around. However, there are different types of forklifts available, so choosing the right type of forklift for your line of work is important. Operating with the wrong type of forklift can lead a company to unnecessary spending, creating a costly endeavor. While there are many different styles of ranging from three-wheel counterbalance lift trucks to reach trucks. In this post we will be discussing diesel, propane, and battery-operated forklifts.

A Brief History

The origin of the forklift cannot be exactly pinpointed but it’s believed that the first forklift was created during the early twentieth century and took off during the first world war as many places were forced to move heavy objects and product for the war without the labor to do so. After development through the roaring twenties many different styles and models were available in the market. It was not until the later 40s and early 50s that we saw the development of the common style we see today.


          These forklifts can be argued as the most versatile lifts in warehouse today. Propane powered lifts are great for both indoor and outdoor usage. Their low emissions make it safe to operate inside the warehouse all day long, unlike gas operated lifts. They can work outside in the cold as well without losing power making the propane lift a very adaptable option that preforms in all environments. Propane operated forklifts do require more regulatory maintenance compared to others, cleaning and having clear gas lines are essential for optimal performance. Along with that storage for the propane tanks should be maintained outside of the building in a safe area with a pad lock which can be a hassle to deal with during a busy time.


Gas operated forklifts are the Clydesdales of forklifts in every sense, these lifts have the most power giving them the ability to handle heavy items. To go with this, they are also the biggest of them all in terms of size and weight. Operating on diesel means they are more efficient compared to propane and overall costing less. Running on diesel has its draw backs as well, emissions from these lifts make it impossible to operate inside. As it would pollute the air in the warehouse, making it an outdoor only lift. Maintenance of these machines are easier compared to propane and seem to break down much less as well.

Battery Operated

Battery powered electric forklifts are quite and give off no emissions, which is why they are the most commonly used indoor lift. These forklifts are more compact and have a better turn radius compared to the diesel-powered lifts. Being electric they require less maintenance compared to its counter parts. These require charging every night and will last most of the day, however in cold storage situations they do not perform as well as they lose power fast in the cold temperatures. Making them an indoor only lift depending on the climate in which you operate. The upfront cost is high due to the price of batteries as well.

At Sky Logistics & Distribution, Inc we operate with mostly battery powered lifts as we have most of our storage and duties occurring inside. Overall different forklifts are going to work better for different situations and tasks. It is important to do your research and find out what you are going to need your forklift to do and where most of the work is going to be done.

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