Electric Forklifts Vs. Propane Forklifts Vs. Diesel Forklifts

Forklift Repairs in Toronto

There are many Toronto businesses for which a forklift rental makes more sense than purchasing or leasing.

Whether this is because, they require the vehicle for a single project or whether the business performs seasonal work and only uses the vehicles a few weeks or months out of the year, or whether they require a rental while the their own vehicle is in the shop, we can help business owners decide on the lift truck rental that best suits their needs.

We know that you have choices in who you do business with, so we strive to be the best at what we do.


Whether or not you decide to rent a forklift for your business will ultimately depend on your company’s needs and circumstances. And whether you are leaning toward buying or renting, the professionals at Modern Forklift can help you come up with the best solution for your Toronto business.

Electric Forklifts Vs. Propane Forklifts Vs. Diesel Forklifts

Are searching for the ideal forklift for your business or warehouse? Below are the advantages and disadvantages of these three types of forklifts: electric forklifts, propane forklifts and diesel forklifts. This will help you do a comparison and choose the one that is best for you.

Advantages of Electric Forklifts

  • Electric forklifts have no emissions in their tailpipe. This results in a better environment which is safer for employees to work in.
  • Lift trucks which are electric make less noise during operation. The result is a better and safer work environment for the employees.
  • Fuel cost is eliminated. It saves close to $26,000 in propane for 5 years when using a forklift with a capacity of 5,000 lb. for 6 hours a day and 5 days in a week.
  • Electric lift trucks spend less on repair and planned maintenance. This is because they do not have engines, radiators or transmissions.
  • They have better stability and capacity ratings at high lifting heights. This is contributed partly by low center of gravity.
  • Operator productivity is higher. This is because there are few hand/arm/hand movements needed to operate a truck lift that is electric.

Disadvantages of Electric Forklifts

  • In multi-shift operation, it may not be manageable to water, charge and clean the costly industrial battery which is very important.
  • In case you forget to charge the battery during the night, you may suffer significant productivity effects the following day especially if the business has only one forklift.
  • When exposed to corrosive and abusive applications or cold and wet weather, it may not perform as expected and may not be reliable.
  • The initial purchasing price is very high
  • In applications that require unchanging duty drive line torque it may not meet the expected performance.

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Advantages of Propane Forklifts

  • The initial cost of purchasing a propane forklift is lower than that of an electric or diesel forklift.
  • When application requires high constant duty drive line torque it is better than many electric forklifts.
  • It’s acceptable for most applications that are done indoors

Disadvantages of Propane Forklifts

  • It is not as effective as diesel trucks in applications that require constant and high duty line torque.
  • Location of the propane tank restricts towards the back visibility off the counterweight back end.
  • Fuel system leak is possible whilst the truck is indoors. This is a liability exposure.
  • The cost of fuel is higher compared to diesel or electric forklifts
  • Propane tanks are changed frequently which can cause possible injuries

Advantages of Diesel Forklifts

  • Fuel cost is less compared to propane forklifts
  • They produce greater drive line torque compared with electric or propane forklifts
  • Visibility towards the back is better compared to propane forklifts
  • Compared to propane forklifts, overall repair and planned maintenance is less
  • Low cost of ownership compared to propane forklifts
  • They have longer engine life compared with propane forklifts

Disadvantages of Diesel Forklifts

  • Without good ventilation and expensive emission appliances, it is not suitable to be used indoors
  • Sometimes the cost of diesel can be higher than that of propane
  • The cost of a big tank for storing fuel is high and more than the cost of the forklift and this storage is at times necessary.

Each type of forklift has both advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will depend on why you need the forklift as well as your tastes and preferences. Besides, if you need forklift repairs Toronto, you can always talk to us.

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