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How much does a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Forklift Cost?

Forklifts come in a wide variety of styles and capacities, and even show up under different names, from the common truck lift to the generic material handling equipment.

Understanding your needs helps you choose the best model. Most all-electric models are smaller, typically only capable of handling smaller loads. LPG models, such as those using propane, are typically mid-sized, with higher load capacity than their electric brethren. Larger models typically run on either gas or diesel and are most often found at construction sites and lumberyards.

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LPG Forklifts

As long as you carry a decent amount of LPG (liquid petroleum gas), a gas-powered forklift takes care of most materials handling needs, whether it's inside the warehouse or out on the jobsite.

LPG-powered engines come at a lower price than their diesel counterparts do, and they're safe for both internal and external use. They also tend to have greater maneuverability thanks to tire and chassis design. Operators prefer the relative quiet of the gas engine compared to the diesel, and experience fewer side effects from the fumes.

The catalytic converters in LPG engines feature greater efficiency, and they outperform both electric motors and diesel internal combustion (IC) engines, thanks to better speed and acceleration. Lift speed is also typically higher with an LPG engine, thanks to lower weight and a more responsive engine.

What to Look for when Buying

First, figure out your budget for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly operation. Understanding what you can afford helps choose between the various options available to you.

Before buying, take the unit out for a spin (so to speak). Some vendors allow you to put the forklift to work for a day or so to determine whether it meets your needs. If not, take one of your better operators with you when looking at vehicles, as he or she likely has the best knowledge of what you need.

Pay attention to brand. Companies earn their reputations. The best brands come with a higher price tag for a reason, as they usually last longer and are more reliable.

Talk to your team about your needs ahead of time, especially if you don't have a lot of personal experience operating a forklift. These machines feature wide variations in features and capacity. There's no point in spending the money on a machine with high weight capacity when a pallet jack would handle your needs.

LPG Forklift Average Costs

Forklift pricing varies widely, based on what you need it to do and your area of the country, plus various other factors. For a warehouse unit of standard capacity, expect to pay between $15,000 and $30,000. If you need one with 10,000-pound capacity, though, you're looking at $25,000 to $50,000. Once you hit the high end, such as a 35,000-pound capacity machine, you're looking at a $100,000 price tag. A used forklift with a 5,000-pound capacity typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000, while a new unit costs you around $20,000.

Operating costs vary as well, but come in at around $11,000 per year, with $1,500 per year in maintenance costs. These totals assume that your crews work two shifts, 250 days per year.

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