Internal Combustion or Electric Forklifts: Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the right forklift is essential to the overall success and efficiency of your company. Relying on the wrong type of material handling equipment can result in lost time and money, so you need to be sure you are informed about the different type of forklifts available in today’s market.

Whether you are using the forklift inside a warehouse or in a shipyard or other outdoor venue, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider when choosing an Electric or IC lift truck for your company’s needs.

Indoor or Outdoor

When choosing between engine types, determine where your forklift will be used.  Generally, electric engines are used indoors.  There is no need to worry about harmful carbon monoxide emissions and these machines are quieter than their fuel-burning counterparts.  Quick and easy to maneuver, they help contribute to better air quality and a more peaceful work environment in a bustling warehouse operation.  For outdoor applications, you will want to go with internal combustion models.  Unlike the electric versions, this heavy duty equipment is waterproof, suitable for rough terrain and can withstand the elements.

Load Capacity

What are your weight capacity needs?  Internal combustion forklifts are essential to manufacturing operations because of the sheer weight they’re able to carry.  Performing much better than the electric models during heavy-duty jobs, these machines can lift up to 120,000 pounds. Lighter loads with a maximum weight of 10,000 – 15,000 pounds or lower are more suited to electric models.

Height Limit

Keep in mind that the height needs of your applications will help determine the capacity of the lift truck.  Generally, since electric models lift lighter loads, the height limit is greater than that of internal combustion forklifts.

Whether you go with IC or Electric, total cost of ownership should be top priority when considering the job of any machine.  What you spend on purchasing the forklift initially won’t matter if you have to invest massive amounts of money into upkeep and repair later on down the road due to wrong application.

At The Forklift Pro, we’re here to listen to your specific needs and guide you in the right direction when it comes to purchasing material handling equipment.  New inventory is arriving all the time and if you don’t see it listed, just give us a call.  Chances are it’s on the way! If you’re replacing equipment currently in your inventory, then let us know. We can help sell your used forklifts to our vast network of dealers.