Natural Gas Forklifts: Improve Indoor Environment
Choosing natural gas for business equipment is an environmentally responsible way to get the reliability and performance your business needs. Natural gas produces far less greenhouse-gas emissions and carbon than competing energy sources.
When you choose natural gas forklifts, you help the environment, but you also save money, increase safety, improve air quality, refuel more easily, and reduce maintenance.
Fueling a natural gas forklift typically costs less than electric. Plus, natural gas lifts require the least maintenance – and you’re not losing the time you spend recharging an electric unit’s battery.
Natural gas forklift operation can help to make your facility a safer workplace for your employees. In the event of a leak, natural gas will dissipate into the air, unlike other fuels, which could form a pool on the ground that could be ignited and start a fire.
Better Indoor Air Quality
Natural gas forklifts produce much less carbon monoxide than those powered by gasoline or diesel, meaning better indoor air quality. Natural gas also produces lower emissions of other hazardous materials, such as nitrous oxides, and can help companies meet OSHA requirements for indoor air quality standards. In addition, natural gas does not produce the noxious odor sometimes associated with gasoline and diesel vehicles.
Refueling is safer and more convenient with natural gas. Natural gas is dispensed through a sealed system with no leakage. Operators can easily be trained to dispense natural gas, and no protective clothing is required. You can also refuel natural gas forklifts indoors, unlike propane, diesel and gasoline vehicles.
Reduced Maintenance Convert to Natural Gas
Natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, which means less wear and tear on engine parts, according to the American Gas Association. Also, natural gas forklifts do not require the battery maintenance of electric forklifts, which can lead to extensive downtime.
Converting your forklifts to natural gas is an investment, but it’s not as expensive or time-consuming as you might think. It just means installing a natural gas refueling station to compress the natural gas and dispense it to your vehicles. And your forklift operators do not have to be certified to handle the refueling equipment. Converting the vehicles themselves typically involves new fuel tanks, carburetors, fuel lines and fittings.
Case Study: Warehouse Associates
Warehouse Associates is an Ohio company that provides warehousing services at two locations with more than 500,000 square feet of space. Management became concerned when employees began to complain about headaches, especially during the winter months when facility doors were kept closed for heating purposes. A study revealed excessive carbon monoxide from the company’s 21 forklifts was the problem.
The company considered switching to electric vehicles, but abandoned those plans because of the high costs. Warehouse Associates instead converted its lifts to run on natural gas – starting with 13 forklifts. After tests revealed that CO levels had dropped and employee complaints about headaches had dissipated, the company decided to convert the rest of the fleet.
In addition to the improvement in indoor air quality, the company achieved an estimated $30,000 dollar reduction in annual fuel savings over the original forklifts. Also, annual savings of more than $13,000 was recorded from extending preventive maintenance intervals as a result of the reduced wear and tear on engines from cleaner burning natural gas.
Source: American Gas Association
Case Study: Duckwall-Pooley Fruit Company Equipment Suppliers
The Duckwall-Pooley Fruit Company is an 80-year old packing business in Odell, Oregon. To improve air quality and reduce energy costs in its warehouses, the company decided to convert 10 of its 24 forklifts to run on natural gas. The company found that the natural gas forklifts not only cost less to operate, but reduced carbon monoxide emissions by 80 percent. Fuel costs for the natural gas forklifts amounted to about $600 to $700 per year, approximately $900 less than the fuel cost for their existing units. In addition, the on-site compressor and fueling station allowed for convenient refueling, without requiring changing the fuel tanks. Read the entire case study.
The following companies provide equipment and services for natural gas forklift conversions.
P.C. McKenzie Company
NESC Williams (Thompson & Johnson Equipment, Inc.)