With so many different styles of forklifts available on the market, it can be a struggle to figure out what kind of propane tank you will need to buy.

As an expensive bit of kit, you want to be certain that you are getting the right purchase the first time to save you money and resources.

As you are dealing with propane, it can also be pretty dangerous to use a tank that is not suited for your forklift, so you want to make doubly sure that you are getting the right one!

What Size Are Propane Tanks For Forklifts?

Propane tanks come in two main types:

  1. The standard type has a capacity of around 2-3 gallons (7.6 – 11.4 liters). This is usually used for smaller forklifts such as pallet jacks and reach stackers.
  2. The large capacity type has a capacity between 4-5 gallons (15.2 – 22.8 liters). This is usually found on larger forklifts such as reach stackers and pallet trucks.

The size of the tank you choose depends on how often you plan to fill up the tank and how much fuel you expect to use each day.

You should also consider whether or not you have access to a filling station nearby where you can top up the tank when needed.

How Much Does A Propane Tank Cost?

A propane tank costs anywhere from $50-$100 depending on the brand and model.

If you are looking at buying a new tank, then you may find that you can get a better deal by going directly to the manufacturer.

They will normally offer discounts for bulk purchases and you can sometimes get them cheaper than buying them from a retailer.

How Much Fuel Do I Need To Run My Forklift?

The amount of fuel you need to run your forklift will depend on the model you own.

If you are using a small forklift like a pallet jack then you may only require 1 gallon per hour. However, if you are running a bigger machine like a reach stacker or a pallet truck then you may require more than this.

It all depends on how heavy the load you are carrying is and how far you are going.

You can find out exactly how much fuel you need by taking into account the following factors:

  • The weight of the load you are moving
  • How long do you intend to carry the load for
  • How fast you are traveling
  • The distance you travel each day

When buying a new forklift, you will also want to think about how easy it is to refuel the machine. Some models have a filler cap at the back of the unit, whilst others do not.

If you don’t have a filler cap, then you will need to get a special extension hose fitted to the tank before refilling.

You should always try to keep at least half full of fuel in your tank. If you find yourself running low on fuel, then you will need to refill the tank before you run out completely.

If you are using a small forklift like a pallet jack or reach stacker, then you should only need to fill up once every couple of days.

However, if you are using a larger forklift like a reach stacker, then this could be more than twice per week.

If you are using a forklift in a warehouse environment, then you may find that you have to refuel your forklift several times during a shift.

Read More: Forklift Safety Tips

What Different Types Of Propane Tanks Are There For Forklifts?

Forklift Propane Tank Sizes

There are three main types of propane tanks for forklifts:

  1. The standard style tank
  2. The extended style tank
  3. The high-pressure tank

Standard Style Tanks

A standard-style propane tank is the most common type of tank found on forklifts. They are usually made from plastic and have a capacity of around 2 to 3 gallons (7.6 to 11.4 liters).

These tanks are perfect for smaller machines like pallet jacks and reach stackers. They are very cheap to buy but they are not suitable for heavier loads.

Extended Style Tanks

An extended-style propane tank is ideal for larger forklifts such as reach stackers and pallets trucks. They are generally made from steel and have a capacity of between 4 and 5 gallons (15.2 to 22.8 liters).

Extended style tanks are slightly more expensive than standard style tanks but they last longer and are easier to refill.

High-Pressure Tanks

These tanks are designed specifically for use with larger forklifts that have higher demands on their engine.

High-pressure tanks have an internal pressure of over 200 psi (13.8 bar), making them safer and more efficient than standard tanks. They are also stronger and can withstand more abuse.

Read More: Forklift Driving Tips To Become A Better Operator

How Long Can A Forklift Run On A Single Tank Of Propane?

It is important to remember that every forklift has different requirements.

Some machines are used in warehouses where there is little traffic while other machines are used in factories where there is constant movement.

This means that some machines will be able to work harder than others. So what does this mean?

Well, if you are planning to use your forklift as part of a fleet then you need to take into consideration how many hours your forklift will be able to operate on one tank of propane.

You should always consider purchasing extra tanks so that you never run out of fuel.

If you are wondering how much fuel your propane tank will hold, then you can calculate this using the formula below:

Fuel Capacity Weight x Volume

So for example, let’s say you wanted to know how much fuel would fit inside a 1 tonne (1000kg) forklift. Using the above formula we would simply multiply 1000 by 0.5 cubic feet (0.5m³):

1000 x 0.5 500

500 x 0.069 34.5 liter

So in this case, the 1-tonne forklift would hold approximately 34.5 liters of fuel.

How Much Fuel Does My Forklift Use Per Hour?

Forklift Propane Tank Sizes

The amount of fuel your forklift uses per hour depends on several factors including the weight of the load being carried, the speed at which it is traveling and the distance traveled.

It is therefore impossible to give a precise answer to this question.

However, there are two ways to estimate how much fuel your forklift uses. Firstly, you can look at the manufacturer’s specifications or datasheet.

Secondly, you can measure the amount of fuel your machine consumes when carrying a known load.

How Long Will My Forklift Last?

The average working life of a forklift is 10 years. This means that if you are lucky enough to own a machine that lasts that long, you could save yourself thousands of pounds in replacement costs.

However, if you only expect your machine to last for five or six years, then you may end up spending a lot more money replacing the machine sooner rather than later.

When Is It Time To Replace My Propane Tank?

It is important to replace your tank after a year because they are prone to leaking due to their age.

If you don’t do this, then there is a chance that you could end up spilling gas all over the place. This can lead to serious damage to property and even injury.

So, it is best to get rid of old tanks before they start to leak.

Read More: What Must Be Done Daily Before Using a Forklift?

Final Thoughts

With the simple formula above, you’ll be able to easily work out what size propane tank you will need for your forklift.

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and make sure that you purchase a tank that is large enough for your needs. Remember, too, that larger tanks cost more!