Natural gas forklifts are an especially good choice for companies concerned about air quality in their warehouses:
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 and converting the vehicles by installing new fuel tanks, carburetors, fuel lines and fittings.
The following companies provide equipment and services for natural gas forklift conversions:
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 converted its entire fleet.
In addition to the improvement in indoor air quality, the company achieved an estimated $30,000 dollar reduction in annual fuel savings and annual savings of more than $13,000 in maintenance costs because reduced wear and tear on engines from cleaner burning natural gas.Source: American Gas Association
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 converted 10 of its 24 forklifts to natural gas. The company found that the natural gas forklifts not only cost less to operate but also 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 costs for their other 14 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.