How Long Can a Forklift Run on a Single Tank of Propane?

by Gregg Robinson on March 7, 2017
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how long can a forklift run on a single tank of propaneEver wondered if you’re getting the “right” amount of run time from your forklift’s propane tank? In today’s blog post, we’ll cover how many hours of run time you can expect from single bottle of propane on forklifts of various sizes. If you’re experiencing below-average performance from your LPG forklift, we’ll list some common culprits.

About 90% of forklifts use an eight gallon (33 pound) tank of liquid propane. If your LPG forklift has a four-cylinder engine, the tank should last about eight hours.

Bigger engines reduce fuel efficiency, just like cars. Just as a Chevy Spark will go a lot farther on eight gallons of gas than an F350 Dually, a V6 forklift engine will burn through an eight gallon bottle of propane in six hours (on average). Anything larger than a V6 will last four to six hours.

If you’re running an 8,000lb or larger LPG forklift with a V6 or V8 engine, your machine might have a larger, ten gallon (43 pound) propane tank. These larger bottles can extend run time to six hours.

Propane-Forklift-Cylinder-Dimensions

What Causes LPG Forklifts to Use More Propane Than Normal?

Attachments like double load carriers enable the machine to lift more. Since the machine is doing more work, it uses more fuel. If you’re not getting eight hours out of your forklift’s propane bottle, and you’re using a single-double, that’s why.

Also, an engine that isn’t turned up properly will eat up the liquid propane. Above-average fuel consumption could be the sign of a bigger problem. Contact a service technician to have your machine checked out.

Gunning the engine and long travel distances also reduce fuel efficiency. Turning off the engine when not in use, and eliminating unnecessary travel can extend runtime to ten or even twelve hours.*

* Based on a 5,000 lb, 4-cylinder Toyota forklift

Please contact us online, or by phone, with any forklift questions you may have. 
East Bay - Livermore  (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091 

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Topics: LPG Forklifts, Forklift FAQs