Propane Forklifts

There are new regulations for propane forklifts operating in California, and the Western Propane Gas Association is here to help you and your customers comply.

Use our  "how-to" document , which provides basic information on the regulation and shows you what is needed to comply.

Numerous resources are available to assist propane forklift operators with the safe operation and maintenance of their equipment. Click here for more information about propane forklift safety.  

Propane fuels 670,000 forkflifts in U.S. factories and warehouses, representing the largest segment of the propane internal combustion engine market. Propane is a non-toxic, clean-burning fuel that can be used to safely power forklifts both indoors and outdoors. With propane, there is no spillage loss or evaporation into the atmosphere.  Propane forklift tanks, fuel lines and carburetion components meet or exceed strict specifications. Built-in safety devices automatically shut off the flow of fuel in case of an accident.Propane forklifts can be used in indoor and outdoor applications. Propane is the most portable fuel. Propane cylinders can be stored and moved virtually anywhere within a work site. Propane forklifts maintain consistent, 100-percent power throughout operation. They have the ability to push and pull heavy loads at full capacity, up and down inclines, for a longer amount of time, and with better ground speeds than electric forklifts. Propane forklifts require very little refueling time compared to natural gas-powered and electric forklifts. Propane produces fewer engine deposits than gasoline and diesel fuel, resulting in lower maintenance costs. Propane engines can typically last up to twice as long as gasoline engines. 

There are seven classes of forklifts:

  • Class 1: Electric motor, sit-down rider, counterbalanced trucks (both solid and pneumatic tires) 
  • Class 2: Electric motor, narrow aisle trucks (solid tires) 
  • Class 3: Electric motor hand trucks or hand/rider trucks (solid tires) 
  • Class 4: Internal combustion engine trucks (solid tires) 
  • Class 5: Internal combustion engine trucks (pneumatic tires) 
  • Class 6: Electric & internal combustion engine tractors (both solid and pneumatic tires) 
  • Class 7: Rough terrain forklift trucks (pneumatic tires) 

Propane forklifts are primarily Class 4 and Class 5 forklifts.