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Liquid propane cylinders are found on numerous forklifts. A few facilities are able to refuel their own propane cylinders, nonetheless, nearly all will have their cylinders refilled in a different place and brought to their headquarters instead. Whenever a lift truck runs out of fuel, the cylinders are changed. Some training and cautions is needed whenever handling propane because it is a highly combustible matter.
Personal Protective Equipment, likewise known as PPE, should be worn before filling or changing a forklift cylinder. In view of the fact that liquid propane is very cold, it could result in burns if it comes into skin contact. Always putting on thick leather gloves will help protect hands. Goggles or several standard eyewear along with a face shield is also very recommended. Having a fire extinguished within the immediate vicinity is also suggested before the refuelling process starts.
Ensure the forklift is turned off before starting and extinguish whichever open flames or cigarettes in the area. Look for the fill valve on the cylinder and take out the protective plastic cover, next securely connect the fill line to the fill valve. After the fill line is in place, carefully open the bleed valve. This would be a small spherical knob on the cylinder which is usually brass coloured. A hissing sound may escape whenever the valve is open and this is normal as long as it is only air being vented and not actual propane.
Open the valve extremely unhurriedly on the fill line, listening for any leaks. If there are no leaks, then the valve could be carefully opened. The sounds of fuel entering the tank should be easy to hear. By no means leave the tank unattended when refuelling and watch the bleeder valve through the method. A spray of white propane gas would emit from the bleeder valve once the tank is full. Turn the fill valve off completely and after that close the bleeder valve. Extremely gradually and cautiously take out the fill line from the tank. Watch for whichever extra gas caught in the coupling which will be expelled when the seal is broken. It must only be a small quantity of gas and is normal. Put back the protective cover on the fill valve. Double check all valves are entirely closed. The tank is now set and full to use.
One inconvenience of propane tanks is to have to change, though there are some risks to running out of fuel on a propane lift truck. These units tend to be cheaper to run than the electric and diesel model forklift. The discussion to whether or not the propane emissions are cleaner compared to diesel emissions continues within the industry.
When it comes to performance, propane forklifts seem to handle better than most electric models available on the market when the job requires high applications and constant duty drive line torque. There are several electric models that are reputed to handle equally or better. Depending on the particular circumstances, propane lifts may or may not be acceptable for handling eligible goods and food. As long as WorkSafeBC criteria are met, propane forklifts are acceptable for the majority of indoor applications.
The LPG's key disadvantages when compare to the diesel forklift includes the fact that they are not as effective when performing tasks that require high and or constant duty drive line torque. These models have a liability exposure, due to the possibility of a fuel system leak while the truck is situated indoors. Furthermore, operators should be trained on the safe handling of propane fuel. The rearward visibility off of the back end of the counterweight is restricted. This is because of the propane tank's location.