Forklift Fuel Types

What’s right for you and your business?

When choosing the right forklift fuel for your business, there are plenty of aspects to consider. These can include ease of use, sustainability, efficiency, cost, performance and much, much more. That’s why Locators has put together this quick and handy guide. We’ll cover the basics when it comes to the different forklift fuel types available, as well as their applications and advantages. With this information, you’ll be armed with the facts you need to make the right choice for you and your business.


The popular solution.

LPG-powered forklifts are a popular solution in warehouses and the manufacturing sector. This is especially the case when equipment is expected to work over long shifts, both in and outdoors.

Speedy Refuelling

LPG forklifts take roughly five minutes to refuel. Meaning, you and your business experience less downtime unlike having to re-charge batteries.

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Low Carbon Emissions

LP Gas burns cleanly with no soot and leaves very few sulphur emissions. Better yet, Toyota LPG trucks have 3-way catalysts as standard.

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Powerful Performance

LPG forklifts feature remarkably responsive engines. This innovative design results in superior travel speeds, rates of acceleration, and lift speeds.


Known for torque and power.

Of all the forklift fuels, diesel-powered machines tend to provide the most torque and power. Especially when it comes to heavy-duty outdoor applications. Why? Simply because emissions are not considered as much of an issue outside as they are no longer in an enclosed space.

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Lower Running Costs

Diesel is a far more cost-effective fuel compared to LPG.

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More Torque

Diesel forklifts typically have greater torque than other fuel types.

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Greater Efficiency

Due to the size of their tanks, diesel forklifts are far more fuel efficient.

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Speedy Refuelling

Much like LPG forklifts, diesel forklifts take around five minutes to refuel.


Avoid unhealthy emissions.

Lead-acid is one of the fuels used in battery-powered (or electric) forklifts. They resemble a car battery and come in a case with an electrolyte, water and sulphuric acid mixture. Many internal trucks are only available as battery-powered to avoid unhealthy emissions. However, unlike the speedy refuelling times of diesel and LPG, electric forklifts can take a whopping 8-12 hours to charge.

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Lower Running Costs

Electric trucks require less serviceable parts to replace and is a cheaper fuel alternative to diesel or LPG forklifts.

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Easy to Operate

Unlike LPG or diesel, electric forklifts only have a brake and accelerator pedal. They also feature automatic braking.

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Unlike the gas-guzzling motors, electric trucks present a far quieter and nicer operating environment.

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Low Emissions

Lead-acid batteries keep your operation cleaner. There’s a reason most – if not all – indoor trucks are electric!


Electric power.

Lithium is used in lithium-ion batteries to power electric forklifts. Despite being a relatively new technology, (it was first introduced in the 1990s) all manufacturers now offer Li-Ion options. However, Toyota is unique in that their own batteries are built using the most efficient chemical compounds. Plus, they’re designed to be repairable in the field.

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Fast Charging

You can fully charge a lithium-ion battery in as little as 2 hours. Opportunity charging is part of normal operation.

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Less Time & Labour

Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be changed for multi-shift or topped up and are maintenance-free.

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Better Performance

Lithium-ion batteries deliver consistent voltage. This ensures that your machine doesn’t slow down as it loses charge.

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Safer & Greener

Unlike LPG or diesel motors, electric trucks do not emit CO2 gas. There’s also no risk of acid spills.


Your choice of forklift fuel can have a huge effect on the operational costs and efficiency of your business. It’s important to get it right and we can help you make this all-important decision. At Locators, we’re an industry-leading independent materials handling company. For over 35 years, our team have specialised in industrial forklifts and storage solutions.

To find out how we can help your business, email today, or call 01202 854 200 to arrange a discussion with a member of our expert team.

What our clients say

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa