Gas vs Diesel vs Electric Forklifts: A Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to moving different loads around a warehouse, a forklift truck will be your best friend! There are a variety of different types of forklift trucks to pick from, and they all come with their own advantages and disadvantages. That’s why we’ve pulled together this handy buyers guide that looks at the three most common types of forklift trucks- gas (also known as LPG), diesel and electric- to help you decide which type of is best for your environment.

So, what are the different types of forklifts?

As we’ve already mentioned, the three most commonly used forklift trucks are LPG forklifts, diesel forklifts and electric forklifts, each suited to different environments due to their mechanical make up. All three variations perform relatively similar roles and can be very useful in whichever environment they are working in.  When deciding which you wish to purchase or hire, it’s important to consider to below:

LPG or Gas Powered Forklifts

LGP Forklifts

LPG powered forklifts (liquified petroleum gas) are most definitely one of the most popular of the different types of forklifts available and have been for a long time. This is mainly due to the versatility of them being able to be used both indoors and outdoors whereas other types of forklifts may be limited as to where they can go.


  • LPG forklifts are widely available for both purchase and hire.
  • Easy to refuel – LPG  gas forklift tanks can be replaced in a matter of minutes, this convenience helps keep forklifts running and workers productive for a larger percentage of their shift.  
  • Non corrosive, non toxic and free from additives.
  • Competitively priced.


  • Unpredictable fuel costs – fuel costs can vary, meaning it’s hard to budget.
  • Less manoeuvrable.
  • Operator training – this type of forklift may require extra training to ensure proper use.

Diesel Powered Forklifts

Diesel Forklift Trucks

Diesel forklift trucks are mainly suited to outdoor environments, as when outside the diesel particles and exhaust fumes can escape into the atmosphere without causing any health and safety issues that could occur if used indoors.


  • Diesel forklift trucks are larger and more powerful than electric forklift trucks.
  • Less expensive to purchase.
  • The engine and mechanics of a diesel engine are simpler than others, making them more reliable.
  • Running costs are usually lower when compared to LPG forklifts.


  • More expensive than other forklift truck fuels.
  • Diesel engines are louder than other forklift fuel engines.
  • Unless you have very well ventilated areas, diesel trucks should only be used outside.

Electric Powered Forklift Trucks

Electric Forklift Trucks

Electric forklift trucks are the most energy efficient and productive out of the different types of forklift trucks on the market. Electric forklifts are ideal for a wide variety of demanding applications such as being in a warehouse for example, however one issue with electric forklifts is that they are not suitable for all environments.


  • Environmentally friendly – workers aren’t forced to breathe in toxic fumes when on an electric forklift, like with other forklift truck fuels.
  • Considered easier to drive than other types of forklifts- due to them only having two pedals – an accelerator and a break pedal.
  • Easier to manoeuvre – electric forklift trucks are more manoeuvrable that other forklift types of forklift trucks.
  • Lower noise level – electric engines are often be quieter than others engines, making for a safer job site.
  • Mechanically simple – meaning easier repairs and greater reliability in comparison to other types of forklifts.


  • Battery charging  – recharging times can be a problem if you are unable to leave it on charge overnight.
  • Generally not suitable for wet or outdoor use- electric forklifts are primarily a warehouse forklift type.
  • More expensive to buy than gas or diesel types of forklifts.

So, Which Forklift to Buy?

If you’re on the market for a new forklift but are unsure on which one to buy, it’s important to consider what you want to get out of it. There are many advantages and disadvantages to all three different types of Forklifts with all three being very popular in warehouses, outdoor environments and industrial settings. Here at Permatt we offer a range of both new and used Electrical, LPG, and Diesel forklift trucks. Interested in finding out more? Contact us today!

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