There are actually 2 types of forklifts, based mostly on whether or not they run on electricity or gas:
Internal Combustion Forklifts: The Internal Combustion Lift Trucks run on gas, liquid propane, CNG or compressed natural gas or diesel. The gas powered units are meant to be used outside because they release gases and pollutants that can be dangerous if inhaled. Models which run on gasoline are also great for use in the rain and in bad weather conditions. These models could carry weights about 15,000 to 35,000 pounds. Because of the maintenance and fuel expenses, the gas powered models are a lot more costly to use compared to units which run on electricity, however, they cost much less up front compared to the electric units. The liquid propane models are the best choice to be utilized indoors.
Electric Forklifts: The electric forklift units are powered by very large batteries which must be recharged. The vehicles do not create any polluting air emissions like these units do not burn any fuel. They are the best choice for indoor applications and warehouses. Moreover, electric forklifts are much quieter to run compared to other models and they do not need any fuel storage units. Among the downsides of electric powered units is that they could not carry loads over 15,000 pounds and thus, have a slower acceleration compared to the units which use gasoline.
The forklift is specially designed to transport goods and supplies quickly and easily. Mishaps do occur often as is the case with nearly all kinds of machinery. There are specific safety rules that must be followed so as to keep everybody safe. The most important concern is recruiting a trained operator, who could show you a valid lift truck license.
There are many different kinds of lift trucks available on the market. Deciding which one is right for your specific needs will be based on the kinds of loads that you need to transport, what kind of environment your machinery would need to operate in, like for instance, outdoors or indoors or both. Once you understand your specific needs, it would be easy to match up to the right type of forklift. When you know all your needs exactly you could make a correct decision.
Another great way to get first hand experience on the different forklift units is the try leasing your forklift. This would also allow you to see all the possible choices available to you. This is a less expensive way to determine if the machine you have in mind can keep up with you on the job location.