What would you say if you could improve the comfort and health of your employees while also increasing the efficiency of your LPG forklifts? Sounds too good to be true, right? As it turns out, that’s not only possible, but probable with Lucas Liftruck Services and our forklift emissions testing program.
It might be surprising to hear that your LPG forklifts can be a major source of harmful carbon monoxide (CO) gas, and, in theory, you’re right to be surprised. Generally speaking, LPG forklifts only produce a negligible amount of CO gas – amounts that are easily removed with adequate ventilation. In a properly tuned LPG engine the mixture of fuel and oxygen undergoes what’s known as complete combustion to generate energy, water vapor and carbon dioxide gas. In practice, however, most LPG forklifts provide an imbalanced mixture of fuel and oxygen to the engine and produce additional by-product such as CO gas and carbon soot. As such, an improperly tuned LPG engine can pose both a health hazard, via the product of harmful exhaust gases, and place unnecessary strain on your budget.
Due to the risks associated with exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide gas, OHSA regulations stipulate that employers are responsible for maintaining air quality within acceptable limits in the workplace by keeping CO levels 25ppm. This is because once it is released into the atmosphere, the odorless and invisible CO gas causes a cumulative effect on employee health by preventing red blood cells from carrying oxygen. Symptoms of carbon monoxide overexposure include respiratory irritation, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, coma and death. Since CO gas is heavier than oxygen it poses a significant problem for indoor facilities operating LPG forklifts as the gas does not easily dissipate from the environment. This makes it all the more important to reduce the production of CO gas rather than rely on ventilation to reduce levels within the workplace.
In addition to the health concerns posed by CO gas, the production of CO gas is also indicative of fuel wastage in LPG forklifts. As mentioned above, CO gas is only produced in large quantities when combustion takes place without sufficient amounts of oxygen. In these circumstances, the air-fuel mixture runs rich with a higher ratio of propane than necessary, thereby reducing fuel efficiency. In fact, for every 1% of CO emissions above the targeted level of 0.5%, between 3 - 5% of the fuel is wasted. This is concerning as without fine-tuned adjustments over 90% of all forklifts will have CO levels between 3% and 10%. How much money could you save if you reduced your LPG fuel costs by even 10%?
By analyzing your exhaust gas emissions and properly adjusting the mixture of fuel and air within the engine, we can effectively reduce the levels of harmful emissions in the exhaust, as well as ensuring proper engine power and fuel consumption. Even at the lower end of the spectrum, properly adjusting your LPG forklift through Lucas’s emissions testing program could save hundreds - or even thousands - of dollars on annual fuel costs for every forklift tested. For more information on our emissions testing and exhaust gas analysis program, please contact us today online or call us at 905-227-3291.