Internal Combustion Forklift Guide

Share Button

What is an Internal Combustion Forklift?

You might have heard someone talking about an “IC” forklift or internal combustion forklifts. What this means is that a forklift’s power source is an internal combustion engine. An internal combustion engine is one that runs on a fuel such as LP Gas, compressed natural gas, gasoline, or diesel. Many of the most common forklifts are internal combustion forklifts.

What Types of Forklifts Have Internal Combustion Engines?

Many common sit-down style forklifts are equipped with IC engines. These include indoor cushion tire forklifts, indoor/outdoor pneumatic tire forklifts, and outdoor or rough terrain forklifts.

167614 Caterpillar C4000 used forkliftCushion tire forklifts have smooth or treaded pressed-on tires. These tires are meant for smooth and dry surfaces, which are typically indoor surfaces.  Most of these forklifts will have an IC engine that runs on LP Gas, because LP Gas is safe to burn indoors.  Some cushion tire forklifts will run on diesel fuel, but these will be used outside.  Diesel fumes are very dangerous and cannot be allowed to accumulate in confined spaces.

207804 Caterpillar GP40K used forkliftPneumatic tire forklifts have larger solid rubber tires or air filled tires.  These forklifts can be used indoors and on semi-rough surfaces since the larger tires will absorb more shock.  Pneumatic tire forklifts most commonly run on LP Gas, but they also commonly use diesel fuel.  Gasoline is the least common fuel type for a pneumatic tire forklift.

207601 Sellick SD120 Used ForkliftRough terrain forklifts are used outdoors at places like construction sites and farms.  These forklifts have very large tires and can navigate gravel, dirt, mud, and sand better than any other type of forklift.  A rough terrain forklift will most commonly have a diesel engine.  It is safe for a rough terrain forklift to burn diesel fuel because this type of forklift will always be used outside.

How Do You Maintain an IC Forklift Engine?

An engine in a forklift should be maintained much like an engine in a car.  The oil should be changed on a regular basis, the air filter should be cleaned and exchanged for a new one, and all fluids should be regularly checked and maintained.

Some forklifts are used in dusty or harsh environments.  These environments will require the forklift to be maintained on a more regular basis since dust and debris can clog the air filter, can get caught in moving parts like the cooling fan, and can generally harm the engine much faster.

Some maintenance can be done by the owner of the forklift, but as it is with later model automobiles, many repairs need a computer diagnosis that only a dealer can provide.

If you have any questions about internal combustion forklifts, you can call us 888-492-5573.

Tags: , ,