Saving Energy To Save Money

How To Change The Liquid Propane Tank On A Forklift

New operators have to learn many things to safely operate and maintain the forklifts that are assigned to them. Many companies expect their forklift operators to know how to remove and install a new propane tank when the old tank runs out of gas. Here is how you can safely remove and install a new liquid propane (LP) tank on the average forklift.

You Will Need:

  • New Tank
  • Thick Rubber Gloves
  • Wrap-Around Safety Glasses

Being Safe

You have to protect yourself against LP being accidentally released through a fitting or a hose while you are changing the tanks. LP is stored at a temperature of minus 44 degrees Fahrenheit, and could damage your skin and eyes if it sprays on you. Make sure to wear eye protection and gloves when changing tanks.

Removing Tank

Make sure the gas line and coupler don't have any LP in them that could harm you before you remove them from the old tank.  You can ensure the line is empty by shutting off the coupler and letting the forklift run until it uses up all the gas in the line - the forklift will shut down at that point.

Unscrew the coupler counter-clockwise and remove it once the forklift runs out of fuel.

Release the latch on the belt bracket wrapped around the tank.

Lift the tank out of the back of the forklift.

Installing New Tank

Set the new tank onto the forklift properly to keep if from rolling around or becoming dislodged. The protective collar on the tank has a slot that a thick metal pin on the forklift goes through when you put the tank onto the LP bed of the forklift. Put the tank in the LP bed and line up the pin to secure it.

Put the LP belt bracket around the tank and latch it in place.

Make sure the gas valve is turned off on the LP tank before you put the coupler back on. There is a check valve inside of the gas valve to protect against leakage when the coupler is detached, and if you insert the coupler while the gas valve is open, you'll open the check valve and LP could spray out.

Hook the coupler onto the valve, and slowly turn on the gas.

You should turn the gas on slowly for two reasons. The first reason is to check for leaks. Shut the LP off quickly if any leaks appear. The second reason is that LP tanks have surge valves inside of them. If the gas is released too quickly, the surge valve shuts the gas line in the tank down as a protective measure.

Open the gas valve all the way to ensure proper flow of LP from the tank to the forklift's motor.

For more guidance about handling LP gas tanks safely, talk with a supplier like L P Gas Services Inc.