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Old 11-11-2008, 08:42 AM   #1
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Forklift Tanks

I have access to several used aluminum 33 1/2 lbs LP tanks that were used to fuel forklifts. I know I can have them rebuilt and inspected if necessary, but as long as they have the OPD coupling, shouldn't they be a straight replacement for the twenty pounders I have now??
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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Forklift tanks are generally used horizontally, rather than vertically. You may run into a problem with picking up liquid, rather than vapor, and the collar on a forklift tank is very different than a standard LP tank. You may have a problem securing the tank to your trailer.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:58 AM   #3
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If you can get an OPD valve on one of the ports you should be a go. Getting the right OPD valve might be a problem as even an OPD for the standard 30# aluminum RV tanks often confused people.

The collar is an issue in that it goes completely around. The hassle as I see it is going to be hose access to the OPD valve. (see foreground in pic at propane101)

I am a bit confused by Terry's observation. The forklift tanks I saw at a local propane dealer are for vertical mount (DoT). They have multiple ports on top inside the collar. Horizontal tanks (ASME) usually have the ports on the side like in my B-Van or serving mobile homes. I would think a horizontal forklift tank would be and permanently installed.

In another thread on this, Lewster indicated that forklift tanks did not have an 'RV rating' but I have yet to find any other mention or description of this rating.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper View Post

I am a bit confused by Terry's observation. The forklift tanks I saw at a local propane dealer are for vertical mount (DoT). They have multiple ports on top inside the collar. Horizontal tanks (ASME) usually have the ports on the side like in my B-Van or serving mobile homes. I would think a horizontal forklift tank would be and permanently installed.
Here is a horizontal LP tank on a forklift, it is designed to be removed and refilled. Most forklifts travel too slowly to drive them to the LP filling station:
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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Some forklift tanks have vapor and liquid ports. BUT they only work properly if mounted correctly. Most are horizontal mounted. You may want to get a floor buffer tank if you need a vertical tank.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the pic, Terry. The tanks I saw, like those in the pic I referenced, look just like standard RV tanks except the collar was a complete circle rather than the 3/4 on typical RV tanks and much smaller than the overall tank diameter. They also had the typical RV stand ring on the bottom. The propane dealer had nearly a hundred of them standing around his filling station. It may be we are getting our equipment crossed like sometimes happens with industrial batteries vs rv batteries - in this case forklift versus floor buffers.

I think the new OPD valve would be the critical easy to identify feature as that is only used for vapor feeds (at least as far as I know). It should also be fairly easy to determine if the tank is designed for horizontal or vertical mounting by the brackets on the tank.

It does underline the need to be sure you get a properly certified tank designed for mounting and use in the way you need it with the proper feeds for your intended service.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:24 PM   #7
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Wouldn't the propane dealer know if they will work? Or if he doesn't, could he find out from the tank manufacturer?
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:56 PM   #8
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Horizontal fork lift aluminum LPG tanks, "WILL NOT" work vertically.

Same way vertical tanks will not work horizontally.

I doubt that a LPG refill station would know the difference.

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Old 11-12-2008, 05:19 PM   #9
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Thanks all. I'll check before I invest.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Andy is right. You would think a company that only sells ONE product, would know all about that product. Propane distributors are one of the most ill informed and fickle lot I have ever run into.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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The horizontal tank has a L pick up. That is why they have a label "this side up". So when on its side it will draw vapor and vertical it will still be in vapor. Most of horizontals had an "OPD". If the horizontal could not work vertically they would have to be stored horizontally. The problem comes from the collar and some non standard (to RVs) connections. This comes from a HAZMAT class. We were shown what a 20lb. will do left on its side in the heat of summer.
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