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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Iseki TA270F, YM1510D

    Default Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    I have a fork lift propane tank that I would like to setup for my propane/oxygen torch. The tanks on fork lifts are mounted side ways. Is there a special pick up tube or do the fork lifts draw liquid propane from the tank? If I set the tank upright, will I be able to draw propane gas instead of liquid? Are there fittings to convert it over?

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    New Brunswick, Canada
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    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    Forklift bottles here tend to have a liquid and a gas connection. Talk to the guy who fills your bottles.

    BBQ tanks are cheap, last about 4 oxygen cylinders and have the fuel threads (prestolite/pol) matching your regulators inside the new style external threads.
    Ken

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    The law requiring the new external threads (QCC-1 coupler) has an exception for those who use propane for cutting/welding; they can still have the old style cylinders refilled. Stop by your local propane supplier and pickup all the old style cylinders your heart desires, most likely for free, they might even pay you to take them away. Then, make up a letterhead on your computer that says you're Acme Welding Co. or whatever. Put that on file with your propane supplier so you can continue to fill the old cylinders.

    There are no fittings available to convert a fork lift tank to normal use; you could probably cobble something up, but why should you, when there are so many free tanks floating around?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Strasburg, OH

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    Forklift tanks have a weighted pickup tube on a swivel so the tank will draw liquid in the horizontal or vertical position. Smaller forklifts often have the tank mounted in a vertical position. You DON'T want to use a liquid draw tank on your torch set !! Use a 20# barbeque tank.........It will outlast about 3 cylinders of oxygen and even most new style tanks have internal threads wich will mate with your regulator........TOM

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    MN
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    Ford 960, 7700, TW20, 1720; IHC H, 300; Ollie S77

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    OkeeDon, that is news to me.

    And I _do_ use propane for my farming torch work.

    The 20lb tanks need to be recertified every dozen years or so.

    Anyhow, Was told my 2 tanks are done for as is by the knowledgeable propane outfit.

    You wouldn't happen to have a reference to the welder-exemption would you?

    --->Paul

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Southern Maryland
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    Iseki TA270F, YM1510D

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    Thanks for all the information. Now, I need to figure out what to do with this full fork lift tank. I guess that explains why that guy gave it to me for free.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    northfield connecticut
    Tractor
    gradall g3r excavator, kawasaki mule 2500,ford 8000,and a 1936 caterpillar road grader

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    sounds like a good excuse to buy a forklift, but honey i dont wanna waste this tank of propane, and everybody needs a forklift

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Strasburg, OH

    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    New steel forklift tanks cost a little over $100, aluminum tanks cost $125, empty ! advertise it in your local paper for $50 and you won't have it long. I charge $100 for a full used steel tank when I sell my lifts and no one complains..........TOM

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    <font color="blue"> You wouldn't happen to have a reference to the welder-exemption would you?
    </font>

    Sure. Here it is from the horse's mouth. NFPA -- Read the last sentence on the page. There is one change in what I told you, which is the reference to the tank being labeled for the specific use. At the time all this started happening, there was no reference to how such use was to be authenticated, and I came up with the letterhead deal. I cleared it with my state inspector at the time - as long as I had the letter on file, I couldn't be punished for filling the tank. It wasn't up to me to determine the authenticity of the letter.

    Now, however, they have apparently determined that a label is the ticket. My copy of the NFPA 58 is packed away until my barn is built. Maybe someone out there has a copy and can check to see if there are any specific requirements for the label. Everyone in the business knows what a fork lift tank looks like (the "industrial truck" tank mentioned in the article), but a welding cylinder looks just like any other cylinder.

    I just found another link to an OPD fact sheet on the NFPA site. Here's a link: OPD Fact Sheet What's interesting is that in discussing the exemption for horizontal cylinders, it's stated that they must have a label stating that the cylinder does not have an OPD, and that "anyone can make the label". The next paragraph states that welding cyliders must also be labeled, but does not specify who can make the label. I leave it up to you to make the interpretation, but, in the absence of any specific rule about the label, and with the "hint" in the preceding paragraph, I would judge that anyone could make the "Welding Gas" label, also. It seems clear that the purpose of the label is to warn the dispenser operator that there is no OPD valve and they should take the extra care necessary to fill the cylinder. They know how; all of the cylinders above 40# are exempt.

    I would print up a label on the computer with fairly large font that says something like, "WARNING! THIS CYLINDER IS USED FOR INDUSTRIAL WELDING/CUTTING AND DOES NOT HAVE AN OVERFILL PREVENTION DEVICE (OPD). UNDER NFPA 58, THIS CYLINDER IS EXEMPT FROM THE OPD PROVISIONS." Then, tape it to the cylinder with clear sealing tape. Take a little time to center the wording and make it look official; that will make it easier if an operator is skeptical. Print out the fact sheet from the OPD site, and if that doesn't work, challenge them to get their copy of NFPA 58 - they have to have one.

    They still have to be recertified after the first 12 years and every 5 years thereafter (if it was a visual certification), but as long as your cylinder does not leak, shows no evidence of having been in a fire, has no dents, has no rust pits deeper than surface rust (there is a standard), is painted in a light color, and still has the top and bottom collars, it will pass.



  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fork Lift Propane Tanks

    A couple of more thoughts about the exemption for welding/cutting cylinders. First of all, the reason for the expemption is that early OPD valves did not permit enough BTUs to flow to be used for welding or cutting. The early valves allowed only 125K BTU flow. This is also problematical for high pressure uses like cooking rigs that use 170K BTUs and for roofer torch downs. Later OPD valves, however,can provide a flow of over 1 million BTUs and can be used for anything.

    Second random thought - there is nothing preventing anyone from labeling a cylinder, claiming to use it for welding and/or cutting, and getting the older cylinder refilled. Most TBNers, however, are very safety conscious, and the simple fact is that the OPD valves make a very real contribution to safety. Let your conscience be your guide.

    Third random thought - the big factor for the operator of the dispensing station is that they don't want to be fined for violating the law. Give them something to hang their hat on - the label, the reference to NFPA 58, and something more. I would still print up a letterhead that stated that I am using the cylinder for welding/cutting and give a copy to the dispenser. What this does is reassure the dispenser that you are not a state agent making a covert visit to check up on fill procedures. This is a dispenser's biggest fear. Most states do use "mystery shoppers" to catch infractions. If he has a letter from you stating that the cylinder will be used for welding/cutting, he has nothing to fear because he can prove he did nothing wrong under NFPA 58.

    A final random thought - cylinders are regulated by the National Dept. of Transportation (D.O.T) using the codes from NFPA 58. Further, each state ratifies their agreement with the regulation. Not all states have ratified the OPD. I found one site which lists:

    <font color="blue"> The participating states are: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
    Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.</font>

    There is no date on the information, however, and it's possible that states not listed have agreed to participate since this site was published. Hopwever, your state may not have agreed. Most dispensers, however, in the non-participating states, will still use NFPA 58 as their policy.

    This is probably more information than anyone wanted to know about OPD...

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