How to buy the right battery for your forklift

By: Grant King, IndustrySearch Writer
28 April, 2016

Electric forklifts versus petrol/diesel forklifts? When it comes to creating a safe and environmentally-friendly workplace, there’s no contest.

But electric forklifts need batteries, and batteries go dead. You need to know your forklifts will be ready and waiting at the beginning of each shift. You also need to know they won’t fizzle out halfway through it. Reliable batteries (and chargers) are therefore as critical to production as the forklift itself. While this article can’t tell you exactly which battery to buy – your forklift will tell you that – it can help you make sure the battery you do buy is the right battery; a battery that works.

Sync your suppliers

If your battery and charger come from different sources, you’ve got twice the complications if something fails. Is the battery at fault or the charger? Buy both from the same supplier and both can be quickly and efficiently evaluated at the same time.

Don’t mix and match

Your battery and charger obviously have to be compatible so check with your supplier to make sure they are. The output voltage of the charger and the voltage of the battery need to match and be compatible with the forklift’s electrical system to avoid battery damage. Also, when replacing a battery, make sure you adjust the charger to the characteristics of the new battery. If you don’t, it won’t charge properly or last nearly as long.

Examine your electricity

While your supply will most likely have the capacity to handle normal charging, you need to make sure it can cope with the initial rush. When first started, forklift battery chargers can suck the life out of your current and cause all kinds of problems elsewhere. So check with your supplier and make sure your electricity can deal with the initial amperage draw.

Factor in all costs

Batteries, chargers and the cables that connect the charger to the power supply are often sold separately and the costs can mount up. Then there’s the cost of having your charger connected by an electrician. So do your sums and make sure you get the right group of components to do the job at your budget.