Getting the Right Battery for Your Forklift
Category: Equipment and Solutions
If you own or operate a business that uses forklifts, you know that the batteries are a vital investment. The right battery will give you the longevity and reliable performance that you need to keep your operations running smoothly. This forklift battery guide will walk you through the basics so you can find the right battery for your specific needs.
The first thing you’ll want to determine is what voltage you need. The best forklift battery voltage depends on the size of your machine. Typical voltage options include:
- 24 volt: Ideal for smaller electric lifts such as walkie stackers, pallet jacks and end riders.
- 36 volt: Designed for mid-size lifts such as narrow aisle forklifts.
- 48 volt: Used for larger machines like counterbalanced forklifts.
Make sure to confirm what voltage your forklift can handle, as the wrong voltage can cause significant damage.
Forklift battery amp hour is the rating of how much power the battery can provide within an hour. The higher the amp hour, the more power generated by the battery. For the maximum power and run time, you’ll want to choose the highest-rated amp hour battery that will fit in the battery compartment.
Types of Forklift Batteries
Forklift batteries are typically available in two different types:
- Lead-acid batteries: These liquid-filled batteries create electricity through a chemical reaction of sulfuric acid and lead plates. Most lead-acid batteries need to be “watered” to keep them working, meaning you will have to regularly refill the water in the battery unit to avoid burnout.
- Lithium-ion batteries: These batteries are made up of a cathode, electrolyte, separator, anode and two current collectors, one positive and one negative. The cathode and anode store the lithium, and the electrolyte carries lithium ions with a positive charge through the separator. This movement creates the charge, and the electric current flows through the device to the negative collector. These batteries are more compact than lead-acid batteries, and they do not require any water maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries typically do not need to be replaced as often as lead-acid batteries, but they do have a higher purchase cost. They also charge faster and more efficiently, with an average charging time of 1-2 hours with no cooling period, while lead-acid batteries take 8 hours to charge and another 8 hours to cool down.
The right battery needs the right charger to work. Make sure you choose a charger that is specially designed for your battery’s voltage and amp hour rating.
Contact RAKA for All Your Forklift Needs
At RAKA, we have a large inventory of equipment and parts for all your forklift needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales team can help you find the perfect solution for your specific project requirements and budget, whether you need new, used or rental equipment. We also have a highly trained service team who can perform preventative maintenance and repairs. Contact us today to learn more!