Costs Of Choosing The Wrong Forklift Battery And Charger

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Costs Of Choosing The Wrong Forklift Battery And Charger

Costs Of Choosing The Wrong Forklift Battery And Charger Nov. 11, 2023

Costs Of Choosing The Wrong Forklift Battery And Charger

Electric forklifts continue to make great progress in terms of power, outdoor use and capacities. We’ve addressed the cost savings by switching to electric forklift in previous articles. Lower maintenance and energy costs as well as a cleaner environment are just a few of the benefits. However, all those cost savings can be greatly eroded by choosing the wrong battery and/or charger for your operation.

Selecting the wrong charger and battery combination can quickly shorten battery life, leading to the need to replace batteries more frequently.  Multiply a 50% reduction in battery life by the number of batteries in your facility and you will quickly realize the hidden costs of choosing the wrong charger for your batteries and the application in which they will operate.

What are the options for batteries and chargers? It would be easy to simply select the lowest priced available battery or charger, but this can cost your company thousands more dollars in the long-run.

There are many things that can shorten battery life, but by far the two major culprits are:

  • Opportunity charging, or “short cycling” a battery using a standard charger.  This short cycling creates heat, which is the main cause of premature battery failure.  

  • Lack of water.  This lack of water generates more heat, which shortens battery life dramatically.  

Combine the lack of watering with opportunity charging, and you have a certain recipe for a dramatic decrease in your battery’s productivity and useful life.  Batteries traditionally have a standard number of charge/cool/discharge cycles (1500-1800 per battery), and opportunity charging and insufficient watering can reduce cycles by as much as 50%.  But if you invest in the right charger up front, you can all but eliminate these problems. The right charger can increase battery life, reduce the number of batteries you need, and improve your overall productivity. Products like Hawker’s Lifeplus and Lifespeed chargers read current battery discharge and use patented pulsing charge technology to charge the battery quickly and efficiently, without generating excessive heat.

But how do you select the right battery, charger, or combination of each, for your specific applications so that you can maximize results?  Our first recommendation is to call a dealership that has a proven history of service and highly trained personnel to diagnose and repair your forklifts, batteries, and chargers all in one place. These dealerships stay on the cutting edge with constant updates to both their products and personnel training, and they are equipped to help you through the maze of choices.

At Brodie Toyota-Lift, some things we consider when helping customers select electric material handling equipment include:

  • Where are chargers and battery changing stations located throughout your facility?

  • What combination of voltages (24, 36, 48, 80V) and corresponding chargers do you operate?

  • How many shifts do you operate?

  • How many hours is each forklift in operation per shift?

  • How often do you add water?

  • How long do batteries have to cool down after charging?

By determining how your equipment will be used and how often, we can help you decide if a single standard battery and basic charger will suffice, or would three batteries per forklift help you run three full shifts at maximum capacity.  The combination of battery and charger will never be the same at each company.  Making the wrong choice for you can lead to some hidden expenses that start almost immediately and compound each month. We have seen this happen too many times, but we can help you make the right choice of battery and charger for your application, reducing your overall costs and increasing your operational efficiency.

The bottom line is that there are many factors that have an impact on your overall efficiency when using battery operated lift trucks, and having a partner like Brodie Toyota-Lift can make the difference that helps you optimize battery run-time, life-time, and productivity, all of which contribute directly to your bottom line.  

As a representative for Toyota electric forklifts, batteries and chargers are our focus.  We not only sell electric forklifts, batteries and chargers, but we back it up with full-service battery capabilities in our shop and on the road.  Most dealers rely on outside battery shops to maintain their batteries and chargers.  We have found over the years that customers want to make one call and have one company responsible for all of their electric equipment needs. Brodie Toyota-Lift can meet those needs.

So call us at 888-718-6629.  Consultation is free, and we just may be able to save you thousands on your forklift batteries and chargers.

Forklift Battery Repair & Maintenance

When your forklift fleet fails to perform at optimal levels, your organization loses money. Perhaps your forklift is sitting idle due to a dead battery or forklift battery run times have declined, while forklift downtimes have increased. Most warehouse managers face these problems when managing a forklift fleet.

As your resource for forklift battery replacement, repairs and reconditioning, Texas Motive Solutions can help optimize your return on investment and protect your bottom line. Our team is committed to getting your warehouse operation back up and running ASAP, while maximizing battery life and performance.

Since Texas Motive Solutions is a full-service forklift battery solutions provider—we sell, service, repair and recondition forklift batteries and chargers—TMS offers solutions that fit your needs, not ours. TMS does it all! Plus, your satisfaction is a top priority for us, so you can feel confident the solutions we recommend will align with your operational and budgetary goals.

Forklift Battery Chargers

Thanks for stopping by . We carry the PBM industrial quality single and three phase microprocessor controlled forklift battery chargers. These are top quality units. And while they are imported (Italy), they come across that other ocean, where you still find quality manufacturing. These are the top selling, quality units in Europe. They come with a 5 year warranty, which can only be offered on quality units, and we haven't seen a failure yet. On top of that, they are very reasonably priced, for NEW units, and prices INCLUDE delivery in the lower 48 states. Fork lift battery chargers.












Heavy Duty Ferroresonant Chargers!

PBM forklift battery chargers are available in a variety of models and output voltages (12 volt, 24, volt, 36 volt, 48 volt, 72 volt, and 80 volt) and amperages from 50 amps to 240 amps, with selectable input voltage (208, 240, 480), in single phase or 3 phase power. These units are UL, CUL, CE approved, and have a four digit LCD display, indicating such things as real time delivered current, battery voltage before charging, delivered charge (ah), overall charge time, final voltage reached by battery. They are microprocessor controlled, and dip switch programmable for automatic start, 8 value final charge timer, initial stage timer, equalizing charge. They are fuse protected on the input, and DC output, and overload protected on the transformer. Excellent quality units, and stackable three high.

Charging Forklift Batteries

A lot of traditional lead acid batteries of 250 amp hours and under (deep cycle marine, etc.), are recommended to be charged at a level of .1C, which is 10% of battery amp hour capacity. Some batteries have this printed right on them. For example, .1C of a 100 amp hour battery is .1 x 100 = 10 amp charge rate. Forklift battery chargers are usually sized at .14C to .20C, or 14% to 20% of battery amp hour capacity. It is important to know the ah rating of your battery, if you aren't replacing an existing charger, or to check if the existing charger is sized correctly. You can go a little larger in the charger sizing, but risk overcharging the battery and decreasing its life if you go too large. You can undersize a little, but going too small risks undercharging the battery, and not stirring the battery chemistry sufficiently, not to mention working the charger harder than necessary. Forklift battery cells (and UPS backup type 2 volt cells) are taller than regular lead acid batteries, and the electrolyte can stratify over time, with different concentrations of acid at different levels. A good, properly sized charger deals with this, during the charge cycle, and with an equalizing cycle. Remember, a forklift battery costs more than a proper charger, particularly the PBM units we carry.

Most forklift batteries are designed for 1500 cycles or more, a cycle being defined as discharged 80% (20% charge left in the battery). A complete discharge/charge cycle every day (5 days a week) works out to a little more than 5 years. Forklifts that are not used to this degree (a lot aren't) and are properly charged/maintained can see 15 years or more battery life. Forklift batteries used in solar setups or similar applications where the depth of discharge is not as severe can last 25 years or more. While some recommend waiting until a forklift battery is discharged 80% before recharging (and this may be appropriate for a lift used 6 to 8 hours a day), there are others who believe the less deep the discharge, the more cycles to be expected. We fall into this category, especially using a quality microprocessor controlled charger like these PBM units, charging at 50% or so, or at least once a week for infrequently used lifts.

Anderson Connectors Typically Used

Forklift chargers are typically connected to the forklift via an industrial Anderson type connector, of the appropriate amp rating and color. There are industry recommendations for color based on the equipment voltage, but this is not always followed. We provide these units with the connector used in your particular application, so we want to talk to you before completing an order. Usually these are 175 amp or 350 amp Anderson type connectors, in red, grey, or blue. Color and amp rating are not interchangeable. See pictures below, showing sizes and colors. All colors are used in all sizes (amp ratings). We don't use a shopping cart service with "ADD to CART" buttons to be sure we know what connector to use (or battery lugs for hardwire install), and that the charger is voltage correct and amp sufficient for your battery. Please call.

Typical Anderson Connector Colors
Anderson Connector Sizes

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