Electric Forklift Battery Question

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Electric Forklift Battery Question

Electric Forklift Battery Question Dec. 05, 2023

Electric Forklift Battery Question

I've owned a bunch of forklifts - gas, propane, diesel and electric. I currently have 2 Nissan 5,000 lb electrics and 1 TCM 5,000 lb dual fuel - propane and gas. I love those Nissans - I've had four of them. My favorite is one that's probably 20 plus years old - the thing is a workhorse - it will pick up a car and put it 15 feet up in the air on a rack. I've moved tons of stuff with those things.

The electrics are my favorite by far. They are quiet, they are compact, they work much more smoothly and they are much simpler. Maintenance is dead simple - a few shots of grease every once in awhile - fill up the battery with distilled water every couple months and you are good to go.

Basically if an electric forklift runs and doesn't leak - it's good. If it doesn't run, walk away.

Forklift batteries are unlike car batteries - they are much, much better built and much much heavier. One of my electrics has a 3,300 lb battery and one of them has a 3,900 lb battery. The battery is part of the counterweight of the lift. The batteries can last 20-30 years - and they can be revived even if they've been sitting for a couple years.

New batteries are very expensive - $5000 -7000 for a full-sized lift. So essentially the forklift is worth scrap price without a working battery. That said, I've revived a couple of batteries and they work fine - I only use my lifts for 30 minutes or so at a time, so I don't need a fully functioning battery.

Propane lifts are OK, but they have a ton more maintenance, they aren't as compact and you need to feather the throttle to get them to move and lift the way you want - they just aren't as precise.

I had a big Toyota Diesel lift, It was nice, but just too big for my shop.

I would say if the lift runs, and the battery can operate the machine for an hour - go for it.

I'm not sure how much luck you will have trying to run one off car batteries - maybe one of the small walkies you could do that, but probably not a full size one - those things are heavy as all get out and use a ton of power.


Don’t Buy A Forklift Battery Until You Have The Answers To These 13 Must Know Questions!

There are so many types of forklift batteries available in the market today. But you may have no idea which one will suit your needs better.

Before you invest your hard-earned money in a battery that may ruin your driving experience because your forklift stops abruptly in the middle of a job.

But buying or choosing your forklift battery does not depend on options, rather it depends on the forklift engine size and technology amongst other things.

Your decisions to purchase a new battery depends on the information you have on hand, so here are 13 essential questions you must ask your forklift battery dealer


What are the key things I should look for when choosing the best battery for my forklift?

-Ask the supplier, what is the warranty period and conditions.  With most suppliers, they will say 5 years warranty, which is great.  But depending on the conditions it may not be full replacement warranty.  For example, after the first 2 years, it maybe 60% of the cost on the 3rd year, 40% of the cost on the 4th etc.  Best to ask upfront for all warranty conditions

Where is the battery made?  Japan quality will be usually better than China for Example.

Who is the manufacturer?  Brand – Do research on the brand.

What is the best forklift battery brand that you’d recommend?

Yuasa – Made in Japan.

Is it important to check how much a forklift battery weighs?

Yes.  In electric forklifts, the battery contributes to the counterbalance weight of the forklift to provide safety when lifting objects to height.  Without the correct weight in the battery, the forklift will be unsafe to operate at its specified heights

Can I buy a used Forklift battery instead of a new one?

You can.  But you have to have confidence in the supplier.  Is there any warranty?

If it is a high use environment I don’t recommend.

If it is a light use environment you may be ok.

Can I use a car battery instead of a forklift battery?

No.  A car battery is designed for cranking the car engine.  So high amps for a short time to start.  A Forklift battery is designed for load for a continuous period of time.

Should I use a reconditioned forklift battery?

You can.  But you have to have confidence in the supplier.  Is there any warranty?

Reconditioning of a battery usually involves, changing the acid and trying to remove sulfation off the lead plates in the cells.  It can be successful to prolong the life of the battery, but it is not a new battery and I do not agree with the term reconditioned, as the battery has only been given an extension to its work life, it has not been renewed as such

How much is a scrap forklift battery worth and is it recommended so I can save on new battery?

The scrap Battery worth is usually taken into account with the purchase of a new battery as a reduction in the cost of the new battery.  The battery cells are not easy to remove and require some specialised equipment and as they are filled with acid which is high risk and dangerous.

Which battery is more suitable for your forklift?

The battery/battery cell type is specific to the Make and Model of your forklift as it has to fit into the battery case that fits your forklift.

What are your tips to charge a forklift battery?

Charge batteries when they are down to 20%.

Top up with distilled water after charging not before.

Always let the battery charger finish its cycle.

Charge in a well-ventilated area.

If you have not charged a unit before asking another staff member or the company that supplied it for instruction

How much does the typical forklift cost?

This is how long is a piece of string.  Forklift range greatly in cost.  First establish what weight you want to lift, to what height?  What environment?, eg warehousing with pallet racking etc.  once you have answered these questions you know what you are looking for and can approach a supplier for prices.

What Is the Battery’s Voltage?

A batteries voltage is specific to the forklift it is fitted to.  Each cell is usually 2 volt and connected in series to make up the required voltage.  Common voltages are 24 volt, 36 volt and 48 volt.  There is usually a plate on the side of the battery box that will have the voltage stamp or printed on it.

How Long Will the Battery Last?

Lead Acid type flooded batteries are usually given a life of 5 years in a high use environment, with proper maintenance and care.  Of course, batteries can last way longer than this. 

If you have any other questions, please contact Troy at Eureka Forklifts on 07 3865 1205

What is the difference between a forklift battery and a car battery

What is the difference between a forklift battery and a car battery

People who don't know it will think that forklift batteries and car batteries are the same, but in fact they are different. Forklift batteries are generally used for long-term and high-current discharge. When the fork is lifted or loaded, it needs to output a large current. If the car battery used for starting is used in this regard, it is easy to lose powder on the plate and cause excessive discharge. Discharge, plate breakdown; life is not long.


Forklift batteries are produced with tubular plates, which are generally used in traction batteries. Traction batteries are often used as power batteries due to their strong power. By the way, tubular plates are a positive plate composed of porous tubes filled with active materials. The porous tube is pressed and formed by braided fibers, which can protect the active material from falling off, so it has a long service life. Generally, it is used as a positive plate and assembled with a paste-type negative plate to form a fixed or traction battery that requires deep discharge. The disadvantage of traction battery is that it is easy to lose water, requires frequent maintenance, and the electrolyte is easy to leak, unclean, and environmentally friendly. The positive plate adopts a tubular plate, which can effectively prevent the active material from falling off. The positive plate skeleton is formed by die-casting of multi-element alloy, which has good corrosion resistance and long service life. The negative plate is a paste-type plate, and the special grid structure design improves the utilization rate of active materials and high-current discharge capacity, and has a strong charge acceptance capacity.

To achieve the ignition of the auxiliary generator. The lead-calcium alloy is used as the grid, so the amount of water decomposition generated during charging is small, and the amount of water evaporation is also low. In addition, the shell is made of It has a sealed structure and releases very little sulfuric acid gas, so compared with traditional batteries, it has the advantages of no need to add any liquid, butt-connected pile heads, and long power storage time. The price of car batteries is lower than that of forklift batteries; but in terms of market share, the overall sales volume of car batteries is much larger than that of forklift batteries.


When the forklift battery is used, there are more or less other reasons that lead to the shortened battery life. In this case, replacing a new set will increase the cost of the enterprise, which is not worthwhile, but not all forklift batteries are suitable for desulfurization repair. Phenomena such as short circuit and open circuit can be detected with the naked eye; phenomena such as short circuit and open circuit can be detected with a multimeter and a capacity tester; the initial capacity can be charged and discharged to obtain a more accurate value. The method of detecting the electrolyte is to first check the sealing of the battery, and after confirming that the battery has no leakage, shake the battery to fully integrate the liquid and the plate, and then use the electrolyte density meter to suck out the electrolyte to see if the liquid is turbid and black.

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