New & Reconditioned Lift Truck Batteries, forklift batteries, 36v battery, 48v battery
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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.