How Much Does a Forklift Battery Cost?

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How Much Does a Forklift Battery Cost?

How Much Does a Forklift Battery Cost? Nov. 11, 2023

How Much Does a Forklift Battery Cost?

Before spending a large sum of money on a new or replacement forklift battery it is important to clarify some information, so you buy the correct battery for your forklift.

When forklift owners purchase a battery uninformed it can often result in damage or problems with the forklift and the need to purchase a second correct battery shortly after.

Your forklift dealer can help you identify and purchase the correct battery for your forklift.

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Forklift Battery

1. What voltage does your forklift use?

Depending on the type of forklift or materials handling unit the voltage of the forklift can vary (e.g., 36 or 48 volts).

It is imperative to be sure what voltage your forklift uses.

Choosing the wrong voltage battery can not only damage the battery but also your equipment

2. What is the amp hour capacity of the battery?

Check the ampere (Ah) capacity rating on the current battery in your forklift.

To ensure maximum power and run time choose the highest rated amp hour battery approved for your forklift.

3. Measure the battery compartment dimensions

Measure and write down the dimensions (L x W x H) of your forklift’s battery compartment.

Ensure that any new battery purchased will fit into the unit’s battery compartment.

4. Confirm the minimum counterweight requirement

Check the forklifts rating plate or owner’s manual to confirm the minimum battery weight.

Installing an underweight battery can impact the stability of the unit when lifting heavy loads making continued operation extremely dangerous.

5. Check the connector type, cable positions and lengths

You’ll need to know:

  • Where the battery connects to the forklift
  • How long the battery cable needs to be (if in doubt choose longer cables)
  • The colour and position of the connectors

Main Types of Forklift Batteries

Wet Cell / Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

The most economically priced of the three battery technologies.

Their average cycle life is 1500 charge / discharge cycles or 5 years working life.

This type of battery is best used in a single working shift application with 8 hours work, 8 hours charge and then 8 hours cool down

Regular maintenance needs to be performed on this battery including filling with water, cleaning the top of the cells.

This battery cannot be used in food preparation applications.

Dedicated battery charging rooms need to be designed and used with mechanical ventilation (if large numbers of batteries are being used), spill kits, eyewash stations and deluge shower and acid spill containment and collection requirements.

Gel Sealed Maintenance Free Batteries

This battery technology is the mid-tier, costing around 50% more than the flooded battery.

Their average cycle life is 1200 charge / discharge cycles or 4 years working life.

This battery type should be used in a single working shift application with a 12-to-14-hour charge time.

Amp hour capacity of gel batteries is less then flooded batteries so reduced working shift times is expected.

This battery is maintenance free and can be used in food preparation applications.

No dedicated battery charging room is required, as the battery is sealed and does not give off any fumes or gasses when charging unless there are second shift batteries required then, battery roller bed and mechanical battery changing equipment is required.

Lithium Fast Charge Batteries

This battery is the premium tier product, costing over double the cost of the basic wet cell / flooded traction battery.

The average cycle life is more than 3500 cycles (well over double the life of wet cell product).

These batteries are teamed with fast chargers allowing the battery to be opportunity charged during downtimes or fully charged in very short amounts of time – if suitable mains power is available, these can be charged from flat in under 1 hour and an average warehouse with standard three phase power outlets will have the battery fully charged from flat in around 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Amp hour capacity is generally calculated at around 70 to 80% of what a flooded battery is due to the ability of not having to limit the discharge of the battery to 80% as a flooded battery must be also there is little to no resistance occurring when charging so, the charge return rates are far purer that flooded or gel battery technologies.

This battery is completely maintenance free and can be used in food preparation applications.

There is no need for a dedicated charging room due to the battery being completely sealed and maintenance free and this battery technology should eliminate the need to have second shift batteries in two shift working applications and – if sufficient break times are available can perform the job of providing 24 hour / 3 shift work applications.

Choosing the correct forklift battery can be complicated due to the wide variety of options available from a large range of suppliers.

It is important prospective buyers considers Ah capacity, chemistry, charging speed, cycle life, brand, price to ensure they purchase the most suitable battery for their forklift.

Our team of forklift experts can assist you in specifying and purchasing a compatible battery for your forklift.

Contact our team on 13 22 54 to answer all your forklift battery questions.

Forklift Battery Maintenance Cost Calculator

If you are trying to estimate the costs to maintain a forklift battery. look no further. This forklift battery maintenance cost calculator will model for you the costs that go into the proper maintenance of a forklift battery and a forklift battery charger.

The Cost to Water Forklift Batteries

Battery companies will water your batteries for a charge. Using competitive battery watering service pricing, our calculator will estimate the cost to water your batteries on a regular basis.

Batteries need watering based the charging schedule. Batteries require water because during the charging cycle, the charger breaks apart the bonds of the water molecule into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases then escape from the battery into the atmosphere reducing the amount of water in the battery.

Your battery maintnenance technician then returns the water to each cell roughly every 2-weeks, but as often as every week in busy work applications.

The Cost to Repair Battery and Charger Connectors and Cables

Every time a forklift battery is charged, the charger and forklift connectors are inserted into each other to begin the charging process. Once the charge connection is complete, the cables are separated. Often, operators pull the connectors apart by the cables, damaging the cable insulation, the charger wire tips, and putting stress on the SB connectors. If the operator drops the connectors to the ground after the charging even, the connectors risk cracking, and the cables risk being damaged by forklifts rolling over the cables. We estimate that the cost to keep connectors and cables in good repair is $130/year. You can change this amount up or down.

Annual Battery Wash

Companies that perform regular battery washes save money in the long run. When acid escapes from the battery cells, it accumulates between the cells, at the bottom of the tray, and on the edges of the tray. Over time, it cause the tray to corrode and weaken. That is why many companies elect to wash their batteries.

Forklift Charger Maintenance

Many forklift and charger service companies offer an annual charger service. This usually involves an inspection and blowing out the cabinet. It is usually a good idea to have your chargers inspected regularly.

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Used Forklift Batteries: How to Find the Best Solutions At the Right Price

Forklifts are essential for your warehouse operations, but they are only as good as their batteries. If your forklift fleet’s batteries are sub par, your forklifts will be unable to operate to the best of their abilities and inhibit your warehouse to keep up with the satisfying the demands of your customers. 

However, warehouses may own not one or two forklifts, but an entire fleet - which means an entire fleet's worth of batteries are required. Businesses may not have it in their budget to afford multiple brand new motive power batteries. If this is your case, the good news is that forklift batteries can be bought used or rented at significantly lower prices than brand new electric forklift batteries. 

When considering used forklift batteries for your warehouse, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’re finding the best forklift battery solutions for your budget.

Why Consider Used Forklift Batteries

Choosing rented or used forklift batteries over brand new ones can result in multiple benefits for your company. Used forklift batteries are overall cheaper than new equipment and can be especially beneficial if rented for peak seasonal use. 

Depending on your warehouse, used batteries can provide benefits ranging from helping to reduce operational costs to maintaining a tight budget to being rented as to reduce the amount of idle equipment taking up space in your warehouse. The decision to buy used equipment or join a rental forklift battery program rests on factors related to your specific needs. 

Are Used Forklift Batteries Right for You? 

There are various situations where rented or used forklift batteries would be beneficial for warehouses. If any of these scenarios sound familiar to your warehouse or company, then refurbished batteries may be the best option for you rather than investing in a fleet of brand new batteries. 

Seasonal Demand

If your warehouse sees increases in demand seasonally, then renting used forklift batteries may be the most cost-effective option for your budget. For instance, if your warehouse sees an exponential increase in demand around the Christmas season, then there may be no benefit in buying new electric forklift batteries if that equipment will likely sit idle until the next busy seasonal shift. Renting used forklift batteries allows your business to use the extra equipment when it’s needed most so your warehouse operations can remain as efficient as possible during seasonal peaks, but also saves your business money and reduces the chance that the equipment will sit unused for months, taking up valuable space in your warehouse and budget. 

By renting used forklift batteries in advance, you will be able to scale the number of batteries your warehouse needs for future seasonal demands. By the time the rush hits, your warehouse will be fully prepared for the increased demands. 

Warehouse Expansion

If your company is growing or if you are budgeting for warehouse expansion, then renting or buying used forklift batteries will be a cost-efficient option. Whether or not more forklifts, and their accompanying batteries, will be needed for a growing warehouse, expansion is expensive already with remodeling expenses, more equipment, new staff hiring, and the necessary permits. Renting or purchasing used forklift batteries is less expensive than new purchases, and so will free up your warehouse’s budget to be able to afford the cost of expansion. 

Renting forklift batteries can provide your growing warehouse with the necessary equipment to remain productive and prepared for future growth without straining your operations budget. 

Tight Budget

If your warehouse is already operating on a tight budget, then used forklift batteries are an economical choice. Whether renting or purchasing refurbished batteries, used equipment is less expensive than a brand new forklift battery. If you decide on renting forklift batteries for exceptionally busier seasons, you can return them during the less-busy months and avoid having to pay for or manage extra unneeded equipment. 

Though rental forklift battery prices depend on the type of battery you need, they are overall cheaper than brand new options. For instance, a brand new waterless or powerline battery would cost between $5,000 - $7,000 when forklift battery rental rates per month are typically between $200 - $600. The money saved from choosing to rent used equipment can be used for other necessary tasks in your warehouse, such as making equipment repairs, and help your warehouse operating costs stay within your budget. 

3 Things to Consider When Shopping for Reconditioned Forklift Batteries

If renting or buying used forklift batteries sounds like the right choice for your warehouse, then it’s important to consider these three things before making a purchase. 

Are Your Needs Seasonal or Long-term?


If deciding between buying or renting used forklift batteries, you must consider the length of time you’re expecting to need your batteries. If you’re satisfying a temporary need, such as a busy summer season, then renting used forklift batteries would be the most economical option. Otherwise, the extra equipment may not be needed during a less busy season and take up valuable warehouse space and labor to maintain despite not being in use. 

However, if the used batteries will be put to use throughout the entire year, then purchasing the batteries may be the most efficient investment. It will be a cheaper option than buying brand new batteries and allow your forklifts to perform optimally.

What’s the Equipment’s Lifespan?


If you’re looking at renting used forklift batteries, it’s essential that you don’t sacrifice quality for price. Electric forklift batteries have an average lifespan between 4 to 5 years before a replacement is necessary. Older batteries do not hold a charge as long as they used to, which affects the performance of your forklifts. Quality is key when looking for a rental battery program. You want to make sure you’re receiving efficient and reliable rental equipment. 

Does the Equipment Have a Warranty?


If you do plan on joining a used forklift battery rental program or buying used equipment, make sure there is a warranty attached that covers any defects. Even if the equipment is less expensive than a brand new purchase, defects can cause expensive repairs to accumulate. Warranties can guarantee that the used equipment is reliable as well as being affordable. At SSE, we also provide a guarantee that your used or rental battery will work properly for up to 3 years. This is due to the skilled technicians we have on staff that rigorously test and inspect each battery. 

Where to Find Reliable Used Forklift Batteries 

Are you ready to make the next step to find the best rental forklift battery program or used batteries to purchase? SSE can help your industrial warehouse meet its expectations and reduce warehouse costs. We use only the highest quality forklift batteries in our rental program and have an excellent, personalized customer service team. 

To ensure you’re receiving reliable equipment, SSE offers a “Three Years and Out” lease. After three years of use, we replace our rental forklift batteries with new ones so you do not receive end-of-life forklift battery equipment. We also offer a warranty that covers any defects in the forklift batteries we refurbish. With SSE, you can guarantee that you’re receiving reliable equipment.

For more information, contact us or check out our catalog for more motive power equipment options!

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