Most forklifts come with a standard flat plate battery. You may be wondering if a waterless battery or tubular plate battery would service your operational needs better. In this post, we’ll review the pros and cons of different types of forklift batteries. We’ll also go over a few ways multi-shift operations can save time (and therefore money) changing out batteries between shifts.
Different Types of Forklift Batteries
Flat plate batteries are the standard battery for most forklifts and pallet jacks.
Tubular plate batteries offer longer run times and higher voltages under load compared to flat plate batteries. These batteries unfortunately don’t experience as many (problem free) years of service as a standard battery.
High amp-hour batteries are more dependable than tubular plate and are a good choice if an operation occasionally experiences higher demand, or is right on the edge of needing a second battery.
Waterless batteries are a good choice for customers who want to reduce labor costs. Waterless batteries do, in fact, need water, but much less frequently - as little as every other month.
Maintenance-free batteries don’t need to be watered and are ideal for clean (or green) applications such as pharmacy or food handling due to no gassing and no spill danger. The downside to maintenance-free batteries is a shorter warranty period on larger units.
Learn more about the pros and cons of lithium-ion forklift batteries, or their lower-cost alternative: thin plate pure lead batteries.
Forklift Battery Handling, Exchange and Extraction
For operations that need to change batteries between shifts, there are simple modifications that can make forklift battery extraction easier. Here are a few of the most popular:
Battery Slide-out with Side Covers This add-on allows the battery to slide out of the side of the battery compartment for easier and faster battery exchange. An extractor unit is needed, but the change out can be done can be done by one person for increased staff productivity.
Battery Side Extraction with Fork Pockets and Side Covers With this option, an operator can extract the battery using another forklift. An extractor unit is not needed, only a second forklift to lift out the battery.
Battery Lift-out beam with Swivel Hook Another battery changing option which does not require modifications to the forklift is using a battery lift out beam with swivel hook. This can be achieved by using another forklift or an A frame gantry crane. Using another forklift requires a second person and is more hazardous. The A frame gantry is good but it requires a lot more space in the warehouse.
We hope this post has provided some useful information about forklift batteries. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced staff is happy to help.
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