Reconditioned Forklift Battery

Reconditioned Forklift Battery: In some instances, a loss of battery capacity can be caused by battery sulfation. Sulfation is a crystallization which forms a hard shell surrounding the lead plates within the battery cell, this shell prevents efficient charging and discharging of the battery.

This crystallized shell can be dissolved using a special charge and discharge procedure, giving your battery a new lease of life. This type of repair is not always possible and is not a magic cure for a failing battery.

The process of the ways to restore forklift batteries is more complex as compared to a car’s lead-acid battery. But you can do it by yourself as well just like in regular batteries. However, if you feel that you need help, you can always call the professionals to do it for you.

Reconditioned Forklift Battery

Refurbished forklift batteries

What Are Used Forklift Batteries?

These batteries have usually become available after being removed from scrapped Forklift trucks or they may have been previously rented out.

Servicing a forklift battery is almost identical to servicing a regular 12-volt automotive battery. These tests should be performed monthly if you want to get the longest possible life from your very expensive electric forklift batteries.

  • You still have to be very careful not to short-circuit any tool, or your body to metal when working on these batteries as the stored voltage is very high and can cause death or severe burns and injuries.
  • Do not wear any metal rings, bracelets or any other metal objects while working on High voltage direct current batteries.
  • If you should ever ground the positive terminal to any part of the metal forklift then you will be severely injured.
  • Always wear eye and face protection and proper clothing to protect yourself from acid spills or splatter.

Forklift battery replacement

Forklift Battery Servicing & Reconditioning Manual

Never smoke or make flames or sparks near batteries and always work in a well-ventilated area with a fan blowing if possible to prevent the accumulation of explosive or toxic gases.

Place the forklift in a clear area where there is plenty of room to work and good ventilation.

Be sure the power key is off so the forklift will not move if anyone accidentally presses the accelerator.

Once you expose the battery for service the first thing you do is determining the operating voltage of the battery by counting the cell water filler caps and multiplying the number of filler caps by 2 volts.

  • 12 caps = 24 volts
  • 18 caps = 36 volts
  • 24 caps = 48 volts

The next thing to do is to take your DC voltmeter, set it for the proper voltage to match the battery voltage and measure from the + terminal to the – terminal and record this voltage.

How Does the Process Work?

The first step regardless of the forklift is to check out the overall voltage of the battery. You are hoping the volt amount reaches the amount it is listed at, although with some models you might be okay at 80%. On an older battery, it is fully possible that you will need to replace one or more batteries.

The next step involves removing the battery caps and testing each cell. This can be a little bit of work depending on the number of batteries, their age, and the particular setup of whichever forklift you are using. You also need to have the right tools and an understanding of how to use them.

Truth be told, it isn’t hard to check the condition of each cell of a forklift battery. With a DC voltmeter and a pair of metal probes, you can test each one and know what needs to be replaced and what can be reconditioned to be nearly as good as new.

Reconditioned Forklift Battery

Forklift battery maintenance

Covering Basic & Advanced Fixes

Sometimes it only takes some really basic fixes to really get new results from a seemingly dying battery.

Water levels often have a major part to play in this. Maybe you have too much or too little – and a little bit of a clean and a fix-up can make all the difference.

There are obviously more steps to this, and when you’re ready to actually start restoring these batteries, I recommend you learn exactly how to do this in a step by step plan, which my friend Tom has laid out here.

The benefits of learning how forklift battery reconditioning works are many. Not only are you saving money and being more efficient with your business, but you’re also being green by throwing away fewer batteries.

Reconditioned Forklift Battery

Forklift battery brands

industrial forklift batteries for the most popular models:

  • Barrett
  • Blue Giant
  • CAT
  • Clark
  • Crown
  • Daewoo
  • Dockstocker
  • Drexel
  • Elwell-Parker
  • Hoist
  • Hyster
  • Jungheinrich
  • Komatsu
  • Linde
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Raymond
  • Schaeff
  • Schreck
  • TCM
  • Toyota
  • Yale.

Reconditioned forklift batteries for sale

How To Recondition A Forklift Battery

The battery of a forklift is almost the same as that of a lead-acid battery of a car. However, forklift batteries are much bigger, heavier, and they are a lot harder to try to recondition. Nonetheless, it is not impossible to do so.

Forklift batteries are deep cycle batteries. This means that they can be discharged at a very low level and you won’t have any issues with them getting damaged.

There are several steps that you can do so that you can restore your forklift batteries. However, if the battery is really beaten up and you feel that you won’t be able to do it, it is best to let the experts handle the reconditioning process for you.

Industrial battery maintenance

Prepare The Battery To Be Revived: A single battery of a forklift is very heavy. It can get as heavy as a few thousand pounds. For you to remove the battery, you are going to need a forklift to help you out. To be sure, read the user’s manual of your forklift so you can see the specific instructions on how to remove as well as maintain the battery of your forklift.

When you have successfully removed the battery from the forklift, put it somewhere where there is good ventilation. Prepare the voltmeter so you can check the voltage of the battery. Compare that with the voltage on the battery’s label. When you have taken note of those number, discharge the forklift battery to 80% of the voltage that you see on the label.

Reconditioned Forklift Battery

forklift battery acid clean up

Once you have discharged the forklift battery to the right level, you can proceed to clean the terminals of the battery. To do this, put some baking soda onto the terminals as well as on top of the forklift battery. After that wet the surface with water and then brush it with a soft-bristle brush.

While the baking soda can neutralize any acid that is on the surface of the battery, you should still use protective clothing, gloves, and goggles. The acid of the battery is corrosive so you should be careful not to touch it with your bare skin. If you observe that the baking soda didn’t remove all of the dirt completely, you can put some dishwashing detergent on the battery so you can remove any grime and dirt left.

Distilled water for battery

Measuring the battery water acidity: To be able to access the water inside the battery, you need to take off the cell caps. Ideally, the battery water should have 30% sulfuric acid and then 70% distilled water.

Here, you need to use a hydrometer so you can measure the acidity of each of the battery’s cells. By measuring the acidity, you will know the amount of acid or water that you are going to have to add to the cells.

To restore the needed acid-to-water ratio for each of the cells, you should add water or acid to the individual cells of the battery. Remember not to use tap water because it has contaminants and minerals that can lead to your battery getting damaged.

During this particular process, it is important for you to check the concentration of the acid so that you will know the amount of acid or water that you are going to add. Each cell may need a different ratio, so you need to check them individually.

After that, put the cell caps back, and then you can connect the battery charger to the battery. Charge it for about eight hours or until it is charged completely. Check to see if the forklift battery was able to reach the required voltage. Recheck the acid-to-water ratio of each of the cells and then make the necessary adjustments. You can then try to charge it again

Reconditioned Forklift Battery

Forklift battery charger

You have to take note that you should discharge the forklift battery before you try to recharge it for a new cycle. This is to avoid any overcharge as it can damage the forklift battery permanently.

You may have to do this process a few times. If you have checked that the ratio of acid to water is correct, then there must be an issue with the cells themselves. Using a voltmeter, check the voltage of each cell so that you will know which of them is faulty or damaged.

To do this, put one probe of the voltmeter into the terminal and then immerse the other in the liquid. If you find any faulty cells, you may have to have them replaced or reconditioned by professionals.

Reconditioned Forklift Battery
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Battery sulfation removal

Remove The Sulfation: One of the leading causes of why lead-acid batteries fail is because of sulfation. When you do not use the battery, the sulfate crystals begin to form. These crystals can then deposit on the negative plates of the battery.

How long do forklift batteries last?

How long do forklift batteries last?

Most modern forklift batteries are designed to last a minimum of 1,500 charge cycles. If a battery is under heavy use and requires daily charging, the 1,500 charge cycles would represent approximately five years of service.

Does Forklift Battery Reconditioning Actually Work?

Replacing the battery for a forklift is one of those expenses that no one wants to deal with, but it is going to come up at some point. This is true whether you have one forklift you need to keep working or an entire fleet of them. If you have the latter, then you know how expensive it can get to replace an entire group of batteries!
Reconditioning forklift batteries definitely works, however, I recommend you follow a step by step guide to do this properly.

Can Reconditioning Really Work on Forklift Batteries?

This is a question that actually comes up relatively frequently and the good news is that, yes, forklift batteries can absolutely be reconditioned and end up providing months or even years of good charge after that process. This is a common practice that not only is more efficient, but it saves a lot of money by putting off replacements and getting more out of each battery.

How often do you water forklift batteries?

Forklift batteries typically need watering about once a week when used every day. Batteries that have been in use for an extended period of time, or are reconditioned, should be checked after every five charges. If properly maintained, new batteries can be checked every ten charges for the first few years of use.

Can you overcharge a forklift battery?

It is important to note that both undercharging and overcharging a forklift battery can considerably lessen its life span. The best way to charge is to have a fixed charge cycle and not interrupt the cycle.

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