Forklift Battery Types

Lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries remain the most prominent for forklift use. Ring Power Lift Trucks has compiled a guide to understanding which batteries may be most beneficial and economical for your material handling business. 

Discovering Various Forklift Battery Types

Functions & Benefits of Forklift Battery Types

Most warehouse operations use lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries to power their forklifts. While there are further battery alternatives, lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries remain the most prominent for forklift use. We have compiled a guide to understanding which batteries may be most beneficial and economical for your material handling business. 


Lead Acid Forklift Batteries

Lead-acid batteries, also known as wet cell batteries, were invented in 1859 and have remained relevant throughout the years within the material handling industry to power forklifts and other operational equipment. While this battery type has evolved over time, the fundamentals have remained the same. These batteries are fully charged and installed into lifts at the beginning of a shift, then removed for recharging at the end.


Advantages of a Lead Acid Forklift Battery

Lead-acid batteries are an inexpensive battery option that will stay charged for eight-hour shifts when adequately charged, making them practical for single-shift operations. Lead-acid batteries can be used in light or heavy-duty applications. They are durable, well-understood technology that provides reliable service when maintained appropriately. These batteries last 1,000-1,500 charging cycles.


Disadvantages of a Lead Acid Forklift Battery

For three eight-hour shifts, you will need to invest in three sets of batteries to ensure they can all be adequately charged. This also requires the space to charge them and the manpower to remove and replace batteries from the lifts. A watering system may be required for the maintenance of these batteries, along with safety training for your staff, as these batteries require regular maintenance and cleaning.


Lithium-Ion Forklift Batteries

Invented in 1991 and industrialized in 1996, lithium-ion batteries are a modern commercial battery type used for various battery-required items, including forklifts. They are gaining traction as a forklift battery choice, as these smaller batteries provide high levels of charge and minimal maintenance needs, helping material handling companies boost productivity and save money.


Advantages of a Lithium-Ion Forklift Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are cost-effective with no maintenance requirements. They provide reliability and longevity that ensures your operations are not interrupted by power failures. While they have a smaller capacity than lead acid batteries, at approximately 200 ampere-hours, they can be quickly recharged on lunch breaks, making them an economical battery choice. Lithium-ion batteries can last for 2,000-3,000 charge cycles.


Disadvantages of a Lithium-Ion Forklift Battery

The convenience of long-lasting lithium-ion batteries comes at a price, as they are initially more expensive than other battery options. Lithium-ion batteries are also affected by the environmental temperatures they work in; they should not be exposed to high temperatures, as they are inherently flammable and can become damaged in extreme heat.


Alternative Forklift Battery Types

There are alternative battery options beyond the standard lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. Gel cell lead acid, similar to lead acid, may be used for your power lifts; these batteries require long charging times and must be immediately removed once ready to avoid damage. Absorbed glass mat batteries may also be used; while these batteries charge quickly, they do not offer longevity.


Let’s Discuss Your Workplace Efficiency

Your business’s unique needs will determine the battery type most effective for your operations. If you are interested in learning more about your battery options, or cost-effective power lift alternatives, Ring Lift Power Trucks is here to help! Contact the professionals today to discuss your workforce needs!


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