Forklift Batteries

Modern day electric forklifts are powered by sealed lead acid batteries, which are similar, but larger than the battery found in a car. On average, sealed lead acid batteries can run through an 8 hour period before having to recharge it again.

The main reasons why forklift operators prefer to use an electric forklift truck rather than a gas-powered truck is because electric forklifts produce zero emissions, are less costly to operate, and perform smoothly. The electric batteries also act as counter-weights on the forklifts because they are so large, which allows for a heavier base for more stability to the vehicle. Despite these advantages, the disadvantages to the electric battery are safety issues in case it leaks, because the acid contained within the battery is harmful to the unprotected worker. Batteries can also create an electric shock to workers if mishandled. It is always best to make sure that your forklift operator and co-workers are not just trained in operating a forklift, but also properly trained in forklift battery safety and handling.

Sealed Lead-Acid (SLA) Battery

Sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries, otherwise known as "Gel Cells",are called such for the acid and silica gel jelloey mixture that is injected between the positive and negative plates of the battery to act as a compression material. This allows for venting during charge,discharge and atmospheric pressure changes. The advantage of gelled batteries is that they create seals between the plates, making it nearly impossible for water, acid, or liquid spillage if the positive plate cracks. This quality creates a battery that can hold a charge at full capacity for a longer period of time. The disadvantages of gelled batteries is that over time, they must be charged at a slower rate so that excess gas within the battery does not damage the cells; if the battery is overcharged, the heat produced can actually melt the gel separating the plates, thus allowing for a shortened battery life span.

Valve-Regulated-Lead-Acid (VRLA) Battery

A cousin to the sealed lead-acid battery, the valve-regulated-lead-acid (VRLA) battery is also a sealed battery, yet it is not totally sealed, and features vents to allow the release of gasses from inside the battery. Having vents also allows the VRLA to have the capacity to leak, and because of the release of moisture and gasses, the battery's life is shortened. However, the advantage of having a VRLA is that excess heat produced within the battery will be dissipated through the vents, thus reducing the risk of damaging the battery cells. This feature also allows for charging of the VRLA at a wider range of voltages than its low voltage cousin, the SLA battery.Special caps, popularly termed, "Hydro Caps", may also come with the VRLA battery, which will return 95% of the vented and cooled moisture back into the battery. This counters the loss in battery life due to the loss of moisture.

Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries (AGM)

The newest and most efficient type of sealed lead-acid battery, the absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery utilizes absorbed glass mats as the compression material stuffed between the positive and negative plates of the battery. This creates a larger thickness of the plate, seals and locks the moisture inside the battery, and withstands extensive shocks and vibrations much better than its gelled counterpart. The AGM glass mat also allows for the absorption of heat and moisture from the battery cells, reducing the risk of overheating of the cells andrecombines 99% of the gasses back into the battery. The AGM battery isthe most efficient battery on the market, and is the preferred battery for use in high performance vehicles due to its durability and efficiency.

Forklift Batteries

Forklift batteries come in three main different variations. Each battery has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the one you choose to run on your forklift should be the one most suited for your business.

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