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FAQ about Forklift Batteries

Filed under: Forklift Maintenance & Upkeep

Adaptalift Hyster’s Motive Power Product Specialist - Steve Yates - has addressed the most common FAQs to do with forklift batteries, regenerating a second hand forklift battery or purchasing a new one. Instances arise where a second hand or a rejuvenated battery may be more suitable to implement for your Forklift, rather than replacing altogether with a new battery.

What are the key signs of a bad condition battery?

Post growth, dished battery tops, discoloured electrolyte, poor run time and bad egg smell.  These symptoms can occur in one or many cells, any cells displaying these symptoms will require replacement whether the battery is being regenerated or not. If the whole battery displays these symptoms, then the battery requires replacement.

Is there a procedure we should follow when checking second hand batteries?

The construction of forklift batteries utilises highly corrosive sulphuric, lead and other materials. Taking this into account; we recommend that all testing of batteries be conducted by personnel trained in the handling and maintenance of flooded lead acid batteries.

Keeping this in mind, a visual inspection can be carried out by those untrained in battery maintenance and handling as this does not require the person inspecting to actually touch the product.  The items that can be visually detected are post growth and dished battery tops.  Anything further to this and our trained technicians are able to attend and carry out a complete inspection for you.

What are the main problems found in second hand batteries?

The main problems found with second hand batteries are;

  • Sulphation of the plates
  • Split gauntlets (Tubular Plate)
  • Severe paste shed (Tubular negative plate and both Positive and negative plate in a flat plate battery)
  • Corrosion

In most cases, the battery can be recovered by regeneration if it is only affected by sulphation, if the other conditions above are evident, then the battery cannot be recovered.

Most companies store their old forklift batteries for some time without charging them. When they were placed in storage they were probably in fair to good condition. After 3 or more months of being stored without charging, sulphates crystalise on the plates. Previously all these batteries would have been scrapped. Adaptalift Hyster utilises the latest technology in battery regeneration where we can breakdown these sulphate crystals and recover lost capacity. Now these batteries that were due to be scrapped can be regenerated and returned to service (conditions apply).


Batteries ready for scrap can now be revitalised by AALH

Batteries ready for scrap can now be revitalised by AALH

Is it more cost effect to refurbish or buy a new battery?

To answer this question, you need to ask yourself:

  • What capacity weights am I lifting?
  • How long do I use the forklift per day/week?
  • Am I prepared to keep up the maintenance on the battery to ensure the recovered capacity is not prematurely lost?
  • How long do I want the battery to last (months/years) before I replace it with a new one?

If a second-hand regenerated battery is the correct option for your requirement the savings can be substantial.  Our battery division is more than happy to work through your requirement and provide a solution.


Cost comparison graph

What is Battery Regeneration?

All forklift batteries begin to sulphate from the day they are manufactured. The normal operation of cycling (charging and discharging) the battery results in more sulphates building up on the plates; this is a result of charging technology not being 100% efficient.  After each charge, tiny sulphates are left unconverted and this slowly builds up, not allowing the battery to accept full charge due to the resistance of the sulphates.

Over time, what was an 8hr charge from an 80% discharged battery can become a 3-4hr charge. This is because the charger reads voltage and resistance results in higher voltages thus tricking the charger into thinking the battery is fully charged. The charger switches off before the battery has even gassed on a lot of occasions, leaving the battery with not much more capacity than it had prior to going on charge. The battery is then always placed back into service with complaints that it does not last.  Previously these batteries would have to be replaced, however now we can remove the sulphates from the plates and return capacity to the battery effectively increasing the life span.

Battery regeneration system

One of our battery regeneration units.

Purchasing new batteries - How we can help!

Adaptalift Hyster is proud of their partnerships with industry leading battery manufactures and suppliers. These partnerships give AALH access to the world’s leading quality product and technologies.  Adaptalift can provide a Motive Power solution for all requirements from designing a Greenfield battery room, power management, online battery room management and automatic battery watering, changing systems, sealed maintenance free, right down to test and reports and cell replacements.

Our British Standard product ranges from 46ah – 1380ah.
Whilst our DIN Standard product ranges from 100ah – 1860ah

Single Point Watering systems (Aquamatic) are standard on all of our flooded lead acid Motive Power batteries.  The latest High Frequency Smart Data enabled Intellichargers complement our quality batteries to ensure you have a trouble free battery life.  Additionally we provide Industry leading warranty, service and technical support leaves no doubt about our ability to ensure you are dealing with the smartest supplier in the country.

Forklift new battery

New Battery

AALH Intellicharger

Our Intellicharger

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