Selecting a forklift battery charger

10 Things to Consider

Selecting the best forklift battery charger is critical for maintaining a healthy battery. It’s equally important that the forklift battery has enough charge at the start of each work shift, and throughout, to meet the demands of your company’s production. 

SELECTING A FORKLIFT BATTERY CHARGER

SOURCING

Source the forklift battery from the same supplier as the charger. During a battery malfunction, the source of the problem is not always clear. Whether the batter or charger is the problem, sourcing both items from the same supplier ensure their technical support.

COST

Determine the total cost of the charger. Most forklift battery chargers are sold without the cables that connect the charger to an electrical supply. The cost of these cables and the cost to have an electrician connect the charger should be considered. 

ELECTRICAL SUPPLY

Check your electrical supply. It should have capacity to handle the normal operating amperage draw as well as the start-up amperage draw. When a forklift battery initially starts during the charge cycle, it draws a large amount of current if the electrical service is adequate. Other electrical products in your facility can be affected.

Output cables

Give attention to the output cables. The output cables that connect the charger to the forklift are  usually supplied with  the  forklift  battery  charger.  However,  they  may  not  be  long  enough  to  suit  the  location  of the charger in relation to the location of the forklift during battery charging . It is important to house  the charger and its output cables off the ground to prevent damage by the forklift.

Forklift charger adjustments

Match the charger to the forklift battery to prevent irreversible damage to the  battery.  When  replacing  a forklift battery for your current forklift, confirm the battery technician adjusts the charger to match the characteristics  of  the  replacement  battery .  Skipping  this   step  will  likely   shorten   the   life  of  the  battery and/ or limit the charge that can be extracted due to chronic under- or overcharging.

Output voltage

Match the output voltage of the charger to the voltage of the  battery  and  the  forklift’s  electrical  system. This will avoid battery damage.

Compatibility

Confirm the charger is compatible. It should match the connector on the battery and its forklift.

Auto start/ stop

Purchase an auto start/auto stop charger. It is designed to stop the charging process when the battery is fully charged.

Battery temperature

Look for a charger that monitors battery temperature and adjusts the charge rate when the temperature falls outside of the normal operating range.  High battery temperatures will have a direct impact on the life of a forklift battery.

Equalization

Choose a forklift battery charger with the ability to equalize the battery. Equalization is needed to  keep  a battery from accumulating excessive lead sulfate on the plates , which is known to result in a reduction of battery capacity and overall life .

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.