Selecting a forklift battery

what to know

The forklift battery is a large investment for your electric forklift. Getting the optimal pairing will ensure a longer life for your battery and keeps your forklift in production during every shift. Whether searching for a new or reconditioned battery, providing the following information to your supplier will be beneficial when selecting a forklift battery.


The battery’s weight accounts for a large percentage of the forklift’s capacity and installing an undersized battery can cause stability issues. Research the counterweight requirement by reviewing the forklift’s data tag and measure the maximum space available in the battery compartment.

Also learn the level of voltage the forklift is designed to handle. Battery capacity is rated in ampere (amp) hours. The higher the amp hour, the more power the battery will deliver under specified conditions of temperature, rate of discharge and final voltage. To maximize the production and run time of your forklift, purchase the highest rated amp hour capacity battery that will fit into the battery compartment.


Give your supplier details of the connector, including where the battery plugs into the truck and the length of the battery cable required. Also note the color of the battery connectors to ensure the correct charger is used to charge a specific battery. The battery connectors are color coded and will only plug into a like color. Once the connector color has been determined, the connector size should be identified.


The battery charger must be designed for your forklift’s battery voltage and amp hour rating. Review the forklift’s data tag with your supplier and confirm the charger is compatible with the battery. If it is a reconditioned charger, calibrate it to the original factory specifications.

After identifying a battery, your supplier can help determine the number of batteries to purchase for the forklift. If your production runs more than one shift, it may be necessary to have 2-3 batteries dedicated to keeping the forklift running. Many suppliers can also discuss the option of using reconditioned batteries

Have questions about forklift batteries? Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! 

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.