Before the advent of the current generation of forklift battery chargers, the operator was responsible for setting the desired voltage and amperage for charging the battery, thus opening the door for human error and damage. Today’s industrial charger contains a complex network of cards and sensors that effectively remove the human from the equation. Today, chargers have preset parameters that protect the battery from overcharging and damage. These preset parameters will actually stop charging and display error codes if there is a problem with the battery instead of pumping the battery full of power until it either boils over, or in worst case scenario, catches fire.
There are a myriad choices as for industrial chargers from small portable chargers that plug into any wall socket, to large wall mounted units that require large amperage capacities with dedicated wiring. Current chargers allow the user to custom tune a specific charge cycle. This customization allows you to control everything from the amount of voltage, amperage, charging time, and even the fill rate over a given time span. These controls allow you greater flexibility in charging, as well as longer battery life and performance.
Modern industrial chargers might contain the following components:
- The charger case, which houses all of the internal components of the charger.
- Circuit cards, large capacitors, and very large transformers sometimes weighing 100 pounds each. Sometimes, as many as four transformers can be found in some chargers and diodes. These transformers are responsible for transforming AC electricity into DC electricity.
- A digital display shows the operator the vital statistics of the battery, the selected charge cycle, and its status.
- The charger cable, and heavy gauge cables, which transfer the high amp loads and voltage to the battery.
What does a forklift battery charger cost?
Forklift battery chargers range in cost from $500 for a portable charger that will plug into a standard 120-volt AC outlet, up to about $3,000 for a charger that must be wired into to the building’s electrical system by a licensed electrician. The price varies depending on specifics of the charger.
Can I buy a used forklift battery charger?
Used forklift battery chargers are available, and are generally priced about 40-60 percent less than a new forklift battery charger.
Can I rent a forklift battery and charger?
Forklift batteries and chargers are available to rent together or separately. Prices depend on battery weight, battery specifications, and desired charger specs. When renting a forklift battery, see ” What does a forklift battery charger cost?” earlier in this article.
When renting, or purchasing, a forklift battery charger, ask the following questions:
- What is the voltage of the battery that you want to charge? The voltage of your battery must match the charger voltage.
- What phase of electricity (1 PHS or 3 PHS)?
- What is the battery AH (amp hours) rating?
- What is the line voltage at the location at which the forklift battery charger will be used? The charger and line voltage must match.
- Will the battery charger be stored in a freezer or cold storage? Batteries should not be charged below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.