If your business uses forklifts and other industrial machinery, you probably know all too well how new equipment costs can build up. So naturally, when it comes time to replace an electric forklift battery, it seems reasonable to look for a used or reconditioned battery rather than a new one that may have a heftier price tag. But can you know what you’re getting at a lower cost?
A forklift is only as good as its battery, and if properly maintained, a good battery can last years. Because of this potential longevity, it’s possible to recondition used forklift batteries for resale and continue to get plenty of use out of them. However, cost is not the only consideration when purchasing a replacement battery for your forklift. Here’s our take:
The Cheaper Option: Reconditioned Batteries
Because companies that recondition batteries for resale are not manufacturing a whole new battery, used and reconditioned forklift batteries are often cheaper than buying them new. That’s not to say, however, that no work at all goes into reconditioned batteries. As the name implies, reconditioned batteries go through several steps to get them into the best possible working condition, including testing, charging, desulfation, and cleaning.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to know the maintenance history of a used battery before it is reconditioned. No matter how carefully a battery is charged and equalized during reconditioning, poor charging practices earlier in the battery’s life could have permanently damaged the battery’s ability to hold a full charge, greatly affecting its performance down the line.
In addition, while some sulfation is reversible, it can also be permanent if left untreated for too long. It is unlikely that a reconditioned electric forklift battery seller would allow a battery with permanent sulfation back onto the market, but buying from companies with less experience or a poor reputation could result in receiving an unworkable battery.
The Benefits of Brand New
While they may be more expensive than used, new forklift batteries have the potential to give you huge returns on your investment. As we mentioned previously, a properly maintained battery can last years, giving you lots of working hours with a forklift at peak performance. Maintaining a forklift battery requires only that you build best practices such as charging properly, checking fluid levels, and equalizing batteries into your workplace routine. As just another part of using a forklift, proper battery maintenance can help you get the most out of your industrial machinery.
As the only owner of a new battery, you know exactly how well your battery has been maintained, and how much longer it will deliver the performance you need. This peace of mind, combined with a better ROI, takes the risk and guesswork out of replacing an electric forklift battery and keeps your business running like it should be.