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Before You Buy Used Forklift Batteries: Things You Should Do First

by Pamela Hill

There are two types of used forklift batteries; rechargeable and standard auto batteries. You can buy either type used or new, but buying used could save you some money in the short term. Before you buy any used forklift batteries, however, here are a few things you should do first.

Check the Battery for Current Flow

The best way to buy anything used is to buy it in person. Buying a used item sight unseen or just by pictures you see is a real "buyer-beware" situation. To make sure you are buying a battery that still has some juice in it, take a portable amp meter with you when you go to check out the used batteries. Connect the amp meter to each individual battery's posts to get a readout. If the readout falls within the amp meter's parameters of a good battery, buy that one. If you are checking out rechargeable batteries, skip the amp and bring a charging-cord connector instead. You will need to charge the rechargeable battery to see the readout on the battery anyway.

Open the Tops and Look Inside When the Batteries Are Cold

You never want to open a hot battery or open one that has just finished charging. Wait for the battery to cool off, or else open it before you charge it or check the level of electrical current coming from the posts. The inside of a rechargeable battery will look mechanical and robotic, but loose wires and loose components are what you want to avoid. Standard auto batteries for forklifts should have adequate levels of fluid inside as well as two or three plates through which the current flows when the battery is activated. If anything is askew or low, avoid buying the batteries and ask to see other used batteries.

Avoid Any Batteries That Have Acid or Corrosion on the Posts or Connections

Batteries that have powdered acid on the posts should be avoided completely. This battery has leaked or is leaking battery acid, which turns to a powdery substance and sticks to the posts once it has exited the battery. With rechargeable batteries, there may be corrosion, but it presents itself a little differently on the battery's connections. Discoloration on the connections is a good indication for bad rechargeable batteries. If the posts or connections on any of the used batteries are clean and clear, and no residue is present, then go ahead and buy these batteries.

Talk to companies like U.S. Lift & Warehouse Equipment Inc to get started.