How to Fill a Forklift Battery

Updated April 17, 2017

In any industrial workplace, the time will come when the forklift battery reaches empty and needs to be filled. All forklift operators should study this process before even driving a forklift. A large, heavy battery operates forklifts, and filling it up requires a certain procedure that only licensed operators should do. It is important to note that to get the most lifespan out of a battery, you should fill it only when it is empty.

Check the light for battery level on the forklift dashboard. Once it reaches low, it is time to charge the battery.

Drive the forklift to the charging area and turn off the vehicle.

Turn on the forklift battery charger.

Find the battery panel on the side of the forklift and open it. Unplug the cord connecting the battery to the forklift.

Use a battery cart or another forklift to get the battery down. The battery is too heavy to be lifted by hand, and more than one person is needed to help get the battery onto the battery cart. Be careful not to drop the battery.

Set the voltage of the charger to match the voltage of the battery. Check the forklift manual for proper information. Doing this incorrectly can cause damage to the battery.

Connect the battery to the charger and begin filling it up. There should be an automatic control on the battery charger that stops the charger once the battery is full.

Disconnect the battery from the charger once it is full. Use a battery cart or another forklift, along with a helper, to get the battery back on the forklift.


Check your forklift manual for instructions on filling the battery, as batteries differ between types of forklifts.


Be sure to wear personal protective equipment, as many corrosive chemicals and harmful gases exist in forklift batteries.

Things You'll Need

  • Industrial-sized forklift battery charger
  • Face mask
  • Chemical resistant gloves
  • Lab goggles
  • Battery cart
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About the Author

Nick Callos has been a writer and researcher for over six years, previously working for his school newspaper and now as an online contributor. Callos graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and obtained minors in history, philosophy and Chinese.