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Choosing Forklift Battery Stands: Overhead vs. Side Access

The key to efficiency in the battery room is to use the right tool for the job. That's as true for the stands that hold charging batteries as it is for the equipment that actually moves batteries in and out of lift trucks.

You'll use one of two systems to change out batteries: either a gantry crane, which lifts batteries vertically from enclosed battery compartments, or a Battery Extractor, which pulls batteries from an opening in forklift flanks. Match stands to forklift battery compartments for safer, more efficient change-outs every time. Here's a quick comparison between stands designed for vertical extraction systems and those built for side-pull battery compartments.

Battery and Charger Stands for Side-Extraction Forklifts

When you pull a one-ton-plus tub of lead and acid out of a heavy duty forklift, you want to use as little force as possible to get the job done. That means limiting friction for smooth, equipment-friendly battery extractions.

The best solution for lateral battery changes is a set of rollers lining a stand's battery bed. These reduce friction to limit wear on battery extractor arms and battery cases alike. But not just any set of rollers will do.

Choose stands with rollers that are designed specifically for the great weight and corrosive runoff of forklift batteries. Battery Roller Stands from Solus Group include heavy duty rollers with high-density poly-sleeves, rendering them acid- and spark-resistant.

Storing Batteries Safely in Vertical Extraction Systems

If you use a gantry crane to lift batteries out of lift trucks, roller beds aren't your best choice. Instead, pick a battery stand that's designed to support forklift batteries without allowing any lateral movement.

Hardwood Battery StationHardwood Battery Stations from Solus Group feature heavy duty decking made of acid-resistant, spark-proof polyethylene (actual hardwood is available on request). These surfaces can stand up to the weight of any commonly used forklift battery, even when the gantry crane operator doesn't quite stick the landing with finesse. They're also environmentally friendly; the manufacturer only uses high-quality recycled polyethylene in the decking.

Forklift Battery Stand Features Common to Both Applications

If this comparison were set into a Venn diagram, there would be a lot of features in the center of the interlocking circles. After all, both types of stands are doing the exact same job; they're just making it easier for a given type of battery handling equipment to perform its function.

No matter which type of battery-extraction system you use, be sure to choose stands that allow spilled electrolyte to drain into Drip Pans. If you were wondering why slotted decking is a better choice than a solid plank on battery stands, think about what would happen if your batteries sat in increasingly deep pools of electrolyte every time they went in for a charge. It wouldn't be pretty.

Drip Pan Kits from Solus Group can be affixed to either family of battery stands. These corner-formed, leak-proof, heavy duty steel pans catch every drop of electrolyte that escapes the battery case. Add a few AcidSorb Pillows to catch and neutralize drips and spills for simple cleanup.

Along with Drip Pans, consider adding charger shelves to your battery stands. Integrated charger shelves situate chargers above the batteries, using vertical space to limit the battery room's footprint.

No matter what battery stand you choose, be sure that it incorporates the highest-quality steel construction and a powder coating to resist acid. The last thing you want is corrosion on battery stands. When you buy from Solus Group, that’s something you’ll never have to worry about. That’s the power of picking the right tool for the job.