How Much Sulfuric Acid Is In A Forklift Battery?

What Is A Forklift Battery?

A forklift battery powers the electric motor in a forklift and provides a counterweight to the forklift due to its mass. There are different types of forklift batteries in the market, like Lithium-ion batteries, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries, Gel Lead Acid batteries, and the Wet Cell Led acid battery. Lead-acid batteries are the most common; it works by generating power through a chemical reaction that occurs between two lead plates, one as the cathode (lead oxide) and the other one called the anode (porous lead, also known as sponge lead) suspended inside a mix of 65% water and 35% sulfuric acid. The cathode is the positive charge end, and the anode is the negative charge end. They are also called wet-cell batteries. It is pretty clear that these batteries are a crucial need to operating a forklift; therefore, you should know what to look out for when purchasing them. 

How Much Does A Forklift Battery Weigh?

How much sulfuric acid is in a forklift battery contributes to only about eighteen percent of its total weight, while the lead plates make up for about seventy percent. Typically, a forklift battery weight is around 2400lbs, so the sulfuric acid should be approximately 432lbs, and the lead plates about 1,690lbs. Other components adding to the forklift battery weight are the container itself and connecting wires. 

forklift truck

How Much Sulfuric Acid Is In A Car Battery?

The acid used in car batteries is also sulfuric acid, which is mixed with water to achieve a 37% concentration level. Usually, 30%-50% of sulfuric acid is contained in car batteries, while the rest of it is water. This is a density of about 1.25 kilograms per liter. Although, this density is not always constant because the level of battery sulfuric acid changes in cycles during the charging and discharging process. 

How Much Does A Gallon Of Sulfuric Acid Weigh?

The weight of sulfuric acid depends on its level of concentration. It is highly unlikely to have completely pure sulfuric acid. The purest form should be about 98.3% concentrated, which would usually weigh between 13lbs to 15lbs per gallon. Dilute sulfuric acid is around 8.5lbs per gallon. How much battery sulfuric acid also largely depends on the voltage and the AH/6hr rating (which means how many amps a battery can deliver per six hours). In a 12 volts battery, the AH/6hr rating is 180 and 650; the electrolyte content is between 3.24 and 16.08, so the sulfuric acid contained is between 0.85 to 4.26 gallons, measured in pounds as 13.02 and 65.10 respectively. In a 48 volts battery, the measurement is around double the ones for a 12 volts battery. The same parameters also go for the 36 volts battery and 48 volts battery. 

Forklift Battery Size And Weight Chart:

The size of your forklift battery needs to be noted because using the wrong size and weight of the battery can cause instability and can pose a hazard. 

How To Maintain Forklift Battery:


  • Generally, charging a battery should be scheduled and not from convenience for it to stay well maintained. The general rule is to charge after an 8-hour usage or when the battery has discharged up to 30%. Avoid charging too often, so you do not weaken the battery. Once you have started to charge the battery, avoid cutting off the process. Make it a habit to keep it charging until it is full to preserve the battery’s l0ngevity. 
  • Control temperature during charging to keep the battery in good condition. Excess heat will shorten the battery life by 50%. The appropriate temperature for charging is 25 degrees; anything less would make charging slower than normal. 
  • Do not over-discharge your forklift battery beyond 80%. Anything beyond 80% discharge will also shorten battery life. 
  • Do not sit on a discharged battery for longer than a few hours. Leaving a discharged battery to sit for long will cause hard sulfation, which will, in turn, decrease its run time and efficiency. 


  • Use warm water or battery cleaner to wipe the top of your forklift battery. Not only is this a mere maintenance practice, but it is also sometimes a requirement to claim your warranty. It helps to prevent corrosion, build, and self-discharging.

Fluid level checks:

It is recommended to check the fluid levels of your battery approximately every five charging cycles. Check your manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to top up your battery fluid when it is low. 


For optimal battery life, you want to keep forklift batteries within the range at or below 45 degrees.


Before refilling batteries, you need to put every possibility of a hazard out of the way. Here are some tips for safety while refilling:

  • Completely take off jewelry accessories from your body.
  • Wear safety goggles and hand gloves when handling acid battery].
  • Check for leakage or corrosion. 
  • Ensure terminals are not connected.

How much sulfuric acid is in a car battery?

The amount of sulfuric acid in a car battery varies with the car model, but generally, it is between 30% and 50% of sulfuric acid. A typical car battery is designed to deliver a larger amount of current for a short period. On average, a car battery weighs about 40lbs, while a forklift battery weighs between 800lbs to 4000lbs.

Caring for your lead-acid car battery:

The average lifespan of a car battery is three to four years. You can care for your battery this way and help it last:

  • Avoid taking short trips too often
  • Drive your car
  • Test your battery from time to time
  • Clean your battery regularly
  • Keep your battery tightened to prevent loosening from vibrations
  • Reduce exposure to heat
  • Keep accessories turned off when your car is not running.

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