Need Power? “Macgyver” It From Used Forklift Batteries–Here Is How

Used forklift batteries are often low on power, but they can be recharged or used for other things. On a popular 80's show, "MacGyver," the main character would know several different ways to use the same devices or pieces of equipment. The same holds true for forklift batteries, whether they are fully charged or not. Here is a way you can extract more power from these items when you do not have a generator, but you do have some mad "MacGyver" skills.

Linking Weak Batteries Together in a Series

Before you get started, make sure you are wearing rubber gloves to protect yourself from electric shocks. Then you can link some weak batteries together to create more power for whatever you need. Here is the process:

  1. Expose the power posts on all of the batteries you are going to link together. 
  2. Strip the plastic off the ends of several power cords, exposing the copper wire inside.
  3. Wrap and twist the exposed copper wire on one end of a cord around a battery post. Then connect to the next battery by wrapping and twisting the opposit end of the cord around the post. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE WRAPPING AND TWISTING THE WIRE AROUND TWO POSITIVE POSTS OR TWO NEGATIVE POSTS. DO NOT WRAP AND TWIST THE WIRE ENDS AROUND ONE NEGATIVE AND ONE POSITIVE POST UNLESS YOU WANT TO BLOW YOURSELF UP.
  4. Repeat these steps until all of your batteries are linked, with all positive posts connected and linked to each other and all negative posts connected and linked to each other.
  5. Now, attach a set of jumper cables to the first battery in the series, being careful to connect the postive and negative post to the correct jumper cable clamps. You have a live set of jumper cables now, so do not let the clamps on the opposite end touch.
  6. Attach the remaining set of jumper cable clamps to the battery in your car, or use this makeshift generator to supply power to your home or to another dead battery in any other vehicle.

If you are going to use this "MacGuyver" method of providing electricity to your home or business, make sure you know exactly where to connect the set of jumper cable clamps. An electrical engineer would know, so if you have one working for you, you can ask him/her. Otherwise, examine your circuit breakers and the wiring feeding into the box before this project gets underway (look for where a generator would connect to the box, if you were going to install a generator). Contact a battery supplier, like U.S. Lift & Warehouse Equipment Inc, for more help.