9 Tips For Forklift Battery Maintenance
The emergence of the electric forklift back in the 1920’s has taken the warehouse and transportation industry by storm, especially in recent years. There is more of a demand now to be green and to reduce one’s carbon footprint, and electric battery forklift helps individuals to achieve this target. For those who are utilising forklift trucks that run using batteries, as opposed to diesel or gas, it is vital that forklift battery maintenance is fully adhered to. By looking after your forklift’s battery, you can ensure that both it and the forklift have the longest lifespan possible.
With this in mind, this blog will take you through 9 forklift battery maintenance tips you should be incorporating.
1) Charge Battery at The End of Each Day
By allowing your forklift battery to run down during the day and then putting it on charge overnight, you are keeping your battery in an optimal condition. Consequently, This means that you get the most out of the number of charge cycles left in your forklift’s battery. With charge cycles in mind, you may want to be clued up on what is called ‘opportunity charging’. This is where if you put your battery on charge for a quick 10 minutes before you use it again, you’ve used up one of your finite number of charge cycles. In order to make the most of the charging cycle and keep the battery in an optimal condition, It is recommended that you leave the forklift battery to go through its normal process of charging overnight and after shifts.
2) Change Batteries In A Dry Place
Your forklift truck battery can be prone to oxidation and rust. This can be extremely harmful if the rust is allowed to build up on the battery. In order to prevent this from happening, change your battery in a dry place, which is well ventilated. This will minimise the risk of oxidation and increase the longevity of your forklift’s battery.
3) Allow The Charge to Fully Complete
By allowing your forklift’s battery to fully complete its charge, you are successfully applying optimal forklift battery maintenance procedures. Furthermore, it is advised that you do not interrupt the charge once it’s begun. Once the battery is plugged in, allow it to charge for the suggested length of time, as opposed to prematurely disconnecting it. This will give the forklift battery the power it requires in order to perform the task at hand and will improve the efficiency of the forklift.
4) Be Patient When Disconnecting The Battery
Never disconnect the battery without first switching off all the necessary components like the battery charger. It is best to remove the plug from the socket by holding the plug itself rather than tugging on the actual wire itself. If you tug the wire you expose yourself to potentially damaging the equipment which could in fact be hazardous to yourself in the wrong conditions.
It always pays to be patient when disconnecting the battery from your forklift and it’s recommended that you wait at least five minutes before disconnecting the batteries from their chargers. You need to wait for hydrogen gas levels to lower as failing to do this could result in an explosion. Clearly something not ideal for a warehouse setting.
5) Never Charge With Battery Vent Caps Open
The vent caps on forklift batteries are there to adjust the pressure inside the battery itself. While charging the battery, you should never leave the vent caps open otherwise this leaves the potential for the battery acid to leak, which could consequently damage the battery and create a hazard to yourself, workers in the surrounding vicinity and the forklift.
6) Do Not Attempt Battery Repairs Yourself
A forklift battery can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t fully understand how each and every component works. If your battery isn’t working and a simple clean or water top-up doesn’t do the job, you shouldn’t attempt any repairs yourself. The best thing to do is to contact your battery manufacturer to discuss the issues. They will then be able to send out an engineer to rectify the problem and keep your safety intact.
7) Maintain Appropriate Fluid Levels
The fluid levels of the forklift battery are important to the health of the forklift’s battery. If the fluid level gets too low, then the plates will be exposed to the air, causing long term damage and reducing the battery efficiency. It is advised that fluid levels are topped up every ten charges to prevent any problems with your battery powered forklifts.
8) Charge With Lid Open
This is quite a simple and often neglected tip but whenever you charge your batteries, it is advised to keep the component lid open. This easily performed tip can really help to extend the life of your batteries. Overheating is one of the most common causes of technological malfunctions and can damage the product as well as its key components. As a general rule of thumb, it is advised that the electrolyte levels are kept below 50°C which can be achieved with proper ventilation.
9) Keep Your Battery Clean
If you keep your battery clean from any accidental acid spillages then this will help maintain the overall health of your battery. Rinsing your battery every 6 months or so will help remove the acid and prevent any long-term issues. At Trucks Direct, we stock a huge range of electric battery powered forklift trucks. If you are interested in purchasing our products contact us today where a member of our friendly and highly knowledgeable team will get back to you.