Tips for an effective forklift battery maintenance

To bring those forklift batteries along with you for the long run, proper maintenance is essential. Handling forklift batteries is therefore imperative for their longevity. While there are many ways on how to maintaining it, doing it properly will make sure your investment is doubled!

This blog aims to throw out tips on how to maintain the forklift battery effectively, for an extended life. By these tips we help educating the forklift operators to manage the battery of their forklift in a better way. Ensuring to follow the same with these proper maintenance plan is sure to double the longevity of your forklifts as they are heavy and dangerous. Apart from that, the blog also gives you a checklist on effective forklift battery maintenance.

Here are the tips

  1. Never cut the charging cycle of your forklift battery. Cutting short on the charging cycle can result in the battery’s endurance. Therefore, never forget to fully recharge the battery once at least in a day.
  2. Never let a discharged battery remain for too long. This can probably build up the sulfation formation, reducing run time of the battery.
  3. Do not over discharge the your forklift’s battery. Discharging beyond 80% will only bring irreparable damage to the battery, shortening its lifespan.
  4. Keep a check on the battery temperature while charging. Disproportionate heat will only shorten the battery life by half. Keeping the battery close to 25C is fine and not beyond.
  5. The place allotted for the battery charging area should ideally have a clear signage, necessary water supply for ventilation, eye washing, a fire extinguisher and should be equipped with a phone in case of emergencies.
  6. Maintain the water level of your battery. Develop a schedule to monitor the fluid level of your forklift batteries.
  7. In case if it’s a brand new battery, top them off every 10 charges, covering the plastic battery element. This should happen only when they are fully charged. Remember in these cases not to overfill the battery especially when the lift truck battery is in use.
  8. Precisely ensure the water level in the batteries should fall between 5 and 7 on the pH scale. Also make use of distilled water rather than water with impurities as per the water specifics.
  9. Never fail to take the gravity reading of the battery’s cells every month! Ensure this with a hydrometer after every charge. Standard forklift batteries will have specific gravity of 1.285 ideally. However, check your battery’s specifications as per your model.
  10. For an optimal battery life, ensure they are not exposed to any extreme environments. Keep below 113 degrees Fahrenheit as the operating temperature.
  11. Do not indulge in cleaning forklift batteries with battery cleaner or warm water. It can never be a good maintenance practice. Highly recommended is a monthly cleaning to avoid build-up, and corrosion.
  12. To manoeuvre the battery use the special equipment, similar to that of the walkie pallet jack when it comes to transferring carriage. Trying to move it manually will only result in disaster due to the weight these batteries come with. Also during such instances, wearing steel toe shoes should help!
  13. Make sure the workers involved in shifting wear a chemical-resistant protective gear and a chemical-resistant gear. The station should have a well maintained eye and hand washing station.
  14. While charging and handling remove all metallic jewelry
  15. Ensure that there is a proper compatibility between the charger and the battery. The charger should corelate with the voltage/amperage of the battery. Make sure to color code the connectors and clearly label the chargers, which will prevent connecting the battery with the wrong charger accidentally.
  16. Never forget this! Water forklift batteries always after the charge, and not before. This is because the electrolyte expands when the charging process happens and adding more water is risks over-watering, leading to boil-overs.
  17. Filling the battery cells to about 1/4-inch over the element protector will help the longevity of the battery.
  18. Install an Integrated Watering System will help a lot! You simply have to mount this over a charger cabinet with their hoses out of their battery cells. This set up will water multiple batteries, automatically activating immediately after a charge cycle gets over.
  19. Never smoke near the designated battery changing area. Strictly prohibit it.
  20. Use suitable handling equipment when it comes to both lifting and moving heavy batteries.
  21. Positioning the forklifts appropriately and applying breaks before charging or changing batteries should be ensured.
  22. For those batteries that are equipped with sealed vents, never recharge with a power that is greater than 25 amperes.
  23. When you note that the battery is too hot and electrolyte fluid is leaking, immediately turn off the charger and start to restart at a comparatively lower charging rate.
  24. It is advisable to maintain an accurate record of battery watering, inspections conducted, cleaning, and other maintenance, etc.
  25. Never forget to maintain the correct electrolyte levels as mentioned.
  26. Maintain batteries in clean and dry condition.
  27. Insure ever that no metal objects gets into the contact with the battery.