Get the Most Out of Your Forklift Battery with 8 Habits

August 07, 2020

Electric forklift undergoing forklift battery maintenance in a warehouse

Properly caring for your forklift battery can significantly improve its longevity. That’s a huge money-saver because these batteries aren’t cheap. A forklift battery typically costs between $2,000 and $6,000. Take care of your equipment and take care of your wallet at the same time.

The practices you use while charging forklift batteries all affect this lifespan. Forklift Inventory is here to help your business succeed. We’ve created a list of best practices when it comes to forklift battery maintenance.

Not only are these practices necessary for maintaining the condition of your equipment, but they ensure safety at your workplace. Forklift batteries are incredibly dangerous. Handling them properly will keep your operators and workers safe.

Learn more about forklift battery maintenance. Implement these 8 simple habits to increase the lifespan of your batteries and ensure safety at your workplace.

Forklift Battery Maintenance Tips

Following proper procedures for forklift battery watering and charging can increase the health and longevity of your equipment. Most businesses don’t realize how much money they lose simply due to the way they care for their equipment. Integrate these 8 easy habits into your practice to increase the life of your fork truck battery safely.

1. Keep your fork truck battery dry and clean.

It’s no secret that water can cause batteries to rust and leak. The last thing you want is for your battery to corrode. The first step to proper forklift battery maintenance is simply setting your equipment up for success. Make sure your battery is not exposed to the elements.

2. Avoid partially charging forklift batteries.

It may be tempting to hook up your battery for a few hours of charge during lunchtime. After all, every minute counts, right? Not when charging forklift batteries.

Every time you connect your forklift battery to the charger, it uses one “life cycle”. Each battery only has so many charging life cycles (usually around 1,500). If you only partially charge your battery twice a day, you could cut your battery’s overall lifespan in half.

3. Routinely inspect your fork truck battery for any defects.

If you aren’t in the loop, you won’t be able to fix problems while they’re small. Inspect your battery often, and fix any malfunctions or problems as they occur. If you’re inspecting your fork truck battery and notice something strange, don’t ignore it. When in doubt, call a technician.

4. Service your forklift battery annually.

Have a service provider wash and provide maintenance on your battery once a year. This will help control any acid leaks or corrosion before anything becomes irreversible.

5. Perform routine forklift battery watering.

When water levels get low, battery plates are exposed to open air. This can cause oxidization, which reduces charge capacity and overall lifespan. Forklift battery watering prevents this from happening.

Be sure to only water your batteries after the charge to prevent boil-overs. Use clean, non-ionized water to prevent residue build-up. Fill battery cells to 0.75-inches above the element protector. Water your fork truck battery about once a week, but keep in mind that older batteries may need to be watered more often.

6. Check battery water levels frequently.

The charging process can also cause water depletion. Forklift battery watering should not be a daily necessity. Keep an eye out for unusually high water loss during a charge. This may be a sign that your battery is gassing more than needed. If you notice your battery losing excessive water during a charge, have your battery inspected by a technician.

7. Keep flames and metal away from the forklift battery top.

As mentioned before, forklift batteries are dangerous. Be sure to adhere to forklift battery safety guidelines, as laid out by OSHA here. OSHA also covers proper forklift battery charging safety procedures. Familiarity with this information will ensure safety while watering and charging forklift batteries.

8. Be aware of temperature when charging forklift batteries.

Excessive heat can cut a battery’s life in half. On the other hand, a battery that is less than 59 degrees Fahrenheit will take more time to reach proper voltage. When charging forklift batteries, keep the temperature as close to 77 degrees Fahrenheit as possible.

Electrical technician performing forklift battery watering and charging

Finding Forklifts for Sale Near You

Now that you have the information you need to succeed with forklift battery maintenance, let’s talk about investing in the proper equipment. Your operation is only as good as the tools you use to run it.

Is it time to replace your equipment? Forklift Inventory carries the largest inventory of new and used forklifts for sale online from industry-leading manufacturers. Access pricing and information on machines that fit your needs before you choose.

Simply let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll send you transparent information on a variety of equipment. Get started today and find the equipment your business needs in minutes with Forklift Inventory.

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