Electric forklifts are a great option if you are looking to lower your total cost of ownership, increase productivity and reduce emissions. However, you have to make sure the battery is maintained properly so you can extend its life and maximize your investment.
Here are 9 things you can do to extend the life of your forklift battery.
1) Don’t Charge Your Battery Too Often
If you charge your forklift battery before it gets below 70% discharged, you will damage the battery and shorten its lifespan. Although it may seem easier to charge the battery on a regular schedule or at the end of a shift, it is best to only recharge it when it is needed.
2) Don’t Let Your Battery Run Out of Charge
On the other hand, it is also important to make sure you do not let your battery run out of charge. Set up a system that only charges your equipment when the battery gets below 30%.
3) Unplug Your Machine When Its Fully Charged
If you leave your battery plugged in when it has fully charged, you will cause damage to the battery and shorten its life. Once the battery has been fully charged, unplug the charger.
4) Maintain Proper Water Levels
Watering a battery is important because it helps maintain the temperature of the battery and prevents overheating. If you put in too much water, you could be facing an overflow or an acid dilution. Check the water levels every 5 uses to ensure that it never gets too low.
5) Charge the Battery Completely
Once you start charging a battery, it is important that you let it finish charging completely before you unplug it and put it in use. You want to make sure there is enough time for the acid to distribute through the battery completely before you use the equipment again. If you do not do this, you are risking damage that could shorten the usable lifespan of your battery.
6) Don’t Let a Discharged Battery Sit
If you happen to fully discharge a battery, it is important that you do not let it sit uncharged for too long. Charge it as soon as possible. If you wait too long, hard sulfation can occur which is irreversible and can negatively impact the life of a battery.
7) Don’t Use Damaged Cables
Make sure all of your cables are intact. Check for cuts, fraying and other signs of damage. If they are damaged, you should replace them immediately. You should also plan a regular check of your charger to make sure it is operating correctly.
8) Equalize Your Battery
Set up a regular schedule to equalize your forklift battery. This will rebalance your acid concentration and prevent stratification. If you do not do this, you will end up with a higher acid concentration at the bottom of the battery than you have at the top which can cause irreversible damage.
9) Clean the Top of Your Battery
Cleaning your battery with warm water or battery cleaner will help you remove buildup on top of the battery. If you let your battery go too long without cleaning it, you could end up with corrosion and faster discharge. Try to clean it once a month to avoid corrosion.
At Equipment Depot, we offer full-service battery maintenance and repair. If your battery performance is deteriorating, reach out to us and our team of 750 certified technicians will help you keep your operation running.