A forklift battery, on average, can last a single-shift operation for five years. The battery life can extend to ten years with proper care and maintenance, showing how important it is to maintain and handle these batteries properly. Looking after your forklift battery well ensures its longevity and the forklifts too.
Here are simple ways to help maintain forklift batteries extending their lifespan:
- Check and Maintain Proper Fluid Levels
Enough water in the forklift battery is essential to function to its full capacity. Having a schedule and checking the battery’s fluid level every five charging cycles is vital. It ensures the battery’s health is okay. Always check several cells to confirm enough water to cover the plastic battery element.
If the level is too low, the plates will be exposed to the air causing long-term damage. It also reduces battery efficiency drastically. For better battery functioning, forklift manufacturers recommend top-up at every ten charges. Refrain from overfilling the battery, as there is a need for extra space for expansion when the battery is in use.
- Charge the Battery At the End of Each Day
Let the battery run down during the day and charge it overnight. Doing this helps keep the battery in good condition. You get the most out of the number of charge cycles. Avoid charging the battery for a few minutes before using it again.
It means you have ineffectively used one of the finite numbers of charge cycles. Let the battery charge overnight to make the most out of the charging cycle to maintain and keep the battery in good condition.
- Always Keep the Forklift Battery at Safe Temperatures
Sometimes forklifts in India are used in extreme environments. They keep the operating temperature at or below 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) for a longer lifespan. If it is a must to work in hot conditions, ensure the forklift traction battery compartment has circulation to cool.
- Charge the Battery In A Dry Place
The forklift battery is prone to oxidation and rust. It can be very harmful if rust builds up on the battery. It is possible to avoid this by charging the battery in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry place. Adhering to this will reduce the risk of oxidation.
- Equalize the Battery
Sometimes some forklift batteries require equalizing. They come with an equalizing setting on their charger. What equalizes a forklift battery? It means overcharging the battery to remove sulfate crystals built on the plates.
Sulfation on any battery drastically shortens its life. After equalizing, it reverses acid stratification. It happens when the acid concentration at the bottom of the battery is greater than that at the top. Remember, not all forklift batteries need equalizing. Check for the specifications. If it is a wet cell battery, equalizing should be done once a week. Avoid equalizing more than the advised frequency per operating procedures because it does not make it better.
- Clean the Forklift Battery
Cleaning the battery from accidental acid spillage helps maintain the overall health of the battery. Always ensure rinsing of the battery every six months or more frequently if necessary. It will help in removing the acid, preventing long-term problems.
Also Read: When Should You Replace Your Forklift?
A battery is an essential part of running a forklift. It acts as the equipment’s power source, meaning productivity depends on it. Proper maintenance is required to make operations smoother and more efficient.