Top 10 tips for forklift battery maintenance
05 May 2022
Taking care of your forklift battery is an essential part of ensuring the longevity of the truck and also maintaining safety. The life of a lead-acid battery is usually around 1250 cycles or in a 5 day week charging daily for 5 years. With the improvements in energy efficiency in forklifts, some customers can now extend the life of the battery by charging every second day.
With proper maintenance, you can ensure your forklift battery gives years of service, protecting your investment and also the environment.
We’ve put together some helpful tips to help extend the life of your forklift battery.
- Do a visual check before every use
At the beginning of each workday, do a visual check that everything looks normal. Ensure terminals and cables are not damaged and look for any signs of battery leakage
- Pay attention to lead-acid battery water levels
Usually, lead batteries have a single-point watering system with a monitor to detect low water levels. Generally, cells need to be topped up weekly.
- Use distilled water
It is recommended to use distilled water for topping up cells. Although, depending on the quality of the tap area in your location, it may not be necessary.
- Water after charging
Always water the lead-acid battery after the charging period. If done before it may cause an acid spill.
- Don’t opportunity charge
Poor charging procedures can result in staff charging the forklift throughout the day. This only puts minimal charge back into the battery and creates more heat in the cells, which will shorten the life of the battery over time.
- Recharge at 20-30%
Charging your battery at 20-30%, to then change fully, is the sweet spot for extending the life of your battery. Be sure not to disturb the charge cycle as this can also affect the battery life.
- Clean your battery
Doing a monthly clean to the battery can help prevent long term issues. This can be done with warm water or if you have it, battery cleaner.
- Charge in a well-ventilated place
To prevent oxidation and harmful rust build up on your battery, changing in a cool and well-ventilated place is recommended.
- Avoid working in extreme temperatures.
A battery's life can be reduced by up to 50% if the environment it’s operating in exceeds 45°C. If working in high temperatures is necessary, ensure the battery has good air circulation.
- Stop operations if the battery emits smoke
If a battery shows signs of smoke, turn it off immediately and contact your local dealer.
There are many benefits to electric forklifts such as providing a cleaner, safer and quieter working environment for staff and it can also offer large savings from fuel costs. But, if the battery is not properly maintained it can reduce the lifespan of the battery and have a significant cost to replace. By ensuring your team follow the above electric forklift best practices, you can protect your investment and ensure its longevity.
Many workplaces in Australia use forklifts to lift, stack, and transfer loads. However, they continue to cause workplace deaths and injuries yearly, resulting in high financial and human costs for workers, industry, and the community.
You’re in the market for a forklift, you may already know which type of forklift you need but now you need to decide which brand of forklift is best for your business. As it is a capital investment, it is wise to carefully consider which brand you are investing in.