Tips For Forklift Battery Care
Installing a new forklift battery is not as simple as replacing the batteries in a TV remote control.
If you've ever seen the sheer size of the battery in your battery-electric forklift, you would realise that these batteries are made to last a long time.
Taking care of your battery is the key to a long working relationship with your forklift.
In case of a spill
In the case of an acid overspill move the battery to a bunded area and wash the battery top immediately with water to dilute the acid. The acid is caustic and will cause corrosion if not properly cleaned and harm to the environment if not contained.
Not cleaning up spilled acid on the battery can reduce your battery's lifespan. It can cause self discharge as the acid is conductive (allows the passage of electricity) and will create additional heat due to poor conductivity.
Charge at the right time, not just any time
Opportunity charging (charging when the vehicle is not in use, or when a charger is free) may cause a shortening of the battery's life. Each charge starts a cycle for the battery and may cut the lifespan of the unit in half. Every forklift battery is rated for approximately 1500 cycles.
Think of it this way: if you had $1,500 and each charge cost you $1, would you rather spend a dollar a day (300 working days a year = five years of use) or three to four times a day (300 working days a year = 1-1.5 years)?
Charge your battery if the charge drops below 30 per cent or at the end of each eight-hour shift.
If something seems wrong, say something
Here are some common sense practices that should be followed by everyone in your warehouse.
- Don't place metal objects near battery terminals
Batteries can explode if you cause sparks or short circuits. Be careful when using metal battery changing equipment and do not rest any metal objects on top of the battery.
- Report any broken plugs, damaged cables or misplaced covers to your team leader.
- Take note of any overheating
An overheating battery or a battery that doesn't hold charge may mean something is wrong.
These are just a few suggestions to ensure your battery is in optimum shape and performance for your company, but the easiest way to care for a forklift battery is to simply monitor its condition and use common sense.
Reckless behaviour while charging, recharging or operating may get you into trouble, so remember - safety first!