With typical use in any facility and charging on an almost daily basis, the best quality of forklift batteries should last for approximately 5 years. However, there are many different errors that can occur and using incorrect methods for forklift battery maintenance can dramatically decrease their life.
Most Minnesota companies will leave battery care and charging up, to the forklift operators, particularly if they don’t have an in-house maintenance crew that has the responsibility for these tasks. This is often a source of concern, particularly if the forklift is used by multiple operators.
When there are multiple operators on a forklift, have a master checklist that needs to be completed with dates, times and the initials of the individual who completed the charging, checked the fluid levels or was responsible for forklift battery maintenance.
Keep track of the number of charges and follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for charging. Most manufacturers will recommend an equalizing charge for wet cell or flooded batteries. This needs to be done every so many charging cycles, which is usually between five and ten. This allows the battery to balance the electrolytes and keep the battery plates free from sulfate crystal buildup.
Always charge forklift batteries at the recommended temperature. It is also important to only charge the battery if it is below 30% charge and then ensure the charge is fully completed before disconnecting. It is also critical to never disconnect the battery while charging; this can significantly impact the battery’s ability to hold a charge in the future.
Water Level in the Battery
It will also be essential to check the water levels in the battery after every charge. Do not fill the battery with water prior to charging. Make sure to use only distilled or pure water, not tap water to fill the cells.
Take the time to read the manufacturer’s recommendations for forklift battery maintenance. Just a bit of time in understanding what to do and what not to do can add to the life of the battery for any Minnesota business.