Maintaining your forklift truck batteries is crucial for their power, efficiency, and overall performance. If you want your lift trucks to operate at their full potential, keeping your batteries in good health is essential.
Remember, your lift truck is only as useful as its battery. That’s why it’s important to remind your operators to take care of the batteries during their daily routines.
But don’t worry – there are some simple steps you can take that can make a big difference, saving you time, money and a lot of stress in the long run!
Sulphonation can have a detrimental effect on batteries, a fact that many lift truck operators may not be aware of. This occurs when the lead plates accumulate sulphuric acid crystals, which result in decreased battery charge capacity, making it the primary reason for premature battery failure. To prevent crystal buildup, any sightings should be immediately reported to an engineer, who can promptly remove them.
Don’t discharge your battery below 20%
If a battery is discharged to approximately 80%, it may cause the electrical components of the truck to overheat. Over time, this may result in issues, such as a reduction in the speed of the hydraulics and traction plus the possibility of the motors burning out if it happens frequently. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the batteries receive an uninterrupted charge between shifts or overnight.
Don’t charge your batteries intermittently!
Forklift operators often misunderstand the 20% charging rule regarding forklift truck batteries and sometimes take the opportunity to charge the batteries during brief periods of inactivity, such as break times, but this is a big mistake. The lifespan of a battery is measured in the total number of charges it undergoes. This intermittent charging will cause the batteries to become increasingly less efficient and eventually, they may not be able to hold charge at all.
Always check your water levels!
It’s crucial to keep an eye on the water levels of your battery. If the levels drop too low, the plates can be exposed to air and the active material can dry out and become brittle. To avoid damage, add distilled water to the battery when the water level drops, but be careful not to overfill it, always be sure to do this after the charging cycle has completed.
Another useful tip would be to have a battery autofill system fitted. This reduces the risk of overfilling your battery and speeds up the topping-up process. For more information on this service, please contact us.
Also, be sure to use a battery charger that’s fully compatible and specifically designed to work with your chosen battery. Consulting a professional battery supplier can be helpful if there are still any uncertainties.