5 Signs Your Forklift Battery Is Overheating

5 Signs Your Forklift Battery Is Overheating

Periodically cooling off your forklift battery makes it safe and effective for powering your lift truck. If your battery overheats, it could spell trouble. Read to find out the five signs your forklift battery is overheating.

1. You Feel Heat Emitting From the Battery

The most obvious way to tell the battery is overheated is to feel the heat coming off it. When charging and discharging, it’s normal for the battery to get hotter because of the chemical reaction going on.

Manage the temperature by properly charging the battery and keeping the environment cool. In general, you should discharge the battery for eight hours, charge it for eight hours, and let it rest for eight hours. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Hot Cables and Connectors

While it’s normal for batteries to heat up during use or while charging, the battery’s cables and connectors should not get hot. Weak contact points at the ends of the connectors can cause overheating. Replace overheating cables and connectors before they melt their insulating outer sheath.

The sulfuric battery acid in an overheated battery can burn through the cable’s insulation and corrode the copper wiring. If this happens, you will see swollen cables. Replace corroded, swollen, and damaged cables and connectors.

3. The Truck Has Intermittent Power Loss

An overheated battery can cause power to your lift truck to cycle on and off. The forklift might sputter or backfire. If you experience this, immediately stop using the forklift. Check the battery as well as the alternator, broken wires, fuel filter, and vacuum hoses.

4. The Forklift Won’t Start

Another sign that you may have an overheated battery is that your forklift won’t start. High temperatures in the battery will heat the electrolyte solution and weaken or ruin the battery.

You can check the voltage of the fully charged battery. If the voltage doesn’t have a full charge after a charging cycle, then it is probably time to replace it.

5. Warning Light

If you see a warning light appear on your lift truck display, don’t ignore it. The light can signal issues with the engine, battery, or fuel tank.

Make sure to schedule ample cooling time for your batteries and keep them properly watered. The forklift battery should operate below 113 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees Celsius.

If you need to replace your faulty battery, shop for electric forklift batteries from Green Power Batteries. Whether you choose new or refurbished, you can rely on these batteries to keep your lift trucks going. Shop with us today.

What Is Forklift Battery Equalization & Why Is It Important?

What Is Forklift Battery Equalization & Why Is It Important?

If you’re not performing regular equalization charges on your forklift battery, you could be damaging your equipment. Read on to discover what forklift battery equalization is and why it’s important.

Equalization: Intentional and Beneficial Overcharging

An equalization charge is an intentional overcharging of your lead-acid battery. Follow your battery manufacturer’s instructions regarding how often you should perform equalization charges. The equalization charge can take an additional 3 to 15 hours, depending on your battery, so keep this requirement in mind when planning your work schedule.

Routine charging practices impact how effectively forklift batteries power equipment; charging also affects the length of the battery’s working life. Get the best and safest battery performance by utilizing equalization charges.

Maintain Equal Optimal Voltage Capacity Across the Cells

It’s important to perform an equalization charge on your lead-acid battery to equalize the voltage across all cells. Each battery cell has a nominal voltage of 2 volts, but the actual voltage can vary, and the voltage in the cells is not perfectly balanced.

As you use the battery over time, the difference in voltages between cells will grow. For the best discharge performance, you want to maintain a low voltage difference and increase consistency between cells. By overcharging with an equalization charge, you can bring each cell back to its optimal voltage capacity and improve battery performance.

Equalize To Break Down Sulfate

Finally, an equalization charge is critical because it breaks down sulfate. The sulfation process happens when the sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte breaks down and releases sulfur ions. The free sulfur ion crystals build up on the battery’s lead-acid plates. Without intervention, the crystals will grow, harden, and completely cover the lead plates.

An equalization charge overcharges the battery at a low, controlled rate. The process slightly heats the electrolyte, forces current through the plates, and removes light sulfation. Heavy sulfation will require other forms of intervention, but regularly equalizing the battery can keep sulfation at bay.

Now that you know more about forklift battery equalization and why it’s important for routine maintenance, turn to Green Power Forklift Batteries as your preferred forklift battery supplier. We carry new and reconditioned batteries for a variety of industrial applications. Request a quote on lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries for your business today.

When To Repair vs. Replace Your Forklift Battery

When To Repair vs. Replace Your Forklift Battery

Forklift batteries keep your business moving. So, when your forklift battery becomes unreliable, you must take care of it quickly. Consider the following factors to decide when to repair versus replace your forklift battery.

1. Charging Cycles and Battery Age

In general, standard forklift batteries can last for up to 1,500 charging cycles. After this point, the battery might stop fully charging. If you charge once a day, this equals about five years of use. Once your battery reaches this point, replace it with a new or refurbished battery.

To get the most out of your battery’s lifespan, charge it when it reaches between 20 and 30 percent discharge. Waiting for the battery to drop to a lower level can create performance issues. Let the battery charge completely, as an incomplete charge will still count against your battery’s charging cycle limits.

2. Damaged Components

Another factor when deciding if you should repair or replace your forklift battery is if it has damaged components. Daily inspections can alert operators and facility managers to possible issues. As part of routine maintenance, regular inspections done by trained forklift battery technicians can discover and diagnose problems that owners might otherwise miss.

Watering the cells adequately, washing the battery case, and equalization charges can help prevent damage. Once parts become damaged, a technician can assess the extent of the problem and either make repairs or recommend a replacement.

3. Reduced Performance

Reduced performance can indicate improper care, loose connectors, damage, or the end of the battery’s lifespan. Depending on the cause, you might be able to make changes to your routine or repairs to the battery. For deeper issues, you might need to replace the battery instead.

Tighten loose cables and connectors. If you can’t tighten these parts, or if they’re visibly worn, replace them.

Avoid overheating the battery by ventilating it and giving it time to cool down completely between shifts. Avoid over- and under-charging the battery for the best performance. And water your battery to maintain electrolyte levels and prevent damage.

When it’s time for a replacement, shop for new or refurbished forklift batteries from Green Power Forklift Batteries. At a minimum of 85 percent of the rated capacity of a brand-new battery, refurbished batteries are a reliable and economical way to power your forklifts. Contact us today to learn more.

What To Know About the Different Forklift Battery Voltages

What To Know About the Different Forklift Battery Voltages

One of the most important considerations when shopping for a forklift battery is its voltage. Select the right battery for your equipment—find out what to know about the different forklift battery voltages.

Volts and Battery Cells

Forklift batteries feature cells arranged in a series. Each cell of a lead-acid battery has a nominal voltage of 2 volts (2V). If your lead-acid forklift battery has 24 cells, it has a voltage of 48V.

The amount of voltage you need depends on the type of forklift the battery must power. In general, the larger the machine and the more strenuous the job, the more volts you’ll need.

Consider the following battery voltages and the lifts they can power:

  • 24V batteries—small lifts, such as walkie stackers
  • 36V batteries—mid-size lifts, such as narrow-aisle forklifts
  • 48V batteries—larger machines, like counterbalanced forklifts
  • 80V batteries—forklifts from 2.5 tons to 7.0 tons

Volts and Amps

When thinking about different forklift battery voltages in terms of power, it’s important to consider amperes, too. A volt is a measurement of the electrical potential between two points, or the pressure at which electricity flows in a system. In contrast, an ampere is a measurement of electric current, or the number of electrons moving through a circuit.

To avoid damaging your battery, maintain at least 20 percent of the full ampere-hour (AH) capacity of your battery. Discharging below 80 percent will lower the voltage per cell and cause overheating and other damage.

Forklift batteries of the same voltage can have different AH capacities. For example, our selection of 24V batteries include a range of 6-hour ratings from 150AH to 1000AH, and 20-hour ratings from 236AH to 1576AH.

Volts and Battery Size

Since each battery cell provides 2V, the higher the voltage and capacity, the heavier the battery. Because of their materials and chemical processes, lead-acid batteries tend to weigh more than lithium-ion batteries of the same voltage.

Because cells can be arranged in different ways, batteries of the same voltage may have different dimensions. For example, a 24V battery can have either two rows of six cells each, or three rows of four cells each. Forklift weight and size impact your storage considerations and equipment requirements for charging and servicing the battery.

If you’re in need of a new or refurbished battery, shop with Green Power Forklift Batteries. We carry a wide selection, including 24-volt forklift batteries for smaller lift equipment. Shop with us today.

Why Electric Forklifts Will Save You Money

Why Electric Forklifts Will Save You Money

When it’s time to replace the forklifts in your business, you’re faced with deciding between a forklift with an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric forklift. You can save some money upfront with an ICE forklift, but in the long run, electric forklifts are better. Find out why electric forklifts will save you money.

Reliability

ICE forklifts have hundreds of unique parts that must work together for the machine to function properly. The more moving parts a piece of equipment has, the greater the chances that one of those pieces will break or fail.

Gas-powered forklifts spend a significant amount of time each quarter sidelined for preventative maintenance needs, like oil changes; they also go out of commission more often for mechanical issues. In contrast, electric forklifts have far simpler drivetrains, so they have fewer mechanical issues.

Operational Expenses

The next reason electric forklifts will save you money is their lower operational expenses. A gas forklift can typically operate for about eight hours before needing to be filled up, meaning you will need to store tanks of fuel.

Gas forklift fuel is far more expensive than electricity per hour of operation. And, as anyone who has filled up their car with gas knows, oil prices are highly volatile and trending upward.

Employee Health

Gas forklifts emit toxic fumes while in use, particularly carbon monoxide. Businesses that want to use this equipment inside are required to invest extra capital into purifying exhaust catalysts, and even those don’t eliminate all the harmful emissions. Electric forklifts, on the other hand, don’t emit toxic fumes.

Add to this that ICE forklifts emit a lot of noise as they run, whereas electric forklifts run virtually silently other than the sounds of tires, the lift, and safety indicators. The noises from a gas-powered forklift can damage workers’ hearing over time and create safety distractions. Use an electric forklift to make the workplace better for employees, ultimately giving you a competitive advantage over other worksites.

Green Power Forklift Batteries carries new and used forklift batteries for sale. Choose between lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries to power your electric lift truck. Shop with us today.

5 Forklift Safety Tips for Your Warehouse

5 Forklift Safety Tips for Your Warehouse

Forklifts enable your warehouse team to lift and move materials efficiently. But safely operating a forklift requires maintaining the equipment and following best working practices. Consider these five forklift safety tips for your warehouse.

1. Complete Appropriate Training

Before an operator runs the lift truck, they must complete specialized training. The warehouse’s training program must comply with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Through the training program, employees will learn about topics related to lift trucks and the workplace. Employees must also undergo practical training and pass an evaluation before they are qualified to operate a forklift.

2. Perform Pre-Shift Inspections

One of the top safety tips for operating a forklift in a warehouse is to perform pre-shift inspections. The operator should walk around the equipment to ensure various parts, such as the tires, fluid levels, and battery, are in good working order. After the walk-around inspection, the operator should conduct a seated inspection to check equipment like the seat belt, brakes, steering, and gauges.

If the operator finds an abnormality during the inspection, they should report their concerns to their supervisor. No one should use the forklift until it is cleared for use.

3. Stay Aware of Surroundings

Forklift operators must stay aware of their surroundings to avoid collisions with pedestrians and other forklifts. They won’t be able to come to an immediate stop if there’s an obstruction in the machine’s path, so drivers need to operate the equipment defensively. They should also avoid driving on uneven and slippery surfaces, and keep a safe distance from other objects.

Likewise, pedestrians and bystanders need to follow the safest workplace procedures around forklifts; this means using designated walkways and watching moving forklifts anytime they’re near to avoid mishaps.

4. Ensure Forklift Stability

The next forklift safety tip is to ensure load stability. Operators cannot overload a forklift beyond its rated capacity. They must ensure the load is secured, spread evenly, and set into the back end of the forks. They also need to use the right forklift attachments required for the job.

As they drive, the operator should check the surface conditions. If there’s a slope, they must drive on it slowly without turning. While going up the slope, the load should be before the operator. While going down the slope, they need to keep the load behind them.

5. Adhere to the Maintenance Schedule

Finally, all operators must follow the forklift’s maintenance schedule to ensure equipment works correctly, safely, and efficiently. While the manufacturer recommends a basic maintenance schedule, other factors can influence how often your lift truck needs service.

If your forklift operates in a dusty environment, has spikes of increased activity, or uses an attachment, it probably needs service more frequently. Forklift maintenance will take care of engine fluids and filters, brakes, belts, hoses, and other components at different intervals.

Green Power Forklift Batteries is your preferred forklift battery supplier. Our selection of durable new and refurbished batteries will help you maintain a safe workplace. Find the right batteries for your forklifts today.

The Importance of Watering Electric Forklift Batteries

The Importance of Watering Electric Forklift Batteries

Adequately watering your forklift battery ensures better performance. However, overwatering or underwatering can damage the battery, shorten its working lifespan, and lead to increased downtime and a need for more maintenance. Read on to learn about the importance of watering electric forklift batteries.

The Right Kind of Water

Manufacturers generally recommend watering your forklift’s lead-acid battery with deionized water. This water has gone through a purification process that removes all mineral ions. Water with a pH from 5 to 7, which is slightly acidic to neutral, is best for your battery.

When To Water Your Battery

Another important factor in watering electric forklift batteries is timing. Do not top up the battery before the charge; the battery will need the empty space in the cells during charging so the fluid can expand. Top up the battery only after it’s fully charged and cooled.

How Much Water To Give Your Battery

If you don’t give your forklift battery enough water, you risk problems such as overheating and irreversible sulfation. If you overwater the battery, you could cause overflow or acid dilution that diminishes the battery’s performance.

Follow your battery manufacturer’s instructions regarding watering levels. You should water each cell to the top of the lead-acid plates. You can see the plates in each cell, and the tops of the plates generally reach about 2.5 inches below the cell cap.

Battery Watering Methods

You can use three different methods for watering your battery.

  • Gravity Feed System: With this method, a water tank is suspended above the battery, with a hose attached to the tank. The operator moves the hose from cell to cell until each cell is filled. You might need to use a flashlight to see the water level with this method.
  • Single-Point Watering Kit: With this watering system, you can fill all the cells in each battery at once. Once filled to the right level, the system shuts off to prevent overfilling.
  • Watering Gun Method: Hook a battery watering gun to a hose and fill each cell manually to the right level. As with the gravity feed system, you might need a flashlight to monitor water levels.

Green Power Forklift Batteries has reconditioned forklift batteries for sale. These units retain a minimum of 85 percent of the rated capacity of a brand-new battery. Additionally, each battery comes with a standard one-year warranty. Contact us today to learn more.

The Advantages of Lithium-Ion Forklift Batteries

The Advantages of Lithium-Ion Forklift Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries can increase productivity at your material handling worksite. Learn about the advantages of lithium-ion forklift batteries and consider whether they’re the right choice for your business.

Quicker Charging

Lithium-ion batteries require less charging time than lead-acid batteries, making lithium-ion batteries better for productivity. Whereas lead-acid batteries typically require about eight hours to charge and then another eight hours to cool down, lithium-ion batteries take approximately one to two hours to charge and do not require a cooldown period.

Virtually Maintenance Free

Lead-acid batteries require watering, equalizing, and cleaning, which means more labor. In contrast, lithium-ion batteries can stay in the forklift while charging and don’t require watering. The low maintenance requirement saves space in your material handling business and reduces labor requirements. Lithium-ion batteries can help you use your warehouse space productively and make the most of your employees’ time.

Opportunity Charging

Another advantage of lithium-ion forklift batteries is opportunity charging. Since lithium-ion batteries don’t require much time to charge, work crews can leave the battery in the lift truck and let it charge during breaks. So, when your employees take lunch, switch shifts, or take a break from work, the lithium-ion battery can charge until an operator returns to the lift truck. Opportunity charging won’t harm the lithium-ion battery, making this an excellent way to reduce downtime at your site.

Fewer Batteries Needed

Thanks to the significantly reduced charging time requirements, it takes fewer lithium-ion batteries to complete the same tasks than if you were to use lead-acid batteries. You’ll benefit the most from this if you run a multi-shift operation. Traditional lead-acid batteries take nearly two shifts to charge and cool down, so one piece of material handling equipment requires three batteries to ensure 24-hour operation. In contrast, that same piece of equipment can use one lithium-ion battery for round-the-clock work.

Green Power Forklift Batteries has a selection of high-quality forklift truck batteries for sale. If you’re interested in increasing your material handling productivity, check out our lithium-ion forklift batteries today.

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Size Forklift Battery

A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Size Forklift Battery

When you replace your forklift battery, it’s imperative you choose one with the right dimensions. Having the model information and dimensions of the battery will make it easy for you to find a new or refurbished battery. Follow this quick guide to choosing the right size forklift battery to make the process even easier.

1. Measure the Compartment and the Battery

Ensure your forklift battery will fit by measuring the compartment rather than the dead battery. Record the width, depth, and height in inches.

While you might replace your dead battery with the exact same model, replacing it with a refurbished battery might lead to a slightly different size. As long as it fits into the compartment, provides the right counterweight, and is the right voltage, the replacement battery will be the right size.

2. Confirm Your Voltage

It’s crucial to choose the right voltage; therefore, you need to know what voltage your forklift requires. Keep in mind each cell of the battery provides two volts, so a battery with 12 cells produces 24 volts.

Smaller forklifts that do light work can run on 24V batteries, but the larger the lift truck or the more it lifts, the more power it requires.

3. Check the Counterweight Requirement

The next point in this quick guide to choosing the right size forklift battery is to check the minimum battery weight requirement. The battery acts as a counterweight, and to safely operate the machine you need to choose the right weight. You can check the forklift’s data plate for this number.

Lead-acid batteries are heavier than lithium-ion batteries, and batteries with higher voltages generally weigh more than batteries with lower voltages. Installing an underweight battery can create dangerous stability problems.

4. Gather Information About Connectors

Measure the length of the cable, but be sure to only check the length that hangs out from the battery tray. Also note where the battery plugs into the truck, such as on the driver’s left side.

Connectors are color-coded and will not connect with connectors of a different color. Standard plug colors include gray, red, yellow, blue, green, and orange. Note the color of the plug and the size.

When it’s time to replace your forklift battery, contact Green Power Forklift Batteries. We offer new and refurbished electric forklift batteries for sale. If you’re not sure which forklift battery you need, contact us so we can help.

Forklift Battery Inspections: What To Expect

Forklift Battery Inspections: What To Expect

Inspecting your forklift every day helps ensure its performance and the safety of operators and other workers. OSHA requires forklift operators to examine the machines at least once daily and after each shift if used throughout the day. If the operator finds a problem with the equipment, they report it to the supervisor.

If there’s an issue with the forklift battery, an experienced Green Power Forklift Batteries technician can use a six-stage process to clean, analyze, and diagnose the problem. Read about our forklift battery inspections and what to expect.

Initial Inspection

Visual Inspection

Just as the forklift operator begins a routine pre-operation inspection with a visual assessment, an expert technician begins analysis with a visual exam. We check for symptoms of acid loss, automatic watering systems, corrosion, inter-cell connector problems, signs of explosions, and physical damage.

Wash and Neutralization

After the visual inspection, we wash the battery with water and acid neutralization chemicals. This creates a clean and safe environment.

Inter-Cell Resistance Monitoring

High inter-cell resistance causes voltage to drop and leads to excessive heat. We look for loose screws and corroded IC connectors, sulfated and corroded connections, bad welds, and bad cables. If we find problems, we correct them.

Diagnostic Testing

Pre-Load Test Charge

After looking over the battery and cleaning it, the next step you can expect in the forklift battery inspection is the diagnostic test. Before we perform the diagnosis load test, we give the battery a full charge. This ensures the accuracy of the test results.

Diagnosis Load Test

During the test, we measure all the cells’ open-circuit voltage (OCV) and specific-gravity (SPGR). Through this test, we learn the battery’s amp-hour (Ah) capacity. We analyze the test results to determine our recommendations for what to do with the battery.

After the Test

Post-Load Test Charge

Once we’ve completed our inspection, we fully charge the battery. This completes the process, and we return the battery to you and give you our next-step recommendations. In some cases, this six-step inspection process corrects issues with batteries. If the diagnosis load test reveals problems with the battery’s capacity, we might suggest a more detailed service.

Green Power Forklift Batteries follows an 18-step reconditioning process that makes us a leader in forklift battery sales. Whether you want a new or reconditioned forklift battery, check out our supply of high-quality batteries today.