Forklifts are powerful machines that rely on well-maintained batteries for safe and effective operation. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended battery charging protocols to ensure the performance and longevity of your equipment. Learn three costly forklift battery charging mistakes to avoid.
Overcharging or Undercharging the Battery
Overcharging or undercharging can reduce the battery’s capacity and shorten its lifespan. Overcharging is the act of leaving a battery connected to the charger past the manufacturer’s recommendation. Overcharging lead-acid batteries can corrode the cathodes and increase the battery’s temperature. Overheating is detrimental to its performance.
On the other hand, rushing the charging process and undercharging a battery will decrease its performance. A partial charge can cause sulfation, the formation of sulfate crystals on the battery’s plates. Sulfation can lead to premature battery failure.
Neglecting Equalization Charging
Another costly forklift battery charging mistake is neglecting the equalization charge. Equalization charging means deliberately overcharging the battery for a short period to balance the cell voltage across individual battery cells and remove sulfate crystals.
Varying voltage across battery cells and a build-up of sulfate crystals reduce battery performance. Follow your battery manufacturer’s instructions to learn the proper interval and method for performing an equalization charge on your batteries.
Having Poor Charging Infrastructure
Poor charging infrastructure can create inefficiencies and expensive mistakes. Conventional charging for lead-acid forklift batteries takes about 8–10 hours to complete, followed by six to eight hours of cooling. While you can use other charging methods—like opportunity charging—conventional charging maximizes the battery’s lifespan.
Factors like adequate spacing and power supply improve the charging station’s efficiency. Other considerations, like ventilation, ensure worker safety. For example, charging batteries emit flammable hydrogen gas, and without proper ventilation, hydrogen buildup increases the risk of fires and explosions and endangers workers. Improve battery performance and ensure a safe environment with well-designed charging stations.
Overcharging, undercharging, neglecting equalization charging, and poor charging infrastructure can have negative, long-term consequences on your batteries and lift trucks. Apply the best charging procedures and follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results from your forklift battery.
If you need a new or refurbished battery, browse Green Power Forklift Battery’s selection. We carry various brands and types, including 24-volt forklift batteries. Shop with us today for efficient power options!