3 Possible Reasons Your Forklift Won’t Start

When you have loads to transport, a forklift that won’t start becomes a time-consuming hassle. The problem may lie in the battery or in the lift truck itself. Troubleshoot more efficiently by considering these three possible reasons your forklift won’t start.

Incorrect Battery Charging

Electric lift trucks rely on batteries for power, but poor battery charging causes a weak battery. The battery may charge incorrectly if it’s too old, has loose or corroded battery connections, or if there’s a problem with the charging system.

Causes of Inadequate Charging

Old batteries degrade and lose the ability to hold a full charge. Replace outdated batteries with new forklift batteries to regain full charge capacity and reliable performance.

Check the battery’s connections to ensure they aren’t loose or corroded. Make sure parts are secure and clean so electricity can flow uninterrupted during the charge cycle. Fully disconnect the battery and use a battery cleaner to remove any corrosion.

Finally, the charging system itself may have an issue. Sometimes, power outages or electrical surges during a charging cycle can prevent the battery from charging. Test the charger, visually inspect it for damage, and replace it if needed.

Cold Temperatures

Another possible reason your forklift won’t start is that the battery is cold. Lead-acid and lithium-ion forklift batteries work through electrochemical reactions. Cold weather slows these chemical reactions down, weakening the battery.

Low temperatures can greatly decrease the battery’s lifespan and run time, and you won’t get the best performance from the battery when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Limit exposure to cold temperatures during use and while the battery is in storage to maintain functionality.

Lift Truck Settings or Issues

Forklift settings or issues with the truck’s components may prevent it from starting. For example, after activating the emergency stop button, you’ll need to de-activate it before starting the forklift up again.

Warning lights on the dashboard can tell you the source of the trouble. The symbols signal the type of issue, while the light’s color indicates the problem’s severity. Consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to understand the indicators on your model.

Improper battery charging, a cold battery, and issues with the truck itself can prevent a forklift from starting. Regular maintenance can help you avoid these issues, but if you experience a problem turning the forklift on, be sure to check for these common causes.