The forklift is one of the essential tools in the arsenal of warehouse workers. Often what goes wrong with these machines is a fault in the battery. Without a functioning forklift available, work quickly becomes backed up while the crew scrambles to find the solution. By using these maintenance tips to extend the life of your forklift battery, you can rest easy, knowing your forklifts will always be at the ready.
Store the Battery Properly
Believe it or not, batteries are not as durable as they immediately appear. Whether it’s a tiny coin cell battery or a full-sized forklift battery, they all require the same care and consideration. Like many relatively delicate items, it’s important to store the battery in a cool and dark space. Most importantly, batteries in storage should be kept at a relatively moderate temperature. Changes in light, the intrusion of extreme hot or cold weather, and of course, moisture all will negatively affect the lifespan of a batytery6 before it can even be used.
Watch the Water Levels
Forklift batteries are a little more complex than the average variety. Many different types require the manual addition of fluids, namely water. It’s essential that much like a car’s cooling system, these fluids are regularly checked and maintained. The best maintenance tips to extend the life of your forklift battery are those surrounding good upkeep habits. Create a routine to regularly check and top off the water levels in your batteries.
Regularly Clean the Batteries
The same as with any vehicle or heavy machinery, batteries are subject to the hassles of aging. Most notably, aging batteries often begin to show signs of corrosion. Besides being unsightly, the acidic corrosion is not especially safe to leave be. Too much corrosion will cause a permanent degrading of the battery by reducing the power output substantially. What’s more, given enough time, corrosion will cake onto the terminals of a battery. Severely corroded terminals may not spark at all, rendering the battery unusable until forklift battery suppliers properly refurbish it.
Only Use Corresponding Equipment
Another key element to protecting a battery is to ensure only matching equipment is ever used with it. While it might be tempting to grab any available charger, it should be noted using the wrong specifications will cause problems. While chargers might all look alike, few manufacturers have exactly matching components. Besides potentially bending or breaking the battery’s charging or terminals, it can also shorten a battery’s life. The wrong voltage or imbalanced charge due to incorrect plugs may even burn up a battery altogether.