Batteries are an essential component in your forklift and your business. They need to be powerful enough to provide your equipment with enough energy to complete the demands of the workday. If your batteries are not working properly, then neither is your equipment. Proper maintenance of your forklift batteries is an important part of keeping your operation running smoothly.
With a little planning and preparation, you can increase the lifespan and effectiveness of your batteries.
Keep Your Battery Charged
It is important that a forklift battery have enough charge at the start of the shift to meet the demands of your busy workday. In order to accomplish this, it’s important to stick to a battery-charging schedule. Batteries have a finite number of charging cycles and if you charge based on convenience instead of sticking to a schedule, you can potentially shorten the battery’s life and usefulness. It’s a good idea to recharge the battery after an eight-hour shift or when the battery is discharged more than 30%. Also, more isn’t always better. If you charge too frequently or when the battery is not more than 30% discharged, you could run the risk of shortening the battery’s life.
Here are some additional best practices to keep in mind:
- Be sure to fully recharge your battery. Don’t stop the charging process mid charge. Cutting a charging cycle short can shorten the life of your battery.
- Don’t let a discharged battery sit for too long before you recharge.
- Don’t over discharge your battery. If you discharge it beyond 80%, you could do long term damage to the battery and significantly shorten the battery life.
- Be aware of the battery’s temperature when charging. Excessive heat will shorten the battery life.
Check and Maintain Fluid Levels
For optimum performance, it’s recommended to check the fluid levels of your batteries every five charge cycles. To check the fluid levels, open up the battery. Start by checking two or three cells to ensure that there is enough fluid to cover the plastic battery element. If you are unsure, check all of the cells. If there is not enough fluid in the battery, you will need to add water. Typically, water will need to be added every 10 charges.
Having the right amount of water in your battery is very important. It’s important not to overfill. Be sure to leave enough space to allow for expansion when the equipment is in use. The type of water you use is also very important. No ordinary tap water will do. Be sure to use distilled water or water that falls between 5 and 7 on the pH scale.
Choosing the right battery charger and battery watering system is essential for maintaining a healthy battery. As the leading provider of quality replacement parts and accessories for the material handling and equipment industries, TVH offers a complete line of battery chargers and battery watering solutions for all makes and models to help keep your equipment on the move.
Article courtesy of TVH. Contact them at www.tvh.com