How to Properly Care for Your Forklift’s Battery

How to Properly Care for Your Forklift’s BatteryDo you find yourself frustrated with your forklift losing power during critical projects? You are not alone! The battery is the vital component of every forklift. Whether it is a fully electric or traditional gas-fed forklift, your material handling appliance cannot get the job done if the battery is not up to par. Taking care of your forklift’s battery is essential. It prolongs lifespan, promotes performance and ensures optimal power and operational readiness. Here are three tips that will help any forklift owner properly take care of their forklift.

1) Check Battery Fluids

It may seem obvious but it is a must. It is imperative to complete this task with the utmost care and regard. Battery acid is highly caustic and can easily burn through skin. This corrosive material is important nonetheless for batteries to generate the power needed to sustain any forklift. Checking battery fluid is relatively easily to do. Simply unscrew the two housing bolts that secure the reservoir and check the levels to ensure they are at appropriate levels. Top off as necessary and make sure your battery is not leaking this fluid not only for operational reasons but from a hazardous materials perspective. Crown Battery suggests checking two of the three battery cells themselves to ensure there is enough to fluids to cover the vital elements.

2) Keep Battery Charged

For the electric forklift owners this is especially conducive. It is paramount to make sure your battery is charged at the appropriate levels at all times. Experts decree that allowing the battery to die or dip below 30% can yield adverse effects to the lifespan and performance of the battery itself. Compare it to a car, when a battery is left on overnight and the car requires a jump, many mechanics suggest letting the battery charge to full power before turning the car off. Furthermore, many enthusiasts also implore owners to never let their battery fall weak again.

For those with older and weathered batteries this is a very big rudiment to adhere to. Some preventative steps you can take to not drain the battery is simply making sure all lights are off and the keys are out of the ignition when the forklift is not live in operation. A classic mistake made by many owners and operators is failing to check the forklift before they leave it for the day and to determine whether all utilities are powered off.

3) Prevent Freezing and Overheating

There are many reasons why batteries warn owners not to store these devices at temperatures below or above their specifications. Why? Because the parts and components can freeze or even melt, which causes the battery to malfunction and fail. Generally, batteries perform their best in ambient room temperatures but are rated to operate in most outdoor environments barring exceptionally hot days that may be record-setting.

Preventing freezing and overheating not only protects the fluids in the battery but many of the terminals and elements as well. Keeping these areas in affable conditions will prolong the life of your battery and ensure operational readiness.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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