Maintenance on Your Electric Forklift Battery
Electric forklift batteries are an important part of your truck; these batteries are not the kind that you put in your TV remote control. Aside from charging your forklift battery, to prolong the useful life of your battery and increase your return on investment, proper and regular battery maintenance is required. The average battery is quite expensive and any inefficiency could cost your business valuable operating time. The modern forklift battery outputs a minimum of 1,500 charge cycles or more, which if your business consistently charges equates to five or more years of useful life.
What are the necessary requirements for proper forklift battery care?
-Monitoring the charge cycles is essential. Charging a battery too frequently can shorten the lifespan of a forklift battery. Generally, the rule is to use the power until it has a battery life of 20% before placing it on the charger. Also, a deep discharge (allowing the forklift battery to completely discharge) will negatively affect the battery and can cause damage to your forklift and its electrical components. A discharge indicator is an affordable solution to preventing forklift and forklift battery malfunctions.
-Correctly adding “Distilled” water to your forklift battery. New batteries will require water after every 10 charges and older batteries will need water after every 5 charges, on average. Only fill water enough to cover the Element Protector, as the heat from charging causes expansion of the cells and can result in an overflow of water. In the event of an overflow clean up the spill immediately to prevent damage to the charger and forklift battery. A useful tool is a syringe or battery watering gun.
-A regular equalize charge or “weekend” charge can also help prolong the life of your battery. Equalizing means charging your forklift batter for an extended period (approximately 2-3 hours) to help remove some of the sulfate collected throughout operation. It is only necessary to do an equalize charge once a month.
Other tips to remember when caring for your forklift battery
-To prevent your battery from exploding: when attaching and removing cables follow the recommendations of the recharger manufacturer by unplugging the charger before use and connecting the clamps with the proper polarity.
-Charge your forklift battery in a ventilated area and if the battery has sealed vents, charge the battery with a current lower than 25 amps. If your battery overheats or electrolytes spill out from the vent, turn off the charger and resume using a lower current or charge rate.
-In addition to being well ventilated, the charging station should be equipped with a fire extinguisher, acid spill kit, and eye wash station. When you are refilling water levels or cleaning a forklift battery; aprons, eye, and hand protection should be worn. Another quick solution to cleaning a forklift battery is with a spray bottle of a neutralizer or cleaner.
The Enersys Forklift Battery is a top quality product that is a battery that Yale/Chase trusts!