Battery life is necessary to extend forklift life and to keep it running properly. Batteries can last for years if they are taken care of. How can you best take care of your forklift batteries? Follow these three steps to make your battery last as long as possible.
Equalize Batteries Routinely
If your batteries are wet or flooded they need to be equalized on a regular basis. This will undo the chemical process of stratification, when the battery acid becomes more concentrated at the bottom of the battery. When the acid and water become stratified, the battery can’t hold a charge for as long. When you equalize your battery it rebalances electrolyte concentration and helps to remove sulfate crystals from the battery plates. To properly equalize your battery you need a battery charger that has an equalizing setting. You should equalize your batteries about every five to ten charging cycles.
Charging the Battery Properly
It can be tempting to charge a battery whenever you want. The fact is that in order to properly maintain a forklift battery, it should only be charged at certain times and to certain degrees. 30% is the magic number charge the battery only when it goes below 30%. Be sure to charge it until it is full and then stop charging it. Over or undercharging this type of battery can significantly decrease its lifespan. Don’t interrupt a charge cycle.
Keep Batteries at a Safe Temperature
When operating your forklift under extreme environments it is important to remember the ambient temperature for the battery when using it. To help prolong a battery life keep it at a safe temperature. Its operating temperature should not exceed 45℃ (113℉). To also help in elongated battery life be sure there is plenty of air circulating in and around the battery compartment for best cooling environments.