Regardless of your budget, these five ways to extend your forklift battery life will save money and increase the longevity of your battery.
- Correctly Charging Your Battery: To properly charge your forklift battery, it should only be done once it has reached below a 20 percent charge. Once the battery is fully charged, be sure to stop charging and unplug the battery from the charger. Over- or under-charging your battery can seriously decrease its lifespan.
- Regularly Equalize Your Battery: “Flooded” or “wet” batteries should be equalized on a regular schedule. Equalizing reverses the chemical process of stratification. Stratification happens when the battery acid becomes more concentrated at the bottom of the battery and therefore, becomes less able to hold a charge. Equalizing rebalances the electrolyte concentration as well as helps to remove sulfate crystals from the battery plates. Batteries vary on how often they need equalizing. Be sure to check the maintenance schedule for your battery before you begin the process.
- Check Fluid Levels: All watered batteries require you to check the levels regularly. As a rule of thumb, check your levels every fifth charge cycle. As a precaution, be sure your battery is cooled down before you open the caps. Check two or three cells. If you are unsure, then check all cells. If you need to add water, follow the steps below.
- Maintain Proper Water Levels: Be sure to only put enough water to cover the plates. Never over-fill your battery. Space is needed for the expansion that takes place during use. Only water a battery once it is fully charged. For best results, we recommend a battery watering system that stays connected to your battery. You can connect your water source to the watering system, and it will fill to the proper levels automatically, every time. This, too, will save money and time. Proper PH is very important when watering your battery. A PH between 5 and 7 is best, and is within the recommended limits for impurities. Improper PH can cause damage to your battery.
- Maintaining Your Battery at a Safe Temperature: Industrial Batteries are pretty tough. However, extreme temperatures can quickly destroy a battery. Consider your ambient temperature while in use. The operating temperature of your battery should never exceed 113 degrees Fahrenheit. One way to help cool down your battery is to make sure there is plenty of airflow around it.
All batteries have a limited life span, however, these simple steps can extend the life of your battery by months or even years.
Have additional questions, take a look at some of our other forklift battery resources: