Switching to batteries for your company's forklifts can help save money, but costly mistakes with the batteries could lead to an early burnout and decrease in savings. However, proper care and avoid those mistakes could extend the life of your forklift batteries. To help you accomplish this, here are some care tips and mistakes to avoid for your forklift batteries.
Verify the Battery and Charger Are Compatible
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your forklift batteries is to use an improperly sized charger with them. Incompatibility is not ensuring that the manufacturers of both parts are the same, but that the voltage output matches. If the voltage is not the same, the charger will not be able to give the charge needed. If it is higher than necessary, the battery could be overcharged, which results in damage.
If you are unsure of the voltage output needed for the batteries, refer to the owner's manual. You can also contact the manufacturer. Once you have the right voltage output, consider tagging the batteries and chargers to identify their proper counterparts so there is no confusion among your employees about which batteries are compatible with the chargers.
Check the Battery Before Usage
Even if you have just purchased your batteries, it is important that you and your employees take the time to check the batteries on a daily basis before operating the forklift. If a battery is drained during usage, the operator of the forklift could be put in a dangerous position. For instance, if the forklift stops while a load is in the air, it could create an imbalance that could result in a turnover.
In addition to checking the battery, the terminals need to be checked. If there is an acid buildup, it needs to be cleaned before moving forward. The acid can be cleaned with the help of banking soda and mineral free water.
Take a Break
It might seem logical for employees to charge the forklift batteries while on short breaks, such as during lunch time, but it can actually work against your batteries. The short charging periods can negatively impact the charging cycles that the batteries have. As a result, they will wear down quicker.
To avoid this, inform your employees to leave the batteries disconnected during those short breaks. If the batteries drain out, they can be put aside for the remainder of the day and charged properly.
Consult with your forklift batteries supplier such as U.S. Lift & Warehouse Equipment Inc to learn other ways to extend the life of your batteries.