Forklift Battery Maintenance
Proper maintenance of your industrial forklift batteries is an important part of keeping your warehouse operations running smoothly. When a lift truck battery is down, that usually means one of your forklifts is down and you are losing productivity. Luckily, following a few simple steps on how to care for your forklift battery, you can get the most from your industrial batteries for years to come.
Proper battery care and watering can help extend the life of your industrial battery. These seven simple tips will make sure your forklifts are always powered:
Seven tips for proper battery maintenance
Keep the battery clean, dry, and free from corrosion
Maintain the correct water level (about one half inch below the battery cap opening)
Add water only after the charge cycle
Set up a weekly or bi-monthly watering schedule to ensure proper water levels
Avoid opportunity charging (charging during break times and lunch breaks) because each time you connect the battery to a charger, it uses one of its life cycles
Inspect your battery for any defects or malfunctions, and have your service provider repair them as needed
Have your batteries washed and serviced semi-annually to help control acid and corrosion.
10 commandments of battery care
Add approved water only— never add acid
Keep electrolyte level above separator protectors
Keep battery top clean and dry
Keep flames and metal away from battery top
Keep vent caps tightly in place
Discharge to no lower than 80 percent, and do not operate battery if the specific gravity is below 1.150 for Powerline, Varta, Waterless, and Top Power batteries, and 1.175 for Energy-Plus batteries
Cool before charging or operating if battery is above 115 degrees Fahrenheit
Only use approved chargers of correct voltage and current output
Keep truck compartment and battery cover open during charging
When in doubt, call your service representative for assistance
Approved water: Only distilled and deionized water should be added to batteries, be sure to check your manual for specifications.
Proper electrolyte level: The electrolyte level must be kept between the “high watering level” and the separator protectors. Only fill batteries at the end of the charging cycle.