Forklift Battery Maintenance

Updated: 4 days ago

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

  1. Keep the battery clean, dry, and free from corrosion

  2. Maintain the correct water level (about one half inch below the battery cap opening)

  3. Add water only after the charge cycle

  4. Set up a weekly or bi-monthly watering schedule to ensure proper water levels

  5. 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

  6. Inspect your battery for any defects or malfunctions, and have your service provider repair them as needed

  7. Have your batteries washed and serviced semi-annually to help control acid and corrosion.

10 commandments of battery care

  1. Add approved water only— never add acid

  2. Keep electrolyte level above separator protectors

  3. Keep battery top clean and dry

  4. Keep flames and metal away from battery top

  5. Keep vent caps tightly in place

  6. 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

  7. Cool before charging or operating if battery is above 115 degrees Fahrenheit

  8. Only use approved chargers of correct voltage and current output

  9. Keep truck compartment and battery cover open during charging

  10. When in doubt, call your service representative for assistance

Watering instructions:

  • 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.

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