06 July 2022

How To Get The Most Out of Your Forklift Batteries

Submitted by Josh Maraney
How To Get The Most Out of Your Forklift Batteries

If you have ever worked with forklift batteries, then you know that they are very expensive and need to be maintained properly to keep them in good working order. While it may seem like there isn’t much that you can do to extend the life of your forklift batteries, there are a few things that you can do to get the most out of them. This article will go over some of those things and hopefully give you some ideas on how to get the most out of your forklift batteries and save some money in the process!

Charge on the Right Level

Lowering your charge level to 50% (or less) will lead to a longer forklift battery life, but that also means you’ll need more charging cycles to maximise its performance. If you don’t go below 50%, expect three to five years of good service; at 70% or higher, you can expect two to three years of decent service. It all depends on how much use your forklifts get and how well they’re maintained.

Never Let it Discharge Too Far

When you use a forklift, always make sure that its battery never discharges below 20% or so of its maximum charge. Discharging too far and not recharging can damage your battery’s ability to hold a charge in future. This means that if you were to do two hours of work before your batteries were low, it would be better to take them to offload at around 30 minutes before they hit 20%. This prevents over-discharge from damaging your batteries. If you don’t have enough time in between charges, put a trickle charger on it overnight—this will keep it topped up even if you don’t have more time available during normal working hours.

Use Charging Gear That Prolongs Battery Life

Like most machines, forklifts need periodic charging to ensure that they run at optimal levels. Although there is a wide range of options for charging these batteries, it’s important to choose one that prolongs battery life. A smart charger can do just that. Smart charging gear helps maximise efficiency by monitoring voltage and amperage, then determining how to store and release the power to help extend battery life. You might pay more upfront for a smart charger, but it will help keep your forklift running as long as possible.

Keep It Clean

If you work around cars, you know that dirty batteries won’t perform well. Without regular cleaning, dirt and grime reduce a battery’s ability to store energy efficiently and often lead to reduced performance or an early end to battery life. If your forklift is getting hard use, follow these guidelines: Check your batteries every two weeks for visible signs of corrosion or damage; clean them with a solution of baking soda and water using a soft brush (like a toothbrush); then apply an anti-corrosion coating. Just be sure to wipe off any excess liquid before putting it back into service.

Have Routine Maintenance Checks Done

Nothing kills productivity faster than a forklift breakdown, so it’s important to have your batteries checked regularly. A trained technician will know how to test your batteries and can determine their state of health. Routine maintenance checks allow technicians to monitor problems before they become serious issues that keep you from doing business. They also help ensure that you’re using each battery as efficiently as possible and maximise your uptime. Make sure a technician checks your batteries at least once every three months; otherwise, expect them to fail quickly when you need them most!

Opportunity Charging

It’s tempting to wait until you’re sure a forklift has drained all its battery power before you plug it in for a charge, but you should always remember to keep your forklifts plugged in when they’re not being used. This is known as opportunity charging and can lengthen your overall battery life. Opportunity charging also ensures that your batteries are always at maximum capacity, which prevents them from gradually discharging on their own throughout the day.

Keep Batteries from Falling Below a 20% Charge

If your battery ever falls below 20% of its charge, or if it remains in that state for an extended period, your forklift may become unusable until it has been fully recharged. Storing a forklift with a discharged battery is also risky because it can overheat or short-circuit.

Don’t fully discharge your battery. If you work a full shift and drive until your battery dies, it may not be able to recharge properly. You should, instead, store it at 40% charge or above to maximise its lifespan. Don’t leave your forklift plugged in for long periods. Leaving it plugged in allows self-discharge – when a battery gives off power even when it isn’t being used – which reduces its usable lifespan.

Monitor Water Levels

Water levels will fluctuate throughout a typical day, so check in regularly to ensure that you’re storing enough water for peak production. For heavy-duty tasks, you might need to replace all of your water every couple of hours. Another way to get more life out of your forklift batteries is to charge them after each use. Although most batteries don’t have built-in alarms or indicators that tell you when they need recharging, some models have connectors on their terminals that allow for constant monitoring with a voltmeter.

Get Your Forklift Battery From Us 

A good first step is to buy your battery from a reputable dealer. If you’re buying on your own, pay attention to details about how many cycles a new battery can handle; larger companies may be able to get more life out of their battery because they’re using it less frequently than smaller companies. Also keep in mind that batteries aren’t created equal, so prices and life-cycle estimates will vary.

Our team at Value Forklifts is proud to offer an affordable and high-quality solution for your business. We’ve been in the industry for more than 40 years, and our experience has taught us a lot about how to get the most out of your forklift batteries.  If you’re looking for some helpful tips on how to increase the life of conventional forklift batteries, we’re here to help! 

About Value Materials  Handling

Value Materials Handling is a leading provider of forklifts and forklift battery solutions. Our products can help increase uptime and productivity for your company’s employees. Whether you’re looking to get new forklift batteries or need maintenance services for an existing fleet, Value Materials Handling is committed to helping you find a custom solution that fits your budget and business needs. Contact us today to learn more about our value-added battery solutions and how they can help improve the profitability at your business.

This article was first published at https://topclickblogs.co.za/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-forklift-batteries/

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