Like automobiles, forklifts get their power from batteries. When cared for and properly maintained, a forklift battery should have no problem lasting for several years. Below, a seasoned battery store in Houston, TX shares tips for forklift battery maintenance.
Charge the battery
While charging your forklift’s battery only when it’s convenient makes your life easier, you’ll soon run into issues that lead to unnecessary downtime or costly service needs. To properly maintain a forklift battery, plan on charging it at certain times and only to certain degrees. It’s recommended that you charge a forklift’s battery when it drops below a 30 percent charge. Charge it until it’s full, and then stop charging it. You never want to interrupt a charge cycle, but be sure to avoid over- or undercharging a forklift battery. Otherwise, you run the risk of decreasing its lifespan.
It’s important to equalize flooded or wet cell batteries on a regular basis. The equalizing process reverses a chemical process called stratification, which is when the battery acid becomes significantly concentrated at the bottom of the battery. When this happens, the battery won’t be able to hold a strong charge like it used to. On average, many forklift batteries need equalization every five to 10 charge cycles, and keep in mind that equalizing can only happen with battery chargers with an equalizing setting. Always refer to your machine’s manual for battery maintenance specifications.
Check fluid levels
In order for forklift batteries to function properly, they need the right amount of water. For this reason, you should open up the battery to check its fluid levels roughly every five charge cycles. Inspect at least two to three cells to make sure there’s enough fluid covering the plastic battery element. If you can tell that there is not enough fluid, then take a moment to read the next tip below.
Maintain water levels
Not enough fluid to cover the plastic battery element? In this case, you will need to top off the fluid in the battery. On average, brand new forklift batteries will require topping off after approximately every 10 charges. Do this by adding enough of the right water—between 5 and 7 on the pH scale—to cover the battery’s plastic element protector, making sure not to overfill the battery because extra space is needed for expansion when the battery is active.
Keep the battery at a safe temperature
Forklifts go head first into all sorts of environments, so it’s important to consider the temperature the battery is in when the forklift is in use. To ensure a long lifespan, you must keep batteries at a safe temperature—operating temperatures should not exceed 113 degrees Fahrenheit. In the event you cannot control this, be sure the battery compartment gets plenty of air circulation to keep cool.
If you need to replace your forklift’s or commercial machine’s battery, then Texford Battery Co. is the place to go. Our battery store in Houston, TX carries all types of batteries, and we’re happy to help you select the right one. Contact us today!
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