Forklift Battery Maintenance
Several key factors impact the battery life and performance of forklift batteries. These include fluctuations in temperature, charging practices, specific gravity, and proper maintenance. Proper battery charging and material handling are very important while using forklift batteries. Proper maintenance will help fight against corrosion and increase the lifespan of your battery.
Following a regular maintenance routine can help to avoid forklift battery damage. Check with your battery manufacturer for specific battery care instructions. Only those personnel properly trained in the maintenance of lead acid batteries should be allowed to install, operate and maintain these batteries. The following should be done as a regular maintenance routine:
• Connect the battery to an approved starter. Open the battery cover or lift the hood to ventilate. Turn charger off prior to disconnecting the battery to prevent injury.
• Check water levels in all cells and level off if needed. Watering should be done while the battery is at the end of a charge cycle. Fill to a level ¼” below the bottom of the vent well. We offer a wide variety of battery watering products as well. Provide equalization charge to properly mix the electrolyte and water.
• Take a specific gravity reading on all cells with a hydrometer after a full charge. Inspect the cable leads and connector for fraying, loose connectors or burned and pitted contact areas. Wipe down the top of the battery case with a neutralizing cleaning agent such as battery neutralizing solution.
In addition to regular maintenance, it is also important to make sure the battery charger is properly sized to the battery. If a charger is too small, sulfation of the positive plates can occur. Over discharge of the battery will dissolve the negative plate. A charger that is too large can cause shedding and burning of the positive plates, shortening the battery life.
Periodic battery testing is an important maintenance procedure for battery safety. Hydrometer readings of each cell gives an indication of balance and true charge level. Imbalance could mean that it needs equalizing and is often a sign of improper charging.
Voltage and amp checks can locate a bad or weak battery. When checking specific gravity, it is possible to convert the reading to what the open circuit voltage should be. Load testing will pick out a bad cell when other test methods fail. A weak cell or battery will cause premature failure or erratic function of companion elements such as batteries and other electronics.
If possible, let the forklift battery charge completely once you’ve started to charge it. Cutting a charging cycle short can also be harmful for the battery’s longevity. Be sure to fully recharge the battery often. Don’t let a discharged battery sit for too long. By doing so, you increase the likelihood that hard sulfation will develop, which will reduce the run time and life of the battery. Don’t over discharge your lift truck battery. If you discharge beyond 80% you’ll be doing long term damage to the battery and shorten the battery lifespan. Be aware of battery temperature when charging. Excessive heat will shorten battery life by half. Keep the forklift battery as close to 25 degrees Celsius as possible.
Battery Fluid Levels
Having the right amount of water in your battery is very important for it to function to its full capacity. Have a schedule to check the fluid level of your lead acid forklift batteries. Approximately every five charging cycles is recommended. Check the cells to see if there’s enough water to cover the plastic battery element. Electric forklift batteries will need to be topped off every ten charges if they’re brand new and should be filled to cover the plastic battery element. It’s also important not to overfill the battery as there needs to be some additional space to account for expansion when the lift truck battery is in use.
Water used in batteries should be between 5 and 7 on the pH scale and within the batteries recommended levels. Check the documentation on your forklift battery for specifics on the allowed limits of water impurities. Each month you should take a gravity reading of all of the battery’s cells with a hydrometer after a charge. Fully charged, standard forklift batteries typically have an ideal specific gravity of 1.285.
Powerstride Battery offers the following forklift and pallet jack batteries
Big Joe PTE30-95AH Battery Replacement - 12 Volt 100 Ah AGM Battery 6V Group 27 AGM Deep Cycle Battery - USAGM6V27 Powersonic PS-12800 Battery Compatible Replacement Lifeline GPL-30HT Deep Cycle AGM Battery Lifeline GPL-27T Deep Cycle AGM Battery 6V Group 27 Battery - 6V 200AH Battery - UB62000 (45969)
Our Commitment To You
Powerstride Battery remains committed to the long-term health and welfare of the environment by being an authorized hauler of used lead acid batteries and supplying the necessary documentation certifying that all batteries to be recycled have been properly handled as specified by law.
For over 80 years, Powerstride Battery locations have had the most advanced charging systems and testing equipment available to test your battery, alternator, and starter and give you the most complete information on the condition of your battery and make recommendations on what will work best for your application.
When it comes to Battery Accessories, we stock the most complete line from the industry’s leading manufacturers. We will custom build cables to your specifications; as well as offer test equipment, cleaners, charging equipment, and acid detectors for home use or commercial application.
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