How to increase your forklift’s battery life

With the price of fuel continually rising it’s no surprise that many people are opting for electric or hybrid vehicles. This is no different when businesses come to purchasing a new forklift.

Electric trucks deliver excellent savings.  However, to retain these savings and avoid having to fork out for a replacement, it is important to look after your forklift’s battery properly.

We have put together a list of five best practises to help you look after your electric forklift’s battery:

1. Don’t use your forklift when the battery is below 20%

Once your forklift’s battery is at 20% it is recommended that you charge it. Deep charging is not healthy for the battery and could damage the machine. Machine performance at 20% or less battery will also suffer, as the traction and hydraulics slow down.

Charge the battery when you can to keep your machine running at an optimum level of performance.

 2. ‘Opportunity Charging’ is ill advised

It is very tempting to put your forklift on charge whenever you have a spare ten minutes or during a lunch break. Known as ‘opportunity charging’, this practise is ill advised and can damage the battery and dramatically decrease its lifespan.

A battery’s lifespan is determined by how many charge cycles it has undergone. Regular short charges will lead to reduced battery efficiency and eventually result in the battery not charging at all.

3. Watch the water level

Keeping the water level at an optimum level is important in the running of your forklift’s battery. You should try to add distilled water to the battery every 5-10 recharges. It is important to remember this as if the water level drops too low the battery plates will become exposed, allowing the active minerals to become dry and brittle.

Always top up the battery’s water level after charging, and not beforehand.

4. Save fast charging for emergencies

Whilst fast charging your forklift’s battery might reduce downtime, the excessive heat generated can drastically reduce the battery’s lifespan.

We understand that sometimes fast charging is a necessity when time is of the essence, so try to keep it to emergencies only.

5. Regular maintenance

Sulphation is the natural occurrence of white sulphuric crystals on the battery’s lead plates which ultimately affect its ability to hold charge. This is a big issue in warmer climes, but can also be the result of overfilling the battery’s water level.

Checking the battery for the development of white crystals should be part of your daily maintenance checks. Should you spot any simply call us to request a visit from one of our highly trained engineers who will be more than happy to help.

To find out more about getting your forklifts regularly serviced click here or alternatively call us on 0113 393 2881.