Charging a forklift battery might seem like a simple task, but there are many nuances to completing this task. One small misstep can hinder battery life, but luckily, there are some easy ways to avoid this from happening. If you don’t know how to extend your forklift battery life, this guide will show you some of the best methods for doing so.
Don’t Charge Too Frequently or Too Infrequently
Properly charging a forklift battery requires operators to achieve a happy medium. You can’t charge the battery when it’s too high, but if you do it when it’s too low, it can diminish the battery’s ability to power the truck properly. In this case, that happy medium for battery life is typically between 70% and 30%. A good rule of thumb is to charge the battery when it is closer to 30% than 70%.
Don’t Unplug Batteries Until They’re Fully Charged
Another good rule of thumb when it comes to charging forklift batteries is to not leave it plugged into the charger after the battery reaches 100%. Similar to charging too frequently or infrequently, leaving your forklift attached to the charger after it hits 100% will actually cut down the battery life instead of enhancing it.
That being said, when charging batteries, it is important to leave it charging until it reaches that 100% benchmark. If you unplug the battery before it reaches 100%, you will hurt the battery life. Again, it’s all about finding that happy medium.
Frequently Clean Forklift Batteries
There are quite a few tasks that forklift operators need to complete in order to maintain a forklift. These tasks include changing the oil every few months, keeping an eye on the tires and hoses, and abiding by your daily checklist. Conducting a daily inspection before getting behind the wheel of a forklift is an OSHA requirement, and it will help you monitor parts of the truck such as brakes, forks, and batteries. When inspecting your battery, keep an eye out for any grime or corrosion on top.
Depending on your work environment, you may see a build-up of grime once or twice a year, or even more frequently than that. To avoid further damage to the battery and forklift, clean the battery with warm water or battery cleaner, a brush, and some rags. If you have not gone through training in safe battery cleaning techniques, consult your supervisor about how to properly do it with your specific forklift.
When you know how to extend your forklift battery life, you can ensure it will power your forklift for many, many years. However, whether you don’t clean the battery or leave it on the charger too long, using the wrong maintenance and charging practices can damage your forklift battery.