Forklift batteries are usually designed to last over a couple of years. However, if they are not properly maintained, they can end up failing well before their expiration date. The following are battery maintenance tips that will help you to increase the lifespan of your forklift battery.
Proper battery charging
While it is tempting to charge your forklift's battery whenever you have time, this is the wrong strategy as far as charging your battery is concerned. This is because charging the battery as often as possible reduces its lifespan.
The better strategy involves charging your battery only when the charge drops below 30% and making sure that you charge it fully. Also, make sure that you take the battery off the charging system as soon as it reaches full charge. This usually reduces the number of charge cycles that your battery will be subjected to in a given year—something that will then go a long way towards increasing its lifespan.
With time, a battery's water and acid usually become stratified. When this happens, the ability of the battery to hold a charge is reduced. As a result, your battery will have to be subjected to more charging cycles, something that will shave time off its lifespan.
Most forklift batteries have an equalization setting that rebalances the concentration of the electrolyte. This, in addition to the fact that it allows for the cleaning of the battery plates, makes this process a must. If you want to increase the lifespan of your battery, equalize it at least once after every couple of charging cycles.
Regular fluid topping
For a battery to work at peak performance, having the perfect balance between the amount of acid and water levels is a must. After a couple of charging cycles, the water usually gets depleted. This messes the concentration of the electrolyte, affecting the ability of the battery to hold a charge.
Simply check your battery's fluid levels by opening the battery. If the fluid levels are below the plastic battery element, your battery's fluid needs topping up. When doing so, take care not to overfill the battery, as leaving some space gives enough room for the expansion that takes place when it is in use.
It is also important to ensure that you use pure water when topping up. The water not only needs to be free of impurities, but also has to have the right pH levels. This is because extreme pH levels and impurities can mess with the electrolyte's concentration balance, something that may then contribute to shortening the lifespan of the battery.
For more tips on how to maintain your forklift batteries, talk to a company like Enterprise Battery Corporation.