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Forklift Batteries Maintenance - Extending Your Battery’s Life: Part 2

Filed under: Forklift Maintenance & Upkeep

We hope since last week you have taken some points and looked at some specific aspects of your forklift battery. If you haven’t read last weeks post please have a quick look back to get the full story of forklift battery maintenance. Continuing on from last weeks introduction and tips on charging and maintenance we will continue with our series by going into forklift battery cleaning and safety.

dead battery

Cleaning

Cleaning your forklift battery is essential in prolonging its life and making sure safety measures are kept to prevent injuries. You need to be visual when it comes to cleaning your forklift battery and always have a quick overview of specific parts before using it. Aspects to keep in mind are:

  • If a battery overspills wash it immediately with water (baking soda optional) to stop corrosion on top of and underneath the battery. Use an adequate amount of water to dilute the acid so it is not environmentally harmful. 
  • The spilled acid is highly conductive and caustic. If not cleaned away immediately, the conductivity can negatively deteriorate battery life (even when not in use) and produce extra heat during recharge.
  • Acid vapours escape during charge, and end up developing residue around the vent cap area. Rinsing of batteries is therefore recommended half yearly (or as needed) to remove the acid residue from the battery.

Safety

Forklift battery safety is the most important issue. Although batteries are designed to be extremely safe you must always be mindful and cautious when dealing with them as acid is not something you should take lightly. It is important that safety precautions are taken into account when handling batteries which include:

  • The weight of the battery can be an overwhelming object weighing in at around one tonne! Ensure that the pallet you use will support the weight of the battery.
  • Ensure you take the battery out of the forklift when recharging (reduces heat).
  • Wear eye goggles and polystyrene clothes (acid will eat through cotton).
  • Wear protective gloves.

Helpful practices for your Forklift Battery:

Do’s

  • Keep batteries clean and clear of rubbish at all times
  • Check the condition of the plugs & cables to ensure there are no exposed wires or loose fittings

Don’ts

  • Never place metallic objects on top of the battery
  • Do not remove the battery from the charger until the charger has been turned off
  • Never allow a battery to go completely dead (inoperative). It can take 3 days of continuous charging to bring back to full capacity. It also damages the battery and can have negative effects on the electronics of the forklift, including motor failure, burned armatures and brushes and seared or stuck contacts, which all place the forklift in a hazardous condition
  • Never continue to use an overheating battery. If a battery ever radiates excessive heat during use or charging or emits a strong sulfur smell, discontinue use and call for service

High savings and improved performance will occur as a result of implementing a battery maintenance schedule. You will find there will be fewer breakdowns due to battery failure, which allow you and your business to run at its fullest potential. This also means less costs to your company replacing batteries and getting them reconditioned.

That concludes our Forklift Battery series. If you would like to leave comments or questions for us or any other readers to answer please feel free to do so below and don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to know about new posts!

Summary 

When it comes to forklift batteries, or any kind of electrical equipment batteries, you must ensure they are maintained regularly and correctly, whether it is a proper inspection once every so often or just a quick glance everyday before using it.

Our aim of this blog is to help you understand how batteries in a forklift can be maintained properly and safely. By recognising the importance that batteries have on mechanical equipment, you will soon be aware that there are substantial costs to be saved. Luckily, the most effective practices for battery care are comparatively small and simple to execute.

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Next entry: Choosing The Right Forklift Fuel Type Part 1: Diesel (Internal combustion)

Previous entry: Forklift Batteries Maintenance - Make Your Battery Last: Part 1