Forklifts are an essential part of any large scale warehouse operation, and as such their maintenance should be a top priority. Naturally, a central aspect of routine maintenance is making sure that battery longevity is optimized, so you can get the most out of your forklift. So take a look below to learn about just some of things that you should be aware of in order to maximize battery efficiency and lifespan.
Frequency of Charges
Always keep in mind that a battery comes with a certain number of charges that determine its lifespan. If, for example, a battery can withstand 1000 charges, you can expect the battery to last approximately three years assuming not just daily use, but the fact that you charge the battery once daily. On the other hand, if you charge the same battery again during a lunch break - or worse yet, multiple times a day - the lifespan of the battery will be cut in half or more. In other words, only charge your forklift's battery when you need to.
Depth of Discharge
Of course, when talking about when it is necessary to charge a battery, the issue of discharge comes up. When exactly should you charge a forklift battery? OSHA recommends that you not charge the battery before it is 80% discharged (i.e. 20% full), nor should you wait until it is more than 80% discharged. Taking advantage of this "sweet spot" for recharging means that you can keep your batteries running much longer than they would otherwise.
Level of Water
All wet-cell forklift batteries need the right amount of water to function properly. This means it is imperative to track the number of times you charge your battery, so that you can ensure the water level is topped off every ten charges or so. A refurbished battery will require even more frequent topping off. Keeping the water level in the back of your mind may seem like an unnecessary nuisance for many people, but it will extend the life of your battery exponentially.
Sometimes it is hard to control the temperature in an area where forklifts operate, especially in the outdoors. But any time it is possible, it is best to store batteries in a place where they won't be affected by extreme heat or cold. Either can affect the battery in a negative way and cause its lifespan to be dramatically shortened.