You know how important it is to maximize the use of your electric forklifts’ battery when your business depends on it. Fortunately, with proper care, you can extend the shelf-life of your batteries regardless of their type. It’s important to first understand the kind of battery you’re using since how long it can be used initially depends on its type. Proper usage and maintenance will follow.
Electric forklifts’ batteries are either lead-acid or lithium-ion. Lead-acid batteries have been used for decades. To power the forklift up, they require a regular water refill. These batteries typically last between 1,000 and 5,000 cycles. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are newer and more efficient. They last between 2,000 and 3,000 cycles.
Old or new, their usefulness can be preserved with proper handling and care. If you want to save further battery expenses, the best you can do is prioritize extending your forklifts’ battery life and keep them operating efficiently. Here are ways you can do that:
Choose the Right Battery Charger
You can’t wait all day for your forklifts’ battery to be charged. Depending on the lifter you have, you may or may not require a high-power charger. When choosing the right charger, look for these:
- -The right amp hour (Ah) rating. Make sure that your charger’s amp hour rating is compatible with the lifter. Otherwise, it can sulfate your batteries.
- -Same brands. Ideally, the charger you select should have the same brand as your lifter. This ensures the warranty and technical support should they come necessary in the long run.
- -Battery compatibility. The charger should have the same system as your battery’s. Again, always check the compatibility.
- -Ways to optimize your battery charging. You have different plans to optimize your battery charging schedule. You may focus either on energy efficiency, charging speed, or battery life extension. In this case, we go for extending battery life. Choose the right charger that allows you to extend the life of your batteries better.
Properly Charge Your Batteries
Charging your batteries isn’t just slapping them to their chargers whenever they get low. When you aim to extend the life of your lifters’ batteries, make it a priority to charge them properly all the time, such as the following:
- -Make sure the chargers are turned off before connecting or removing the batteries.
- -Remove the battery caps only when you refill flooded batteries. After each refill, charging, or cleaning, put the caps back on.
- -Don’t let the battery stay uncharged for too long to avoid the development of sulfation.
- -Never charge too early to avoid wasting battery charge. Instead, start the charging when the battery level goes between 20 and 30 percent.
- -Always check the temperature of your batteries when charging. Take note that excessive heat can immediately shorten the lifespan of your batteries to half.
Do a Regular Battery Equalizing
This depends on if your battery specifically requires equalizing. Check the specifications first. If it does need equalizing, make it part of your maintenance routine. This is so you can rebalance the battery’s level of acid concentration and prevent stratification. Not conducting a regular battery equalizing may lead to a higher level of acids at the battery’s bottom than its top, ultimately cutting the shelflife of your batteries.
Give Your Batteries Some Cleaning
Corrosion can greatly decrease your battery’s shelf life. Prevent this from happening by cleaning them regularly. Use warm water or a battery cleaner for this.
Keep the Right Fluid Levels in Your Batteries
To keep your batteries fully functional and extend their useful life, make sure that you maintain the right water levels. Right amounts of fluid can prevent overheating, thus, maintain your battery’s temperature. But take note as well that you don’t overfill your batteries as it can cause a spill or acidic dilution, putting the employees at risk.
Make sure the fluid level has still some extra space for expansion so that you don’t have to covet or an order picker for sale at the most inopportune time.
Don’t Use Your Batteries in High Temperatures
Simply using your batteries in a warehouse with over 92 °F can already reduce the life of your batteries by up to 50%. This is why you should make sure your warehouse has proper air circulation so that the forklifts and their battery compartments don’t have to operate in harsh temperatures.
Do a Periodic Testing
Periodic testing can greatly help with determining any symptoms of weaknesses and problems in your batteries. Have them tested periodically by a professional so that your batteries avoid untimely failure in their electrical components. Repairing any potential damages before they get worse can help your electronic forklift to work more efficiently overall.
When it comes to battery-operated forklifts, saving the battery is key to reducing operational costs.