How to charge and care for forklift batteries
When charging forklift batteries, you will want to follow these very simple tips.
Keep your battery:
- Cool – allow post-charge cooling to below 120F
- Clean – clean, dry batteries last longer and have fewer problems
- Watered – keep the plates in the cells covered without overflow
- Charged – unless using specialized chargers, charge no more than once every 24hrs
- Discharged – discharge to no more than 80% depth of discharge (many forklifts prevent over-discharge with a lift interrupt)
- Rotated – it is good practice to rotate your battery fleet if in a multi-shift, multi-battery environment
On a daily basis:
- Inspect your batteries after a complete recharge and cooling (usually 8 hours of charging and 8 hours of cooling). Check for frayed cables , broken connectors, etc.
- Discharge to no more than 80%. You can fool the forklift into discharging the battery below 80% by performing a boost charge on a break. The forklift will think there is more energy in the battery than there is. This may cause damage to the battery and extra wear on the forklift truck. Remember the more a battery is discharged, the higher the amps flow into the truck, the greater the wear on the forklift’s electrical components.
On a regular basis:
- Check that the battery and the charger are properly matched. Just because the connectors match does not mean the charger is match in charger output of DC volts and battery ampere hour capacity. Ask your sales rep to perform an audit to be certain. He/she has been trained to identify mismatched batteries and chargers.
- Water the battery weekly upon full recharge. Be sure the battery is filled to at least 1/4″ below the vent well neck. The best water is demineralized or distilled.
- Equalize charge on a weekly basis. Some chargers will automatically do this – but if you are unsure, check with your sales rep.
- Twice a year, clean and neutralize your batteries. This will help prolong the life of your batteries.
- At the same time, have a battery technician check specific gravity readings, cell temperatures and voltages.
Find the right battery for your forklift: