The vast majority of forklifts used in commercial and industrial facilities today are electric, which is preferential for these types of facilities because that means they won’t emit dangerous fumes and smoke when used indoors. They are generally quieter than the forklifts powered by combustion engines, which is another added benefit. But they also have some different maintenance tasks associated with them that owners must be aware of.
The batteries for forklifts are generally either lead acid or nickel iron batteries, and are quite heavy, occasionally weighing up to 2,500 pounds (accounting for most of the forklift’s weight). You can typically expect forklift batteries to last five years, but by keeping up with routine maintenance, the battery could last longer than that. Of course, at the same time, there are circumstances in which the battery might die earlier than expected, which means it’ll need to be replaced.
Here are just a few signs that could indicate you’re going to need to replace your electric forklift batteries in Jefferson, WI soon:
- Less operating time: One of the first tell-tale signs of a dying battery is that even with a full charge, it no longer has the same operational time it once provided. Run time might dramatically decline once the battery starts getting past its useful life. This almost certainly means your battery will need replacement—especially if you get to the point where you have to recharge the battery multiple times per shift.
- Slow startup: If you notice the forklift is having difficulties starting up and it’s taking more time than usual to deliver power, this is another sign that the battery is losing its charge. A slower response and startup time can make the forklift a little more difficult to operate, which could pose a potential safety hazard when the vehicle is in use.
- Foul smells: If you start to smell foul odors, especially smells of sulfur or rotten eggs, this is going to be a sign that your battery is starting to go bad. This will likely be especially noticeable while your battery is recharging, because the cell plates will heat up as the electrical current passes through, causing the sulfuric acid to begin to boil inside the battery. If you notice this, it’s almost certain you’ll need a new battery.
- The battery is smoking: If you notice the battery smoking, you should stop using the vehicle immediately—this could be incredibly dangerous for anyone in the area, as a smoking battery could eventually catch fire and potentially even explode. This is a sign that you should cease all use of the vehicle until you get a new battery.
- Corrosion: If you look at the battery and see corrosion starting to build up on top inside the case, this is a sign that you’re going to need to replace the battery.
At Remis Power Systems Inc., we have all the batteries and battery accessories you could possibly need, and are proud to be a trusted Columbia ParCar dealer in Jefferson, WI. Contact us for more information about replacing your forklift batteries!
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