Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Forklift Battery

December 8, 2021 11:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Having a fleet of well-maintained forklift batteries is important for any warehouse or distribution center. Your job is to move large amounts of products quickly and efficiently. Today many industrial forklifts use battery-powered forklifts, which are better for the environment and reduce the risk of combustible, fuel-powered drivetrains.

A failed forklift battery can cause unforeseen downtime and cut into your bottom line. To avoid issues, it’s a good idea to recognize the signs when you should change your forklift’s battery.

Troubleshooting your forklift’s battery

Here’s how to tell that you need to replace your forklift battery:

  • Abnormally-fast drain: After charging, your forklift battery should hold a charge for hours at a time. (If your service log notes how long the battery held a charge when it was first installed, that can give you a better idea of how quickly it’s draining.) Batteries should be charged when they have about 20 to 30 percent charge left, or their useful life will end a lot faster than it should.
  • Reduced performance: If you notice that your forklift’s displays are dim, flickering or don’t come on at all, you may have a problem with the battery. Check the connection to make sure that it’s clean and clear of any debris. When this happens right after charging and the connection between the battery and forklift is clean, it’s a sure sign that you need to replace your forklift battery.
  • Corroded or damaged terminals: Even heavy-duty industrial batteries can suffer damage. This usually occurs when someone has failed to maintain the batteries properly or when the battery itself has suffered an impact. When the terminals are corroded or damaged, they won’t be able to transfer power to the forklift properly. Damage to the casing can also impair the battery’s ability to power your forklift. This usually requires you to send the battery to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
  • Spilled acid: Spilled acid is a sign of damage to the battery casing; it may need to be disposed of. If your battery is damaged and leaking acid, make sure that you follow proper battery acid cleanup protocol, since it’s a health and safety hazard. Do not try to repair the battery or replace the acid yourself.
  • Excessive sulfation: Electric forklift batteries are usually lead-acid batteries, which contain sulfuric acid and water. As the water evaporates (whether due to too little water or improper charging), the sulfuric acid can collect on the battery’s plates. This causes difficulty in charging the battery and can permanently damage the plates. Replace the battery for best results.
  • Excessive self-discharging: Finally, if your battery self-discharges too fast (i.e., it loses too much of a charge when disconnected from the forklift), it has reached the end of its useful life and should be replaced.

For industrial batteries and chargers, reach out to the team at Remis Power Systems Inc. We’ll help you replace your forklift batteries when you need new ones to help ensure your equipment is able to serve you well.

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