The Importance of Forklift Battery Maintenance

January 28, 2022 10:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Industrial battery maintenance should be a top priority in any industrial work environment, including warehouses. Forklifts are perhaps the most common piece of equipment used in a warehouse setting, and staying on top of forklift battery maintenance ensures the equipment will remain in good, usable condition long into the future.

Here are a few best practices for forklift battery maintenance and why it’s so important to prioritize these tasks:

  • Use proper equipment for moving and maneuvering the battery: Never attempt to move a battery by yourself—they are extremely heavy. Work with a partner and a walkie pallet jack equipped with a transfer carriage to get the battery into position. Wear steel-toed shoes at all times in a warehouse setting, especially when using heavy equipment.
  • Make sure you work near handwashing and eye-washing stations: There is a possibility that hazardous liquids from the batteries could spill and get on your hands or eyes. Having a handwashing and eye-washing station nearby is crucial for safety.
  • Wear protective equipment: There are chemical-resistant protective gear pieces that will protect you from possible spills of hazardous chemicals or liquids. These include gloves, glasses and possible aprons. Never wear metallic jewelry when working on batteries, as they could conduct electricity.
  • Have a designated area for charging: When charging batteries, make sure you have an area specifically designated for that purpose in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) policies.
  • Engage in proper charging: All lead-acid batteries should be charged at around 80 percent depth of discharge. If you charge early, this could result in reduced battery life, but if you charge late, this could also be detrimental to your battery.
  • Rinse the battery as needed: If you have a battery that begins to overflow, make sure you take the proper time to rinse it to prevent potential corrosion on the terminals or other parts of the battery.
  • Always use a compatible charger: The charger you use with your batteries should match the voltage and amperage of the battery. Make sure you’ve clearly labeled the chargers and connectors so you never accidentally connect batteries to the wrong chargers. Using mismatched chargers and batteries is a great way to significantly reduce the lifespan of your forklift batteries.
  • Add water as needed: After you complete a charging cycle with your forklift batteries, be sure to add water if needed. Don’t do it before charging the battery—only after. The water you add should be pure or distilled. Doing it after the charging process is complete helps you restore electrolytes to the proper balance.
  • Never overcharge: You should avoid overcharging the battery. You may have a battery management system built into your forklift battery that makes overcharging prevention easy, but if not, take the proper steps to avoid overcharging.

Interested in learning more about forklift battery maintenance and the best practices you should implement in your facility? Contact the team at Remis Power Systems Inc. today with any questions you have.

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