Anyone who operates equipment in Wisconsin understands that the extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can often result in less battery life than expected. However, even considering the temperatures, it is often the incorrect maintenance, charging and handling of the forklift batteries that have the biggest negative impact on the possible life cycle.
While some of the tips below may seem obvious to experienced equipment operators, they are very common mistakes made by individuals with limited experience or with incorrect training. The more of these mistakes that are made, the greater the risk will be for the battery in holding a charge and maintaining its power to the rating.
Handling and Moving the Battery
Despite their streamlined size and design, forklift batteries are deceptively heavy compared to how they appear. Dropping the batteries or banging the batteries on the equipment when removing or replacing the batteries can damage both the external housing as well as internal components.
Always use the correct equipment, including mechanized lifts and transfer equipment to safely move the batteries.
Charging forklift batteries is not done on a similar schedule to charging car batteries or even cell phone batteries. With the lead acid batteries, charging should occur only when the discharge is at 80%. Charging too frequently or waiting too long to charge can decrease battery life.
Using the incorrect charger with regards to amperage and voltage will be highly damaging to a battery. As different batteries that may look very similar will use different chargers, develop a system that visibility pairs a battery to a charger. Color coding is an effective option in most Wisconsin facilities.