Most large-scale warehouses, distribution centers and industrial facilities in Minnesota have their own in-house maintenance staff. These professionals handle all the repairs and regularly scheduled maintenance for all equipment in the facility. Smaller companies and businesses tend to turn the basic maintenance of equipment over to operators, which can sometimes lead to problems with consistency in forklift battery maintenance.
In addition to problems with keeping the maintenance program on a schedule, there may be situations where operators get busy and just forget that forklift battery maintenance is required. This will contribute to issues such as decreased battery performance and even early battery failure, both issues that can be costly.
Basic Maintenance Tips
To provide general guidelines, here are a few basics for forklift battery maintenance that any small business can implement:
Charge below 30% – avoid charging the forklift battery when the charge in the battery is above 30%. Also, be sure to charge it completely but do not allow the battery to sit on the charger once fully charged.
Don’t interrupt – never disconnect the battery from the charger until the charging cycle is complete. This is a common mistake that can quickly damage the battery.
Equalize – wet cell batteries can develop a concentration of battery acid at the bottom of the cells. By using a charger with an equalizing setting, the battery acid can be properly distributed every five to ten full charging cycles.
Water – it is a good idea to check the water levels in the battery at least every 10 charging cycles for new batteries and stepping it down as the battery ages or water loss is noted. Makes sure to check the pH of the water used for topping off, it should be at 5 to 7.
Checklists on the forklifts that operators initial and date when a maintenance task is completed can help keep the Minnesota business on the right schedule.