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When you consider the importance of forklift batteries and the expense of replacement batteries, it’s surprising how little attention is given to forklift battery care and maintenance. Just topping up the water occasionally isn’t enough to get the most out of your lift truck batteries. These forklift battery care FAQ’s will help you extend the life of your batteries and keep your forklifts running stronger and more economically.
One: Use the right water
While it’s not absolutely necessary to use distilled water, it is necessary to use low mineral content water in your forklift batteries. Distilled water can be a costly and unnecessary option. Instead, look into buying an economical de-ionizer water filtration system.
Two: Add water at the right time
It’s amazing how many forklift operators get this question wrong: Should water be added before or after battery charging? The correct answer is after.
Three: Do not overfill your battery
Overfilling your forklift batteries is not going to do your batteries any good. For long life and maximum performance, they should be filled just above the element protector. To make sure this is done right every time, forkliftaccessories.com recommends purchasing an automatic watering system and fine tuning it to fill your batteries to the ideal level.
Four: Recharge your batteries only when needed
Did you know that battery life is measured in charge cycles and not years? Typically, a battery is good for about 1500 charges. If you use your forklift on a single charge throughout a full shift, you may need to recharge the battery daily, but if you only use it occasionally, you will probably need to replace it prematurely if you recharge it daily. To learn how to get more life out of your battery, proceed to FAQ Five.
Five: Never discharge a battery below 20% charge
When you allow a battery to discharge below 20%, it lowers the battery’s voltage, making it less efficient and potentially shortening its life span. If you recharge the battery long before it reaches that 20% level, you are probably recharging it too often.
Six: Read the instructions!
These battery FAQ’s are for general information, only may not be entirely appropriate for your forklift battery. When you purchase a new battery, read all the instructions carefully and even print up copies so those in charge of forklift maintenance always have them on hand for a reference. The instructions on batteries are there to help you maximize the life and performance of your battery and failure to follow them may make a forklift battery warranty null and void.
Check out the range of battery accessories on offer at forkliftaccessories.com. Aside from a range of products that will make battery maintenance easier, there are a number of products designed to make handling batteries safer. We especially recommend purchasing a battery acid spill kit and an emergency eye wash station. You may never need to use them, but if you ever do, you will be glad you have them.