How to maintain your forklift battery is probably the first thing you need to know about forklifts, even before learning to operate one. How you take care of your forklift battery can impact the longevity of the battery as well as the output the equipment gives.
Here is all you need to know about maintaining your forklift batteries:
Correctly charging your forklift batteries
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong time to charge your Crown forklift battery. Before we go ahead, it is essential that you ensure your forklift has a battery discharge indicator that tells you how much of the battery has been discharged and when you should charge it.
Charging the battery too frequently after every short amount of time can shorten the battery life. Once your forklift is fully charged, make sure you unplug the equipment. Similarly, undercharging the battery will cause the machinery to function on a higher amperage to make up for the drop in voltage.
Simply put, you must always charge your forklift battery to full capacity when the charge is below 30%. Avoid letting it drop to 20%.
Further, it is essential that you use the right charger and plugs to charge your forklifts when it comes to voltage and size.
Keeping the charging space ventilated
When a forklift battery is being charged, there is a release of hydrogen gas which can be volatile if not properly contained. Proper ventilation is required where the charging area needs to have a high ceiling and not be vulnerable to open flames or sparks.
Checking the fluid levels
Lead-acid batteries are commonly used in forklifts and these require an adequate mix of electrolytes and chemicals. Reduced water levels lower the battery life over time. Timely watering your Crown forklift battery is essential as is knowing when to add water to the battery.
You can check on the fluid levels after every four or five charge cycles to see whether the water covers the plastic element protector. If it doesn’t, add just the bare minimum to cover the plastic element without overfilling it. The water needs to be added only once the battery is fully charged. Doing so before can cause an imbalance of the electrolytes. The water you add should be distilled water.
To make it easier, a forklift battery watering system can water the battery to adequate levels without any manual intervention.
Equalising your forklift batteries
Equalising your Crown forklift battery every few cycles is yet another task to put on your checklist to ensure the longevity of your forklift battery. Equalising the battery is nothing but overcharging the battery after it has been fully charged. By charging the battery at a voltage that is higher than is usual, the excess sulphate build-up is removed, balancing the voltage in each cell. Further, the electrolytes are also rebalanced, ensuring optimal charge.
Ensuring optimal temperature
Operating your forklift in environments with temperatures that run extremely high can affect the battery’s function. Similarly, the water in your forklift battery can freeze at temperatures that are too low.
Having a checklist to keep track of your battery usage and maintaining it right can increase the lifespan of your Crown forklift battery significantly.