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Forklift Battery Maintenance and Handling Best Practices

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Proper handling and regular maintenance can help to enhance the lifespan of a forklift. There’s a proper way of taking care of forklift batteries. The goal is to secure your investment, minimize downtime and spend less time and money on repairs. We’ll go over some common forklift maintenance and handling best practices that you should be aware of.

Know how to handle forklift batteries properly

Unlike the ordinary car battery which is so easy to replace because of its small size and accessibility, most forklifts for sale in Ontario come with batteries that are heavy and hard to maneuver. In fact, they can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. Here’s how to handle your forklift battery:

  • Always use special equipment to move the forklift battery. The batteries are too heavy, and having a single person moving them can be extremely dangerous. A walkie pallet jack can come in handy at this stage.
  • Battery handling should be done close to a washing station. This will ensure that if you come into contact with any hazardous liquid, it’s easy to wash it off as fast as possible.
  • When maneuvering batteries, always wear protective gear. This includes an overall, safety glasses and gloves that cover your skin completely and prevent contact with the hazardous liquid.

When handling or charging batteries, make sure you remove any metallic jewelry you may have on.

Know how to properly charge your forklift battery

Battery charging should be done properly. This means forklift batteries need to be charged when necessary and for the right amount of time. Overcharging or undercharging can cause more harm than good. Below are a few tips to ensure you remain on top of your game when it comes to battery charging.

  • Battery charging should be done in a specially designated area. This is one of the OSHA recommendations that should be followed by all forklift owners.
  • Know when the battery requires charging. For instance, if your forklift is powered by a lead acid battery then it will require charging when it’s at 80% discharge. When the battery is charged before it reaches 80% discharge, it can interfere with its lifespan. To prevent reducing battery life, only charge your forklift battery after measuring the depth of discharge.
  • In the event of an overflow, make sure you properly clean it off. The overflow can cause serious corrosion which degrades your forklift battery even further.
  • Don’t use just any charger on your forklift battery. Make sure you choose one that is compatible with the voltage/amperage of the battery. To avoid the common mistake of accidentally using the wrong charger, label them clearly or use colour coding.
  • Opt for a battery recharging system that helps to prevent overcharging. Overcharging is known to reduce battery life.
  • Forklift batteries need to be charged at the right temperature. If you charge the battery when it’s too cold or too hot, it can interfere with its service life.
  • Before you connect or disconnect the forklift battery, make sure the charge has been turned off completely.
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