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Forklift Battery Charging

Electric Forklift Battery Charging Best Practices

How Long do Forklift Batteries Last?

Electric forklift trucks use a heavy-duty electric forklift battery, which is different from the standard lead acid batteries and therefore has different servicing requirements. When training on how to charge an electric forklift battery, it is important that you follow the proper process to ensure it is always being handled and cared for correctly. By doing this, and with regular maintenance, these heavy-duty forklift batteries can last several years! Read on to find out our top tips and general best practices for electric forklift batteries.

Handling an Electric Forklift Battery

Where is the battery on a forklift?

Well, the forklift battery is located under the seat of the lift truck. Electric forklift batteries are very heavy, and correctly handling electric forklift trucks and their batteries will help prevent injury. This is part of our various forklift training courses we provide here at 4KS Forklift Training.

Always consider the following when handling an electric forklift battery:

  • One person should never attempt to handle a forklift battery alone.
  • You should wear appropriate clothing, such as steel toe shoes, safety glasses and gloves.
  • Remember to also remove all jewellery.
  • Make sure your facility is equipped with eye washing stations in case of accidental contact with battery acid.
forklift battery | 4KS Forklift Training

Electric Forklift Battery Charging Best Practices

Although it may seem easy to charge an electric forklift battery when it is convenient, charging it at the right time is important, and incorrect maintenance can in fact shorten the battery’s lifespan.
Proper maintenance requires battery charging only when the charge is below 30% as opposed to scheduling forklift charging at set times, when it may be a higher percentage. You must also make sure to avoid overcharging or undercharging the battery. As part of a standard process, it is vital that you establish a specific area for your forklift battery charging and that the charger is turned off before connecting or disconnecting the battery.

Follow these critical electric forklift charging guidelines

  • The charger must match the battery, having the correct output voltage. For example, 12, 24, 36, etc.
  • It is important that the Ampere Hour rating is within 10% of the battery’s AH rating.
  • Ensure the charger cables are in a good working condition. If the connectors are damaged or split, they may not hold a proper connection.
  • It is recommended you maintain a watering log. This way, if a warranty claim is needed, you will have watering records to show the battery manufacturer, as they will want to see this.
  • Many battery warranties are void if the battery is charged more than three hundred times a year for five consecutive years.
  • Take care to limit your amount of forklift charging and to not overcharge the forklift battery as this can also shorten its life.
  • Despite this, you should allow enough time for forklift charging. A full, uninterrupted eight-hour charge will properly distribute the acid throughout the battery.
  • Equalise charge by performing the longer charging cycle once a week which will rebalance the acid concentration.
  • Add water to the forklift battery after it has been charged. This should preferably be done after it has cooled down.
forklift battery | 4KS Forklift Training

Charging an electric forklift battery is not a complicated process, but does require safety precautions and performing consistent, professional maintenance. This in turn will ensure your forklift battery is properly charged and prolongs its lifespan.

Charging an electric forklift battery is not a complicated process, but does require safety precautions and performing consistent, professional maintenance. This in turn will ensure your forklift battery is properly charged and prolongs its lifespan.

Routine Maintenance of an Electric Forklift Battery

Proper routine maintenance of an electric forklift battery can prolong its life, and you can do this with some simple steps. First, always keep electric forklift batteries at a safe temperature and maintain the battery storage temperature at less than 113°F.

Batteries must be equalised on a regular occasion to avoid stratification. This occurs when layers of sulphuric acid form inside the battery cells, which becomes more concentrated at the bottom of a cell, causing the acid and water to become stratified. This means it is unable to hold a charge, but equalising will rebalance the concentration.

Finally, check the fluid levels after every five charging sessions to ensure the electric forklift battery has the proper amount of water.

forklift battery | 4KS Forklift Training