Four Things Warehouse Personnel Should Know About Recharging a Forklift Battery

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By Jennifer Taylor September 10, 2014

forklift battery lifeThe forklift is the driving force of almost every operation in a warehouse. They're also a major investment for any company -- especially the forklift battery. When the average forklift battery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000, it's imperative to make sure you extend each forklift battery life as long as possible for better warehouse efficiency.

And perhaps the best way to ensure a forklift battery lasts its optimal lifespan of at least five years is to make sure your warehouse employees follow the proper forklift battery maintenance and charging procedures.

To ensure proper charging of your warehouse's forklift batteries -- and longer forklift battery life -- follow these four things personnel should be doing during the battery charging process:

Never under-charge.
One of the top rules of correct forklift battery handling is to never let the battery's charge go below 20%. Using a battery until its charge is gone, known as deep discharge, is damaging to the battery's health and reduces its lifespan significantly in the long run.

Keep each battery watered.
Forklift battery watering is another essential procedure for ensuring the battery stays in good condition. Ideally, refill the battery with water once every five or so charges. Always use distilled, mineral-free water that won't interfere with the battery's charge.

Avoid fast charging a forklift battery.
Personnel may think that a fast charge over a 30-minute period during the lunch hour is a good way to make the battery last longer on its charge. However, too many fast charges can be harmful to the battery and make it wear down quicker. Ideally, you should only give batteries a full eight-hour charge at the end of a workday -- and never charge the battery unless its charge is below 80%.

Don't neglect personal safety.
While it's important to follow the correct charging and maintenance procedures for optimal forklift battery life, you should also never neglect your own safety while handling one of these batteries. Always be sure to wear personal protective equipment, or PPE, as forklift batteries weigh around two tons and contain corrosive, harmful chemicals. Your work space should have adequate ventilation, as well.

What are some other good ways to extend forklift battery life? Share with us in the comments below.

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