3 Ways To Get More Life Out Of Your Used Forklift Batteries

Posted on: 3 July 2016

If your company's forklift is powered by a battery, you know how costly it can be to replace the battery on a regular basis. Investing in used batteries can be a great way to save a few dollars, and you can easily help your used forklift batteries get more use by making a few simple changes to your work routine.

Here are three ways you can get more life out of your used forklift batteries in the future.

1. Don't charge the battery on your lunch break.

Many forklift operators are in the habit of plugging their forklift's battery in to charge while they take their daily lunch break. This practice is referred to as opportunity charging, and it could be cutting the life of your used forklift batteries in half.

A battery's lifespan is determined partly by how many charge cycles it has undergone. Exposing the battery to many short charge cycles (like those that occur during a lunch break) can compromise the battery's ability to hold a charge.

You will have to charge the used battery more frequently, and eventually it will just refuse to charge altogether. Avoid charging during your lunch break and plug your used forklift batteries in to charge overnight (when they will have time to charge completely) to extend the life of your used batteries.

2. Regularly check the water level.

Forklift batteries rely on water to help maintain their functionality. With each use, water inside your used battery separates into its component atoms- hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen atoms are discharged at the negative battery plate, and the oxygen atoms are discharged at the positive plate.

This dissipation of the atoms can reduce the water level in a used battery over time. To ensure that there is enough water in your used batteries to keep them running at optimal levels, check the water level frequently. Add distilled water with a pH level between 5 and 7 as needed (and only when the battery is fully charged) to extend the life of your used forklift batteries.

3. Take steps to treat sulfation.

One of the easiest ways to reduce the life of a used forklift battery is to allow white sulfuric acid crystals to accumulate on the charging plate of your batteries. This process is referred to as sulfation, and it can prevent your battery's plates from accepting or holding a charge.

You can take steps to treat sulfation be engaging in pulse conditioning. This is a process whereby short and powerful current surges are applied to battery terminals to break up the acidic crystals without overheating the battery.

Keep your used forklift batteries working well into the future by avoiding opportunity charging, monitoring water levels, and treating sulfation. You can find more information on forklifts on this blog. Check it out!