Material Handling Specialists

Proper Battery Care For Your Forklift

We recommend charging when a battery reaches 80% depth of discharge.  Most new batteries are designed to provide 1,500 charge ‘cycles’ or more.  If your application is light to medium duty, or sporadic, charge only when necessary rather than daily.  It will spread the cycle life of the battery over a longer period of time, and ensure you the maximum number of years from your investment.  Select ‘weekend’, ‘equalize’ or ‘weekly’ charge approximately every 5 to 10 cycles to keep the battery performing at peak efficiency.  Failure to do so or doing so too often will harm the battery and shorten its effective life.

New batteries require water approximately every 10 charges for the first few years.  Reconditioned batteries may require water every 5 charges.  On both new and reconditioned batteries we recommend you check 2 or 3 pilot cells every 5 charges to see that the water lever is just above the red perforated plastic Element Protector after charge.  If the water level is low, add only enough water to cover the Element Protector by approximately ¼’’.  The additional space is necessary for expansion while gassing at the end of the charge.

Never over fill- it will cause overflow on the next charge.  Acid loss shortens run time, generates more heat, and requires shop service to fix.  You never want to make a habit of giving short charges during lunch or breaks.  Each short charge constitutes a “cycle” and over time will significantly affect the performance and life of the battery.  It also causes excess heat that will make the battery less efficient than not charging at all.

 If avoidable, never interrupt a charge cycle.  Once a charge cycle is initiated it should be allowed a full or complete charge.  You also never want to allow a battery to go completely dead (unusable).  It will take over 72 hours of continuous charging to bring back to full charge, and may require service to restore the full charge.  Never allow a battery to sit discharged for more than a few days to avoid “sulfation”.  Lastly, if it becomes necessary to store a battery for any period of time, charge it prior, and once every 3 to 6 months thereafter to avoid damage. 


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