Battery maintenance and charging

  • No smoking, sparks, naked flames or welding in close proximity to battery charging
    There is risk of an explosion should you introduce any naked flames or sparks to your designated battery charging area.
  • Always leave battery cover open during charging
    Ventilation is required during charging as batteries give off Hydrogen gas. Leave the bonnet or battery cover up to provide ventilation and prevent a potential ignition risk.
  • Vent caps should be on and closed during charging
    Do not leave the vent caps open or remove them for any reason. The caps are designed with their own vents allowing gases to escape. An open cell can cause issues over time due to water build up on top of the battery.
  • Ensure charger is always switched off before disconnecting battery
    Disconnecting the charger cable from the battery while the charger is still switched on can cause a live spark, becoming an ignition source with the potential for an explosion.
  • Unplug battery by pulling the plugs, not the leads
    Pulling on the leads will eventually cause damage. Use the plugs provided
  • Complete charge cycle, do not disconnect early
    Batteries have a limited life and can only handle a certain number of charges. By not completing a full charge cycle you are depleting the life of the battery and affecting the performance of the forklift. With the correct battery and charger combination opportunity charging is possible. Consult with our team today to discuss further.
  • Ensure tops of the battery are clean and dry at all times
    Moisture and electricity do not mix. Keeping the tops dry will reduce the risk of injury through electrocution. A dirty charging point can affect connection and charging. Moisture can also cause the battery to self-discharge, cause the problems if the battery has sat for long periods.
  • Avoid deeply discharging the battery past 80% of its rated load capacity
    Discharging past 80% affects the longevity of the battery, reducing the overall life expectancy. The forklift is also affected when over discharging occurs. Utilise the battery level indicator on your forklift as a guide. You may notice the forklift operation is affected once discharge exceeds 80%.
  • Batteries overheat. Ensure sufficient cooling down periods
    Battery temperature increases as the battery charges. Ensure a cool down period after charging before the battery is used. An overheated battery becomes a potential hazard while also shortening the life of the battery.
  • Maintain regular inspections of your batteries
    Before every charge inspect your batteries for damage. Damaged equipment can affect battery charging and performance. Notify your service provider of any damages immediately.
  • Plan an equalisation routine
    A battery consists of multiple 2v cells which make up the required voltage for your forklift. A 48v battery will have 24 cells. Each cell charges and discharges at different rates and over time there can be large variances in the cells. An equalise charge can vary depending on your application but is essentially overcharging the battery over a longer period to remove sulphate build up and balance out the cells. Most commonly it is a low voltage charge performed over a weekend after a full charge is complete. The low voltage allows the lower cells to catch up without affecting the already charged cells. Failure to equalise can reduce battery run times and life expectancy. Consult with our team today to discuss further.
  • Top up battery levels only after the battery is fully charged 
    Topping up before the battery is charged will result in battery acids spilling out. This is due to electrolytes being absorbed into the plates during discharge then released again during charging. Top up only after fully charging to replace liquid that has evaporated during the charging process. Maintain levels to get the best performance out of your battery and forklift.

Always treat your battery as an asset. It is effectively your fuel supply for the next 5 years if maintained and operated correctly.

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