Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Can Forklift Battery Monitoring Improve Safety?

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Dec 27, 2018 4:00:00 AM

You know that forklift battery monitoring facilitates proper care, charging, and longer battery life. But did you know it can improve safety?  forklift-1796_640

From knowing when a battery is overheating to when forklifts are working with reduced capacity, forklift-monitoring technology provides warnings that prevent injuries to operators and workers.  

Forklift batteries are a big expense, especially if they do not power your fleet as expected or if that lack of power leads to an accident. Battery-monitoring technology takes care of your batteries telling you the battery’s discharge, temperature, voltage, and amperage with real-time alerts and warnings while in use, before damage or potential accidents occur. 

8 battery maintenance and safety facts 

  1. Electric forklifts are powered by large lead-acid batteries, which must be routinely charged in a separate designated area. Knowing a battery has an issue, before maintenance begins allows for greater caution in handling practices. 
  2. Only trained personnel should charge and change batteries in electric forklifts. These employees should be trained on emergency procedures, including how to use eyewash and shower facilities, in the event of an acid splash. 
  3. Each forklift battery should be charged fully as it is needed. Monitoring batteries in real time, while in use, facilitates this, ensuring each forklift is operating at a safe temperature, voltage, and amperage. 
  4. Heavy loads drain batteries more quickly. Warning signs of a low battery include slow starting, dim headlights, and the ammeter indicating discharge at a high RPM. 
  5. Batteries should get fully recharged daily. Batteries left sitting uncharged for extended periods accumulate hard sulfation and lose significant run-time strength. 
  6. The top of each battery should be cleaned with a battery cleaner or warm water every 30 days. This prevents corrosion and faster self-discharge.  
  7. Water levels should be checked and filled correctly about every 10 charges for the first few years, and reconditioned batteries require attention every 5 charges. Watering should only occur when the battery is fully charged. 
  8. The cold impacts a battery’s electrolyte, causing it to thicken and struggle to achieve the chemical reaction that powers the forklift. So, a fully charged forkliftbattery with an electrolyte temperature of about 32[Symbol]F will be working at only 75% capacity of operational capacity at room temperature. 

Battery-monitoring technology lets warehouse managers easily track the status of each battery, including when and how it is being charged; if it is performing as expected with proper temperature, voltage, and amperage; and if maintenance is required.   

Monitoring facilitates extended battery lifespan and improved safety by

Topics: safety checklists, battery monitoring technology, real-time monitoring, dangers of forklift operation, battery monitoring, forklift impacts, safety versus productivity, forklift operators