Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Cut Forklift Costs with Battery-Monitoring Technology

Posted by Brian Quigley, Director of Client Services on Nov 16, 2016 4:00:00 AM

Why should you invest in battery-monitoring technology? You will get your money back — and then some.

Forklift batteries typically power your fleet for 2,000 work shifts or charge/discharge cycles, but only if they are well maintained. Skipping important protocols — like proper charging habits, cleaning, and proactive maintenance — will shorten battery lifespan and cost you in early replacement purchases.money-1015292_640.jpg

Battery-monitoring technology is the cost-effective solution.

Like the forklifts they fuel, batteries require specific scheduled maintenance to ensure safety and a long lifecycle. But, how often do you try to find ways to extend battery lifespan? According to a report in SupplyChain 24/7, doing this can cut costs and boost your bottom line.

3 Benefits of Battery-Monitoring Telematics

Telematics battery monitoring gives you a clear picture of battery usage, proper maintenance, and the health of your batteries. The top benefits include:

1. Extend the life of each battery.

SupplyChain 24/7  cites battery monitoring and regularly scheduled maintenance as a way to avoid major pain points — like the need to replace batteries sooner and unexpected equipment issues caused by low voltage.

  • Telematics monitors the critical battery status (e.g., state of charge, voltage, temperature, amperage) in real time while in use in MHE vehicles. The user can implement or enforce compliance to battery-management practices at the operator or vehicle level.
  • Technology tracks each battery’s discharge and provides real-time alerts and warnings based on battery issues while in use. Notifications can provide warnings before an issue causes battery damage.
  • The system analyzes each battery in the fleet, identifying actions that negatively impact battery life and utilization.
  • Monitoring can eliminate premature charging — which eats away at battery lifespans. Knowing when to charge is as important as knowing how to charge. Each charge costs a battery a cycle, cutting its lifespan.

2. Cut forklift costs caused by improper battery care.

  • You can reduce costly, premature battery-replacement purchases through proper care and monitoring. Battery replacements can cost thousands of dollars.
  • Monitoring helps you identify and eliminate habits that cut into warehouse productivity, like time lost from opportunity charging or swapping equipment mid-shift.

3. Improve safety.

  • Forklifts’ large lead-acid batteries must be routinely charged and maintained. Failure to follow scheduled protocol can cause mechanical breakdowns and possible accidents.
  • By monitoring your batteries, charging habits, and rotation of equipment, conditions for safety are improved for those performing battery maintenance — avoiding injuries, potential accidents, and vehicle downtime.

Today, a new generation of battery-monitoring technology delivers a cost-effective way to track and extend the life of forklift batteries. Many organizations leverage a telematics system to trim costs, enforce scheduled maintenance, and ensure proper charging protocol exactly when it’s needed.

Topics: forklift batteries, battery monitoring technology, forklift costs