There is only so much you can do when it comes to cutting operational costs in your warehouse facility. But, you can find significant savings by eliminating costly mistakes when it comes to one of your biggest expenses — forklift batteries.
There are 3 essential practices that can extend the lifespan of each and every battery that is powering your fleet. Battery monitoring with telematics can help you adhere to these best practices for battery care, monitoring and reporting on whether necessary care practices are done correctly and on time.
3 essential ingredients for long battery life
1. Correct charging
Discharged batteries should always be recharged right away. Batteries left sitting uncharged for extended periods accumulate hard sulfation and lose significant run-time strength. This sulfation reduces the battery’s lifespan.
Note that each charge costs a battery a cycle, so knowing when to charge is as important as knowing how to charge. Opportunity charging, charging the battery based on convenience rather than protocol, should be avoided because charging a battery too soon cuts the lifespan. Batteries should also not be partially charged and then put into action. For an optimum lifespan and run time, they must get fully recharged daily.
How can you cut the costs of opportunity charging, for example? Know when it’s happening and take action. Battery-monitoring technology tracks the status of each battery, including when and how it is being charged. This can prevent many unexpected equipment issues and reduce battery-replacement costs.
2. Regular cleaning
It is important to clean the top of each battery with a battery cleaner or warm water on a monthly basis. This prevents corrosion, voltage tracking, and faster self-discharge.
How can you cut the costs of poor maintenance? Battery-monitoring technology tracks maintenance and sends reminders when monthly cleaning should be scheduled.
3. Proper care
Battery watering may seem simple, but it is possible to over-water or under-water a battery unless a system is in place to monitor correct procedure.
Water levels should cover the lead plates inside each cell. Water levels should be checked and filled correctly about every 10 charges for the first few years. Reconditioned batteries require attention every 5 charges. Also, watering should only occur when the battery is fully charged.
Making certain your batteries are treated well reduces the need for premature replacement purchases and productivity down time, which cuts avoidable costs dramatically. Using battery-monitoring technology allows you to make smart adjustments because you see in real time a battery’s discharge, temperature, voltage and amperage.