Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How Many Forklift Batteries Do You Need? How Battery Monitoring Helps Your Fleet

Posted by Dick Sorenson on May 17, 2017 3:00:00 AM

Forklift batteries cost between $2,000 and $6,000, depending on specs and size. The question is, do you have enough of them to keep your fleet moving reliably? battery-1688825_640.png

The general rule is to have 2 batteries for every forklift in your operation, allowing for proper charging and maintenance of one battery, while the other powers a vehicle. This is typical for any average, efficient warehouse operation.

But, how swiftly batteries get the charging and care required also plays a role in overall efficiency and maintaining an active fleet. Should you invest in battery-monitoring technology?

Simply put, yes. You will get your money back — and then some. Here’s why:

  • Forklift batteries can power your fleet for 2,000 work shifts or charge/discharge cycles, but only if they are well maintained.
  • Skipping battery protocols — like proper charging habits, cleaning, and proactive maintenance — will shorten battery lifespan and cost you in early-replacement purchases.
  • Like the forklifts they fuel, batteries require specific scheduled maintenance to ensure safety and a long lifecycle.

Battery-monitoring technology is the cost-effective solution that reduces battery expenses and helps boosts your bottom line.

Battery Monitoring Basics

Telematic battery monitoring quickly fills you in on vital information about battery usage, proper maintenance, and the health of each battery, in real time. Battery life is extended and costs are cut because:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 operator or vehicle level.
  • The system analyzes each battery in the fleet, identifying actions that negatively impact battery life and utilization.
  • By monitoring charging habits and rotation of equipment, conditions for safety are improved for those performing battery maintenance — avoiding injuries, potential accidents and vehicle downtime.

Having two batteries for every lift-truck in your organization is a significant purchase — batteries can constitute up to 30% of the cost of each vehicle. Charging practices and care must be part of your strategy to get your ROI.

Battery-monitoring technology is the cost-effective solution to trimming expenses and ensuring regular maintenance and proper charging protocol, so there is always a battery ready and waiting to keep that fleet moving.

Topics: fleet management, battery charging, telematic diagnostics, battery monitoring

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