Proper Forklift Battery Maintenance

Operating Cycle
  • One operating cycle is defined as the process of discharging the battery during use followed by recharging the battery to its previous condition.
  • A battery should be used no more than one shift per day. Once discharged and before next usage, the battery should be fully recharged and then given an 8-hour period of cooling.
  • If the battery is overused and not given enough cooling time, it will overheat and significantly shorten the life of the battery.
Proper Charger
  • It is important to make sure your charger and charger settings match the battery being charged with it.
  • IF SET TOO HIGH the charger will overheat the battery and shorten its life.
  • IF SET TOO LOW the battery will not reach full charge and also will develop sulfation more rapidly.
  • Run an equalizing charge approximately every 5 to 10 operating cycles.
  • All battery and truck covers should be kept open during charging.
  • Make sure the battery is not frozen before recharging it.
Proper Watering
  • NEVER water a discharged battery. Water should be added only after a battery has a complete recharge, preferably an Equalizer Charge.
  • Use distilled rather than tap water.
  • Most batteries will need water every 5-10 operating cycles.
  • Overcharged & overused batteries will need water more frequently.
  • Check water levels weekly.
  • If the electrolyte is covering the top of the plates, do not add more water.
Important Points
  • Check battery and charger cables and connectors for wear, exposed wire, breakage or excessive heat.
  • Keep sparks, flames, burning cigarettes, and any other source of ignition away from charging areas.
  • Wear protective eye wear around batteries at all times.
  • Avoid direct contact with sulfuric acid.
  • Keep vents cap tight and level.