As batteries age, they typically use more water and need to be cleaned more often to remove corrosion and other debris that can cause low voltage drainage, even when not in use. Because of this, many operations have switched to opportunity park & charge systems, as installing a new power system for your forklifts does not mean the same fleet care in processes where batteries are changed out each day.
The new model suggests that fleets large and small should have a few spare batteries per truck type to rotate batteries in and out of these trucks. For instance, if you have a battery failure that causes the truck to be out of service until the battery is repaired or replaced, having a few spare batteries and good battery changing equipment allows companies to remove a non-functional battery and replace it with a fully charged and serviced spare. Think of it as a spare tire for your car. You wouldn’t consider changing a car tire on the side of the road without the proper equipment like a jack or a lug wrench.
Having a small portable battery changer and a few roller stands helps to support your fleet safely and effectively without the risk of downtime. In addition to the increases in efficiency, removing a battery from a reach truck or stand-up counterbalanced truck without the correct equipment can be dangerous and puts employees in high-risk situations.
1. Have a portable battery transfer unit for your employees and ensure it is rated for the proper capacity.
2. Provide employees with the appropriate safety equipment (PPE), including acid-resistant gloves, a face shield, and an apron.
3. Create a designated battery repair station equipped with roller stands.
4. Clean the tops of your batteries when you remove batteries for watering. Single point watering systems allow you to water batteries without removing them from the trucks, but this typically does not provide a thorough clean and leaves residue behind.
5. Ensure only trained personnel are allowed to change forklift batteries.
6. Make sure you charge your spare batteries every few months. Lead-acid batteries need to be charged or cycled to prevent sulfation. This is where the lead plates start to crystalize due to underutilization.
Poorly handled batteries release toxins, corrode, and over time lose charge, which affects the host trucks’ performance immensely. Ultimately, battery-changing equipment facilities can better remove batteries from trucks for thorough watering, washing, and cell testing. A small investment in battery handling equipment can protect assets and employees and streamline changes. To learn more about how battery rooms can improve your operations visit our new FAQ page.