When Should You Replace Your Forklift Battery?

Forklift battery

Ever since the inception of the modern forklift, manufacturers figured it was a good idea to use batteries to power them—even as far back as 1906, when many machines were still operated by steam or diesel. More than a century later, and batteries still are king when it comes to power forklifts. Therefore, it is in the forklift owner’s best interest to ensure that the batteries in their forklift fleet are well maintained. Learn more about Forklift battery in this article.

Now, you might be wondering: How hard can it be to replace batteries?

It might sound like a simple process, but forklift batteries are actually considered to be dangerous goods, and their heavy weight can also pose a risk. To make things easier for you, the customer, Aussie Forklift Hire will happily replace your forklift batteries at no additional cost (besides the cost of the battery itself, of course). Despite such services, there are still plenty of forklift operators who neglect to adequately maintain and replace their forklift batteries, and this can have serious ramifications.

Avoid holding onto old batteries

One of the costliest errors is to forego getting a worn battery replaced. A thrifty operator might think that holding onto a battery until it dies is the frugal thing to do—but this will cost you more money in the long run, since your batteries will be underpowered and require more power being drawn to make your forklifts run effectively.

Think of your forklift batteries like the battery in a smartphone that you’ve held on for years and years. After a while, the battery on your phone drains much faster, and the only way to properly solve this is to get it replaced with a fresh battery. A typical forklift battery might get you about five hours or so of use at its peak; however, after about 1,500 charge cycles, the battery will rapidly begin to degrade.

A typical forklift battery will start off with an acid level of 1,280–1,300 SG (Specific Gravity), but this can shrink to 1,260–1,270 SG. Now, admittedly, this doesn’t sound like much, but for a heavy-duty piece of equipment like a forklift, this seemingly minor difference can radically affect the operational performance of a forklift. In fact, after significant degradation, an expired battery can cut down the run-time of a single forklift charge to just a couple of measly hours. Stay tuned to find out what you can do to fix the performance of your forklift batteries.