Equipment and Solutions

Charging Your Forklift Battery

A battery is the most critical component for the operation of your electric forklift. Batteries need to provide enough energy to power your forklift through a productive shift of work. If your battery is not functioning at its correct capacity, it usually means that your equipment is not running at peak performance.

By sticking to a consistent battery-charging procedure, you can get more life out of your battery, resulting in less downtime and higher efficiency for your forklifts.

Forklift Battery Charging Instructions

Properly charging a battery involves doing it at the right place, at the right time and for the correct amount of time. The following tips provide valuable advice for establishing an effective charging procedure and getting the most out of your forklift battery:

  • Use a designated charging space: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends having a specific location for battery charging in your facility.
  • Only charge at the right time: Although certain times are more convenient than others, you should only charge your battery when the charge level is below 30% to maintain optimal health. Likewise, try to avoid undercharging or overcharging your battery. Most batteries are only good for approximately 1,500 charges, so charging them more frequently can reduce their life span. 
  • Turn off the charger before connecting the battery: This measure prevents a short circuit between the positive terminal and the ground. 
  • Add the right amount of water: Lifts that use lithium-ion batteries need the correct water levels for effective and safe charging — insufficient water risks overheating the battery, while too much water can lead to an overflow.
  • Rinse: If the solution in your battery overflows, you should quickly rinse it. This procedure helps prevent corrosion and wear.
  • Charge at the proper temperature: Charging a battery in extreme heat or cold can reduce its service life.
  • Ensure charger compatibility: Different batteries often require separate chargers. Your charger’s specs should match the voltage of your forklift’s battery. Color-coding the connectors can often prevent mistakes from occurring.

How to Charge a Dead Forklift Battery

Completely dead forklift batteries are often too heavy to remove one manually and replace it with a charged one. Rather than towing your machine, jump-starting is sometimes the best option. Considering the dangers of heavy electrical equipment, you must take all the necessary precautions.

Here’s how you can jump-start a dead battery:

  1. Check the fluid level. If levels are low, add the proper amount of distilled water.
  2. Move the operating lift close enough for the cables to reach the dead battery.
  3. Shut down both forklifts completely and engage the parking brakes.
  4. Connect the cables. The red cables attach to both positive terminals. Attach one end of the black cable to the functioning battery and the other to a piece of solid metal at least 18 inches away.
  5. Start the engine of the functioning machine and let it idle for several minutes. Next, start the forklift with the dead battery and let it run for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the cable attached to the metal first, then the black cable connected to the negative terminal, then both red cables.

Contact RAKA for All Your Forklift Battery Needs

At RAKA, we offer several of the industry’s best battery chargers for sale and rent, as well as guidance on how to care for and charge your forklift batteries. Contact us online today to learn more about how our products can benefit your company’s operations.