Electric Forklifts: Get It Right When Handling Forklift Batteries


Electric forklifts are some of the heavy vehicles that you will be using in a warehouse. They are commonly used in indoor warehousing because of the relative cleanliness associated with their operation. Unlike their fuel-powered counterparts, electric forklifts do not pollute the air through carbon monoxide emissions and produce less noise. For them to generate the power needed to run the engine and hydraulic systems, electric forklifts rely on powerful batteries. You must take good care of these batteries for maximum durability and minimal replacement costs in the course of business. As a newbie in this line of work, you are likely to forget some fundamentals when handling forklift batteries. Here is everything you need to get the job right:

Take Note of the Potential Hazards

Electric forklift batteries use sulphuric acid as an electrolyte. This chemical is highly corrosive and poses the risk of injuries to you and other warehousing personnel. It can also corrode and damage property in case of spillages. Secondly, forklift batteries give off explosive hydrogen fumes towards the end of the charging process. They are best handled away from any flammable materials within the warehouse.  

Battery Charging and Changing Area

Warehouse working environments vary quite significantly. Just in case you find yourself in a workplace where people don't seem to be aware of the hazards posed by electric forklifts, the first thing is to set up an exclusive area for changing and recharging the batteries. Ask the warehouse manager to allocate you some space where you can handle the batteries away from the other warehousing activities. Put up warning signs (such as "no smoking") in the battery charging area and get a dry chemical, foam or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher to help you deal with any possible outbreaks. Lastly, make sure that the area is well ventilated by natural or mechanical means like portable fire extinguishers.

Battery Fluid Levels

For the first few years, it is advisable to inspect and top up the battery water after nearly ten recharging sessions. If the battery has been reconditioned, you can cut down on the number of refill intervals to five recharge sessions. To minimise the levels of explosive hydrogen fumes given off, refilling should be done after charging the battery and not before. Make sure that battery fluid covers the grated plastic element by an approximate one-quarter of an inch, leaving adequate room for the fumes given off during a recharge session.

Opportunity Charging

You must avoid opportunity charging at all costs. Charging the forklift batteries during lunch and other contingency breaks will reduce its lifetime significantly. Don't interrupt charging sessions for optimal battery life.

Contact a company like Australia Wide Forklift Training Centre to learn more about proper forklift handling.


7 November 2016

Maintaining heavy construction equipment

Heavy construction equipment can be quite expensive to replace, so it's important to maintain it properly. That involves doing some regular maintenance according to the correct service schedules as well as making sure that your operators know how to operate the equipment correctly. If you maintain your equipment, this maintenance can end up saving your business a lot of money down the track when you can extend the usable life of the equipment that you rely on. This blog has some tips on how you can easily maintain heavy construction equipment, including how you can train operates to extend lifecycles with sensible machine operation.