Electric Forklift Truck Maintenance

Battery Powered Forklift

Regular maintenance of an electric forklift truck ensures that is not only functions as efficiently as possible, but also reduces the chances of a breakdown and extends its useful life. Here are some of the items to include in your routine electric forklift truck maintenance programme.

Regular maintenance checks

You should perform regular checks on your forklift to ensure that everything is working as it should and that no safety hazards are present.

The motor cables should be checked to make sure that they haven’t become loose. This could be caused by the heating and cooling cycles resulting from the electric flow that is experienced during operation or as a result of vibrations and jolting from rough flooring, uneven surfaces or worn tyres. Loose cables are a fire hazard as well as being likely to ruin the motor so regular checks are essential.

Electric forklift trucks should also be regularly checked for dust and debris build up. When these accumulate they can insulate electrical components and the resulting heat will cause brittleness in them and shorten their life span.

In addition, regular use can cause the reach truck caster wheel to become out of alignment, so checking whether it needs adjusting is an important safety consideration. Failure to do so can affect stability and traction when the truck is speeding up or slowing down.

Other routine checks should include inspection for wear on brakes, tyres, etc to ensure the reliability of your forklift truck and the safety of your employees.

Forklift truck battery maintenance

The battery is one of the most important components of your forklift truck and the one which can have the biggest influence on economy. Looking after your forklift truck battery will ensure that you get the maximum number of cycles out of it as well as guarding against any downtime.

In general, battery maintenance includes watering, charging and cleaning the battery, as well as occasionally removing it to neutralise the battery case. The electrolyte levels should be checked regularly and water added when required, and only when the battery has received a full charge.

Battery maintenance and charging will vary slightly depending on the type of battery used. Types of batteries include traction batteries as well as flooded, gel and VRLA monoblocs and the manufacturer’s recommendations should be followed for each.

Your forklift battery should also be routinely inspected for correct cable polarity, cut/torn insulation on cables, loose springs and cracked/broken housing as well as checking the contact tips, connector and ensuring all vent caps are securely in place.

As well as putting your forklift truck out of action, a lack of battery maintenance can invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty which could turn out to be a very expensive consequence. On the other hand regular maintenance that is in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations can extend your forklift’s battery life significantly and save your business time and money.

If you are concerned about how to find the time and manpower to maintain your forklift truck batteries, Ecobat offers a variety of maintenance contracts to take over this responsibility for you, so you and your staff can focus on making your business profitable instead. Why not get in touch today to discuss your requirements?

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