Power On

Recognising When Forklift Batteries Might Need Changing

Most forklift batteries will be manufactured with hundreds of charges in mind – and this can translate to years of usage without interruption. There are a variety of events that can lead to a battery needing replacing, and failing to act swiftly can actually do more damage to the connections than many owners are prepared for.

So, how can you recognise when a forklift truck’s battery might need to be switched for a newer model? Here are some of the most common signs.

Power interruptions

There are two main causes that can lead to power interruptions when using a forklift. The first relates to poor connectivity – and this typically occurs if a connective point has been separated, or if a particular clip has loosened as a result of an impact. The second is a little more detrimental to the functionality of a truck and it relates to the power source itself. As a batteries’ internal chemical composition depletes, its ability to provide energy consistently will suffer. This can lead to interruptions in power, which can show themselves as power-cuts or a failure in control.

Visible corrosion

Most batteries will suffer with corrosion if they are exposed to the elements, or if they experience damage and suffer a leak as a result. The acid that is able to escape will begin to eat away (corrode) at any nearby cables, fittings and fixtures. If allowed to spread, this corrosion will soon eat its way into the unit itself and will eventually make it unusable. This can occur naturally too, although the signs will usually occur internally first, before spreading outwardly. If you’ve spotted corrosion in any form, the option is to replace the unit in its entirety, or to attempt a repair (which may or may not fix the problem, depending on severity).

Failure to start

Although a healthy ignition is typically recommended when turning a vehicle on (including a functional spark plug), it’s not impossible for the power of a battery to affect the way in which a forklift is able to activate. If the spark plug is in working order and all electronic power cables are functional, then the problem may instead relate to the battery unit itself. The best way to test the power output of a battery is by using a current checking device. When connected to the relevant ports on the battery unit, it will display the level of power clearly. This will make it easy to identify the possible cause and if it’s the battery at fault – the next step is to search for a replacement.

These are just a few key factors to help you to identify whether or not your battery might need replacing. Other indicators of complete power loss include a thick blue discharge that will solidify and take on the appearance of verdigri. In these events, it’s important to avoid touching the discharge (which is known to be toxic) and request the aid of a qualified expert to deal with the replacement.