How Electric Forklift Maintenance Can Improve Vehicle Life

Electric forklift trucks being run by an electric forklift battery.

Electric forklift maintenance will improve performance and extend your equipment's life. Unfortunately, many electric forklift owners do not prioritize maintenance.

Between propane vs. electric forklifts, most people choose electric because they have fewer maintenance needs. However, electric forklift maintenance is still necessary. It keeps your electric forklift in optimal working condition.

Though electric forklifts are durable, they still have wearable parts. These parts need routine inspection and, sometimes, replacement. The battery is one such part.

The electric forklift battery is the backbone of your truck. That's why it's important to focus on your battery during electric forklift maintenance.

Industrial Forklift Truck is here to keep your equipment in good condition. We'll run through what good electric forklift maintenance looks like. We'll discuss what to inspect, how often to inspect it, and how to tend to your electric forklift battery.

Learn how to get the most out of your investment with forklift maintenance here.

Electric Forklift Maintenance

What to Inspect and Why

We've already covered how regular maintenance helps your forklift in the long run. So, what are the most important items to inspect during maintenance?

  • FLUID LEVELS. Get in the habit of checking your battery's water level every five to eight charging cycles. You'll want to top your fluid levels off about every ten changes. Find more information in the battery section below.
  • MOTORS AND CABLES. Electric forklifts have at least two electric motors. Each motor has a minimum of three cables to carry the electric current. These cables can loosen through operation, heating and cooling cycles, and vibration. Loose motor cables can start fires or ruin the motor or motor controller. A simple check and tightening of these cables will prevent damage.
  • LUBING AND GREASING. Electric forklifts have multiple parts that are in constant movement. The most important parts are your wheels and forks. Additional lubrication points are listed in your operator manual. Regularly grease and oil these parts to maximize safety and productivity.

The Importance of a Schedule

A schedule will keep maintenance consistent. Save money by keeping your equipment reliable. This eliminates lost productivity, downtime, and replacement costs.

  • DAILY. Per OSHA requirements, electric forklifts need to be examined prior to use. Forklifts in constant use should also be examined after operation. For guidelines, download this forklift checklist. Short on time? Learn how to conduct a forklift inspection in five minutes.
  • MONTHLY. Monthly maintenance should be more specific to internal parts. Industrial Forklift Truck recommends using diagnostic equipment. That's why many opt for professional servicing. Pay special attention to electrical and gas parts. This includes the driver control system, battery connectors, radiator, and fuel filter.
  • ANNUALLY. Daily and monthly maintenance are similar for most forklift types. In contrast, annual maintenance is specific to your exact electric forklift model. That's why a professional almost always provides the servicing when it is time for annual maintenance.

Also, prepare for periods of downtime in your schedule. During these quieter times, switch off or disconnect your batteries. This will prevent battery discharge, which can cause irreparable damage.

Electric Forklift Battery

Think of your electric forklift battery as your fuel. You can make that "fuel" last for up to six or seven years. However, it all depends on the forklift maintenance you put into it.

You can double your fuel economy and save money just by taking care of your battery.

As mentioned in the previous section, a schedule is important. This applies to batteries, too. Sticking to a charging schedule prolongs battery life. Batteries have a finite number of cycles, which means it's easy to shorten their lifespan.

There are many ways to protect battery life. When charging, avoid overly frequent charges. Always charge to completion and check battery temperature. Operating battery temperature should be below 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your forklift maintenance should include a battery cleaning schedule. Clean your batteries regularly to remove the build-up of harmful elements like dust and dirt. These elements can cause battery corrosion, which threatens operator safety. For the most thorough cleaning, use a battery cleaner or warm water once a week.

Finally, check the fluid level of your electric forklift battery. Low fluid levels are the most common cause of breakdowns and failure. That's why you always want to make sure the water is at the right level. That's why you always want to make sure the water is at the right level. Your operator manual will have recommended levels for impurities. Your battery water should generally fall between a five and seven on the pH scale.

Electric forklifts in an Industrial Forklift Truck lot.

Setting Your Business up for Success

Regular forklift maintenance will help uphold your electric forklift for years to come. However, practicing these tips on faulty equipment is more of a temporary fix.

Forklift maintenance will only improve what you already have. The better your equipment is, the better your return on investment will be. A high-quality forklift, when properly maintained, can be used for years. Your return from poor equipment will be considerably less.

Industrial Forklift Truck can help find the best deal near you. Industrial Forklift Truck has the largest inventory of new and used forklifts nationwide. That's how you know we have something for every business.

The process of comparing quotes is simple. Industrial Forklift Truck does most of the work for you.

Answer a couple, quick questions on what you're looking for. Then, Industrial Forklift Truck will send you free information and quotes in minutes. That's it!

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