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Forklift Battery Care in Winter

Winter in western Pennsylvania can be harsh and it can wreak havoc on forklift batteries. Did you know that cold weather reduces battery capacity and can shorten lifespan?

Fortunately, you can optimize battery performance, capacity, and lifespan year-round with just a few strategies.

forklift battery

What happens to forklift batteries in winter?  

In cold weather batteries are not as responsive even if the forklifts are used in indoor warehouses, as they often are not heated much or at all, so the cold weather will still affect the battery. Batteries power the forklift through producing electricity through a chemical reaction between lead and acid. The cold will cause this process to slow down and produce less power. Much like how your car won’t start on a winter morning because it can’t turn over, this is because the battery isn’t making enough power.

What Can I do?

The best way to deal with a cold battery in winter to keep up productivity, is relativity simple- keep it warm! You can buy heater systems to keep the batteries nice and warm.

The best defense to cold weather against your forklift battery is a good offense. Here is a few things that could be done to keep productivity during winter:

  • Store your batteries indoors. Your trucks might be stored outside but your battery doesn’t have to be. Using a lift you can remove and store your forklift batteries inside to a heated charging area or just indoors. Not only then will they be fully charged every working morning when you need them but they will be warm enough to provide the forklift with that power.
  • Test your batteries with a load tester. Any battery that is borderline on the test is going to be more problematic in the cold. Its cheaper to deal with before winter starts getting worse rather than risk downtime when the frosty mornings really kick in.
  • Make sure the battery terminals and cables are sealed, tight and clean.
  • Store the forklift when not in use in a secure and dry area.
  • Keep the battery charged, even if its not in use for downtime over winter it should still be trickle charged.

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