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Recommended Preventative Maintenance for an Electric Forklift

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An electric forklift has two primary components: the electric motor and the power source, or battery. The electric motor is a very reliable and efficient piece of equipment with very little if any preventative maintenance required. The best preventative care for the electric motor involves servicing the battery in a proper manner through a regular maintenance program.

Routine Charging

The batteries used in electric forklifts require routine charging. To help maximize the useful life expectancy of the battery allow it to discharge by at least 80 percent before recharging it. Do not recharge the battery prior to it reaching this level, which can greatly shorten its lifespan. Approximately every five to 10 charge cycles, set the charger the "weekend" or "stabilize" setting. This charge setting will help equalize the charge and prevent damage to the battery.

Water Levels

Maintain the water levels in the battery at a proper level in order to allow the battery to operate at peak performance and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Never overfill the battery with water, which will also have a negative effect on the battery. On average, add water to the battery every five to 10 charge cycles, depending on the age of the battery. The newer the battery, the longer it will run without needing water.

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Negative Effects

Discontinue use of the battery when it begins to overheat, never interrupt a charge cycle if you can avoid it in any way and, most importantly, never allow the battery to completely discharge. This can not only damage the battery but the other electrical components of the forklift as well. When a deep discharge takes place, all of the electrical components will become very hot and this can result in permanent damage to the motor, instruments and controls of the unit.

About the Author

Tom Raley is a freelance writer living in central Arkansas. He has been writing for more than 20 years and his short stories and articles have appeared in more than 25 different publications including P.I. Magazine, Pulsar and Writer's Digest.

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