A good battery management system can help a fleet manager save time and money. A sound systemic approach helps keep batteries from underperforming or failing early in the life cycle, can decrease the number of batteries needed, and reduce operating costs.
Change Batteries At The Right Time To Save Time And Money
'When' you change the batteries in your forklift fleet can actually be a cost saving step. Instead of changing batteries on forklifts and trucks during shift changes, changing them at the proper time can save time - up to 30 minutes of productive time per forklift each day. This reduction in maintenance costs and down time spent charging can increase the efficiency of your operations. This reduction can make a system virtually pay for itself. Some industry experts have estimated that the expense can be recovered in nine months.
Safely Rotate Batteries
Of course, properly rotating out the batteries is also an important step. Using a high quality battery changing system reduces the amount of time needed to change out heavy forklift batteries. It also makes the changing process safer for the employee and it reduces the chances that your expensive battery can become damaged by improper handling.
Importance Of Battery Washing
Battery washing needs to be part of a management system as well. When it comes down to it, your forklift battery is sheets of lead soaked in acid. This chemical reaction can result in build up around the terminals, but washing them regularly can extend the life of the expensive battery and increase the time between charges, which decreases down time and increases productivity. Washing also increases safety by reducing the likelihood of chemical burns from acid build up. Regular washing can also lessen the chances that corrosion will damage the connections between battery terminals and the cables.
Proper Storage And Charging Systems
Proper charging and storage systems are also a factor to be considered in your management system. Charging needs to be done in a well ventilated area. Even if batteries are being charged on-board, ventilation still needs to be taken into consideration. Oxygen and hydrogen gases can be released during charging and these are potentially explosive. Overcharging can also increase this hazard.
Storage racks need to be inspected regularly for signs of corrosion or damage to welds and fasteners. Also watch to make sure that rollers stay functional and that all stops and other components stay in good shape and serviceable. Always make sure that your storage rack is appropriate for your needs; if the batteries you are going to be storing are too heavy for the rack you’re using, the long term costs will be greater than you expect. It’s also an increased safety hazard. Keep this in mind if you purchase new equipment that may have a bigger, heavier battery than your current equipment uses.
Personal Protective Equipment
Lastly, always ensure that your battery management system includes the proper protective equipment for your workers. Personal protective equipment (PPE) can included eye protection, chemical resistant gloves and chemical resistant aprons. Nonconductive tools and steel toed boots are also helpful. OSHA regulations may require measures like eye wash stations or chemical neutralizers be nearby as well.
A visit to the Multi-Shifter website can help you find the things you need to make your battery management system safe, effective and efficient.