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January 3, 2021 | Rob Hirschberg

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Forklift Battery Fleet 2021

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A new year means a chance to evaluate your current business practices and set attainable goals for the upcoming year. Consider the resolutions below as a means of getting better performance and longer life out of your battery fleet in 2021.

1. Routine Inspections

With the new year starting, you should make it a priority to perform routine inspections on your electric forklift battery fleet. Inspect the battery cables, tips, watering systems, and connectors regularly. This will help you detect any defects or malfunctions your batteries may have.

2. Proper Watering

In 2021, make sure to keep up with a consistent watering schedule for your forklift battery fleet. To achieve the expected lifespan of your lead-acid battery, proper watering and charging guidelines need to be strictly followed. Not properly watering a forklift battery risks lowering the life expectancy of a forklift battery by up to 50%. If batteries aren’t properly watered, downtime and maintenance increases, and battery lifespan and safety decreases.

3. Monitoring Battery Health

Going into the new year, you should do a proper assessment of your battery fleet’s health. Assessing battery health is more than just a daily check of battery water levels. Through a forklift fleet management system, you can remotely monitor the health of your batteries, proactively manage maintenance issues and budget for replacements. Even without monitoring technology, you can still document the condition and capacity level of each battery through annual tests. You should consider implementing a fleet management system in 2021 to accurately monitor battery health.

4. Data-driven Decision Making

A proper forklift fleet management system can help you collect comprehensive and actionable data. Analyzing this data can help you understand optimal forklift utilization, which can be extremely valuable in right–sizing your fleet and understanding actual battery usage. Data is also useful in identifying trends that can help you proactively manage battery inventory with changing demands. This year, you should make it a priority to start collecting data to improve fleet efficiency.

5. Assess Your Charger Needs 

The beginning of the new year is a great time to assess your fleet’s charger requirements. Data provided by your battery and fleet management systems can help determine the number of chargers needed to support your fleet. The amount of chargers you require also depends on the type of charger technology your fleet utilizes – conventional, fast, or opportunity charging. Another important consideration to make is if you will need chargers that support lithium-ion technology in the future.   

6. Consider Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

Lithium forklift batteries are becoming more prevalent within the material-handling industry. Lithium batteries can provide a better total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to their lead-acid battery counterparts. Although the upfront costs of lithium forklift batteries are considerably higher than lead acid batteries, lithium batteries provide a 2-3 times longer lifespan and many other advantages. In 2021, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of lithium-ion technology to see if it is right for your electric forklift fleet. Learn more about Alpine's lithium motive power offerings here.

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