Battery-operated forklifts, called electric forklifts, are a popular choice for indoor needs. Cost-effective, low-maintenance, and efficient, they can improve your bottom line and your warehouse workflow. Investing in one means investing in a top-quality piece of machinery, so naturally you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
While following routine maintenance schedules, purchasing a comprehensive maintenance plan, and dealing with any problems that arise promptly are good steps to take in ensuring the longevity of your machine, the way in which you store your electric forklifts is also important. Correct storage can prevent problems and help your machine to last longer. Here are a few tips for properly storing your electric forklifts.
Store electric forklifts inside.
Even internal combustion forklifts designed for heavy usage outside benefit from indoor storage. The ever-changing weather can quickly wear out a machine. Rain and snow can rust chains, for example, and the sun can weather the outside of the forklift.
Electric forklifts in particular, however, should always be stored inside. They are generally not designed for outdoor use. In addition, their battery and electric parts are particularly susceptible to damage from weather like rain and snow. Variations in temperature can also weaken the battery and shorten its life.
As a result, always store your electric forklifts inside. If your current storage facility does not offer indoor storage, consider moving your machines to a different facility in order to ensure that they remain dry and protected from the weather. Doing so will prevent rusting and battery damage that can shorten your forklift's life.
Store electric forklifts on dry ground.
Water and electricity never mix. That is why you need to take extra care to keep your electric forklifts' batteries clean and dry. One of the best ways to do so when it comes to storing your electric forklifts is to store your machines on dry ground.
The dry ground prevents moisture from entering the forklift and causing rust or damage to your battery. In fact, you may want to store your electric forklifts on top of plastic to ensure that the forklift remains dry. Plastic is particularly important if you plan to store your electric forklifts for a long time.
Store electric forklifts on level ground.
Storing your electric forklifts on level ground helps to keep them stable. This is also why you follow storage protocol such as lowering the mast and placing the tynes on the ground. Keeping the forklift stable ensures that it will not accidentally topple over while being stored, potentially injuring people nearby.
Avoid extreme temperatures when storing electric forklifts.
The batteries in electric forklifts perform best and last longest when they are stored at moderate temperatures. Extreme temperatures can shorten a battery's life by up to 50 percent, while also hindering its overall performance. As a result, when storing your electric forklifts, avoid extreme temperatures.
This is one reason why indoor storage is so important for electric forklifts: It is easier to control the temperature when using indoor storage. However, watch out for indoor storage that may not have moderate temperatures. For example, don't leave a forklift in cold storage even if it is used there frequently, and don't place it in an uninsulated back room in the dead of winter or the heat of summer.
Ensure the safety and security of your electric forklifts.
Your electric forklifts are valuable assets to your business. As a result, you need to protect them the same you protect all of your assets: By implementing appropriate security systems within your storage area. Alternatively, if you are renting storage space for your electric forklifts, look for space that includes security features intended to keep your forklifts safe.
Take extra precautions when storing electric forklifts for the long-term.
You may find that there are times you need to store your electric forklifts for longer periods of time. For example, if your business is seasonal, you may not need electric forklifts for a few months every year, or you may need to store them during a downtime in business.
Whenever you need to store your electric forklifts for longer than just between shifts or overnight, you need to follow extra precautions to ensure that they remain in good working order for the next time you need them. For example, you should disconnect the battery plug to ensure that the battery retains its charge in storage. You should protect areas where moisture can get in, and cover the entire forklift. You can also take other measures to prevent the deterioration of the forklift while it is in storage, such as by applying anti-rust grease and lubricant to appropriate areas.
You should also never leave electric forklifts in long-term storage without periodically running them. By turning them on and running them regularly, you help to keep them in good working order. Otherwise, you may find that they do not run immediately or need repairs the next time you go to take them out of storage.
Electric forklifts can serve your business well for many years. You simply need to take care of them. Buying comprehensive maintenance plans from a reliable forklift dealer like Darr can help you to keep your forklift running smoothly and prevent major breakdowns. In addition, storing your electric forklifts appropriately can extend battery life and prevent accidents.
As a result, when storing your electric forklifts, make sure to keep them inside; store them on dry, level ground; avoid extreme temperatures; keep them secure, and take the appropriate precautions when storing them long-term. And when you need any forklift advice, reach out to Darr: Our wide selection, skilled technicians, and fleet management services are designed to make buying and maintaining your forklifts easier and more successful.