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Looking after your forklift batteries during winter

3 minutes to read

During winter, cold weather causes numerous problems for forklift batteries including:

  • shortening the battery’s life span
  • reducing its capacity to charge

This blog will give you tips on how to look after your batteries and ensure you get optimum productivity during the winter months. 


Why does the cold affect forklift truck batteries?

Lead-acid batteries power forklift trucks by producing electricity through a chemical reaction between lead and acid. 

Low temperatures will cause this process to slow down and produce less power.

Cold weather conditions can affect the responsiveness of forklift batteries, even in warehouses so it is crucial to keep the batteries in a warm operating environment.

What can I do to maximise battery life?

If you want to maximise the performance of your forklift batteries throughout the winter and extend their longevity, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Store your batteries indoors.

Never store forklift batteries outside during the winter months. This will help keep the battery from freezing and prevent damage.

Keep a regular maintenance schedule and test your batteries periodically with a load tester. 

It’s important to check the water level in your battery regularly as part of your maintenance schedule. In the winter, the water may evaporate quicker, so you will need to frequently top up your batteries.

Avoid overfilling as this can cause it to leak and damage your equipment, and only use pure, deionized distilled water.

By regularly testing your lift trucks batteries with a load tester and multi-meter to assess their health.

Any battery that is borderline is more likely to be problematic in the cold so if you are unsure how to properly take care of your battery it is a good idea to have it serviced by a professional.

Make sure your battery terminals and cables are sealed tight and are clean.

It’s important to keep the terminals on your battery clean so that the electrical current can flow freely. In the winter, it’s especially important to clean the terminals because road salt and other chemicals can build up and cause corrosion. 

Store your forklift truck in a dry and secure area when not in use.

If you’re not using your forklift frequently throughout winter, it’s a good idea to store the forklift and battery in a warm place, such as a heated storage room to reduce moisture build up on your equipment.

Keep the battery charged, even if it is not in use.

One of the most important things you can do to take care of your forklift battery in the winter is to keep it charged. When the battery is left uncharged, the electrolytes inside can freeze and damage the battery. It’s important to monitor the battery level and charge it as soon as it gets low.

Find out how we can help

Here at Toyota Material Handling, we have a dedicated battery care team who are available to help you with all your battery needs. You can also give them a call on 0370 850 1402, or click here.

Everything you need to know about how to look after your fleet during winter can be found in our free essential winter guide.

Download our winter guide