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Three Things You Didn’t Know About Battery Technology

by Ken Fearn | Tue, Jul 14, 2015

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Batteries, as we always say, are the little engines behind any business dependent on motive power. No matter how cutting-edge your forklifts are, without topnotch batteries and chargers, your fleet is destined to underperform.

Whenever we're out in the field, we constantly educate our customers about battery technology, simply so that they can understand how important it is to sustain a comprehensive motive power solution. In the spirit of that kind of education, today we'll discuss three things you might not know about battery technology.

Less Batteries Can Be More

To us, 30% is an important number. Why? Because with the right battery technology, you have the potential to reduce your fleet by 30%. However, you can have that reduction all while increasing your battery life by the same percentage (yes, 30%). While that may seem impossible, our experience has shown us that fleet inefficiency often drives a need for more batteries. By taking the time to audit your operation, you might be able to see these 30% swings. The math is simple. The cost savings are astounding.

Your Batteries Can't Stand the Heat

Battery life is directly impacted by heat. This means the charging profile is critical to a battery's performance and longevity since it is an important factor in determining how much heat goes back into the battery. Keep in mind, most manufacturers program profiles into the chargers; this one-profile-fits-all approach might not work for your motive power operation. Being able to make adjustments to the profile can significantly lower a battery's exposure to heat (and allow for you to take into account specific facility conditions and temperature changes, too).

A "Bigger" Battery Is Not Always Better

The highest capacity battery isn't always needed. In fact, many operations don't need that kind of capacity at all. Underusing a battery can be just as detrimental as overusing one. If a battery isn't cycled enough, it can actually shorten the battery life. It's healthier to use a battery to its fullest than to have short, shallow discharges. Believe it or not, we've helped plenty of companies downsize their battery capacity, and they were still able to extend the lives of their batteries in the long run.

How Efficient Is Your Fleet?

Hopefully, these three tips illustrate the potential of your forklift fleet. Efficiency goes a long way toward determining what battery technology will work best for your operation, as well as getting the most mileage out of those batteries. Being reactionary can lead to buying batteries you don't need, overheating the batteries you do have, or using batteries with a capacity that far exceeds your motive demands. If you're unsure of exactly where your operation stands, having a motive power professional provide a fleet assessment should probably be your next move.

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