How to Change a Battery in a Forklift

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A forklift is an essential piece of equipment in most warehouses and industrial businesses. Changing the battery in a forklift poses some unique challenges since they contain extremely hazardous materials and are very heavy, ranging from 60 pounds to as much as a ton or more. Here are some steps to ensure that you change the forklift battery safely and properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron

Preliminary Safety Steps

  • Remove any gold, silver or metal jewelry, especially watches, chains or bracelets. This is important to avoid the possibility of electric shock.

  • Wear proper protective attire. This includes OSHA approved safety goggles or eyewear, long sleeves, steel toed boots, splash-proof apron and rubber gloves to protect your hands from coming in contact with any chemicals.

  • Engage the parking brake fully before changing the battery in the forklift. You don't want the forklift to shift or move while changing the battery.

  • Create abundant ventilation in the work area. Open doors, windows and turn on fans to ensure proper air flow.

Properly Change the Forklift Battery

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions on how to change the battery.

  • Lift the battery up and out using either a second forklift, battery carrier or overhead hoist. The battery will be heavy so you will not be able to lift it without mechanical assistance.

  • Inspect the battery thoroughly for cracks and other damage that could be hazardous. Remember to also inspect the terminals and connectors.

  • Clean, replace or repair any parts as necessary.

  • Place the new battery into the forklift. Double check to make sure it is positioned properly and secure the battery tightly and safely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never attempt to handle a battery with your bare hands or lift it yourself.
  • Do not touch the battery with any metal tools to avoid electric shock.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if any chemicals from the battery contact your skin or eyes.
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