When you’re operating heavy equipment and working out on the jobsite day after day, it can be easy for some of the simple or little things to be forgotten or put off. The problem is, they can come back to haunt you and lead to some pretty serious downtime. One of those little things is the battery in your machines.
Regular maintenance will help extend its lifespan and ensure you aren’t stuck with a dead battery when you need to start working. Follow the tips and best practices below to extend your equipment’s battery life.
Always maintain water levels
Most types of construction machines use traditional lead acid batteries, which have cells powered by electrolyte made up of sulfuric acid and water and positive and negative plates. As your equipment battery is used, the electrolyte boils, slowly evaporates, and is vented out of the battery cell. If new water isn’t regularly added, the two plates may be exposed to air, causing hardened sulfate to accumulate, which can reduce the battery’s expected life.
Check each battery cell at least once a week to make sure the electrolyte covers the plates. If it looks low, then add enough water to cover the plates but not more than that. Only top off the battery if it is fully charged, and use distilled water with a pH between 5 and 7.
Wash your equipment battery regularly
Over time corrosive build up will accumulate on the exterior of your battery, potentially damaging the plastic casing and terminals. Inspect your equipment batteries regularly for corrosion and wash them with water and battery acid neutralizer as needed. Always wash in a closed off area with proper wastewater disposal and wear personal protective clothing. Make sure your battery is completely dry before charging it again.
Store your batteries properly
In order to maximize equipment battery life, you should remember to disconnect and store your battery when your machine is not in use for long periods of time. Always store your battery in a cool, low humidity environment. The ideal storage temperature is around 50°F and the best storage humidity is about 50%.
Maximize battery life, minimize equipment downtime
The last thing you want is to try to start up your machine in the morning and hear clicking. Keep your electrolyte levels at the correct amount, clean corrosive material off of your battery, and store it properly to extend the life of your battery.
Understand depth of discharge
Too many deep discharges can not only reduce the battery’s capacity but can also damage the battery. Paying attention to the depth of discharge can help prolong the life of your battery. Never let your battery run totally flat.
Float chargers can help your battery maintain a consistent charge. Float chargers emit only a minimum electrical charge. For this reason, you can leave them connected for long periods of time without fear of overcharging.
If you have any questions about extending your equipment battery lifespan, then reach out to our team today!