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Batteries

Lead-acid forklift batteries remain a major power source for industrial trucks around the world. Learn about handling and maintaining industrial batteries, as well as complying with related OSHA standards.

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  • OSHA on Forklift Battery Changing Stations and Workplace Safety

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) addresses industrial battery changing in Parts 1910 and 1926. More specifically, 29 CFR 1910.178(g) and 29 CFR 1910.305(j)(7) address changing and storage of industrial batteries while 29 CFR 1926.441 lists required safety measures during charging. Here’s a summary of the federal code. The Battery-Changing Procedure The change-out itself can be a dangerous process... Continue Reading
  • Cold Storage Forklift Battery Maintenance

    Cold storage is hard on lift truck batteries. Poor inventory management and maintenance is even worse. The combination of an extreme environment and shortcuts in battery handling practices can cause major reductions in battery capacity and lifespan. That’s why it’s important to use best practices for forklift batteries in cold storage applications. Here’s what you need to know to keep... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklifts in Cold Storage: Solutions to Common Challenges

    Cold storage facilities are the backbone of the supply chain for crucial products, including frozen and refrigerated foods, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals. Unfortunately, the extreme temperatures needed to preserve perishables can reduce efficiency in electric forklifts — or even damage them outright. Thankfully, there are a number of mitigating strategies that can improve forklift performance in cold storage applications. For instance:... Continue Reading
  • 3 Green Warehouse Improvements You Can Make Right Now

    Whether it’s for cost-saving or environmental responsibility, warehouses are going green and saving money in the process. Here are a few simple ways warehousing companies can reduce costs while limiting their carbon footprint with green practices. 1. Upgrade to LED Lighting Switching to LEDs can save an operation more than 60 percent on energy costs compared to fluorescents and other... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Battery Wastewater for the Green Warehouse

    When you run electric forklifts, you have to wash the batteries, and that leads to the problem of forklift battery wastewater. To be sure, choosing electric forklifts over internal combustion ones offers a multitude of environmental and economic benefits for warehouses. A smaller carbon footprint, lower fueling costs, and less maintenance are just a handful of the many benefits of... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklift Fleet Costs Over Time

    If this is the year you switch to an electric forklift fleet, costs are bound to be a major topic of conversation in your office. The expense of a capital investment like a forklift fleet can’t be limited to the purchase price alone, of course. You need to consider the future costs, as well, and those can be hard to... Continue Reading
  • BHS Mobile Showrooms Bring Warehouse and Battery Handling Equipment to You

    Business owners know that their warehouses can only succeed with the right material handling and battery changing equipment, and they’ll definitely want firsthand experience with any potential investment before signing the deal. But what can these valued customers do when dealers don’t have a full line of products on hand in the immediate area? Thanks to BHS Mobile Showrooms, the... Continue Reading
  • Safety Requirements for the Forklift Battery Room: Back to Basics

    There are two very important reasons to maintain a safe battery room — to protect employees and to comply with federal and local regulations. Heavy-duty, ergonomic battery-changing equipment with abundant safety features helps every operation using electric forklifts to accomplish both these goals at the same time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives both general and specific guidance... Continue Reading
  • Disposing of Wastewater Created by Washing Forklift Batteries

    Maintaining a well-functioning lift-truck fleet requires washing batteries, and that process creates wastewater. The EPA classifies this dirty water as hazardous waste, and as such, it requires careful attention. Businesses in many other industries, such as metalworking and metal fabrication, die casting, truck wash centers, and more fall into the same boat. When operations create wastewater, they have three basic... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Battery Maintenance During Peak Season

    The holiday season is in full swing, and that means warehouses are working overtime to fulfill orders. While permanent staff and temporary workers put in extra hours, don’t forget that your equipment is working hard, too. To get the most out of it, a little preventive maintenance can go a long way. Washing Batteries Improves Forklift Performance It’s a bit... Continue Reading
  • Why A-Frame Gantries Are Best for Vertical Forklift Battery Extraction

    A-frame Gantry Cranes are the safest and most efficient way to vertically remove forklift batteries from trucks. While it’s certainly possible to remove a battery from a forklift with a second lift truck, or even to use a modified hydraulic engine hoist to replace a forklift battery, only Gantries designed specifically for the unique working traits of forklift batteries can... Continue Reading
  • Ergonomic Hazards in the Forklift Battery Room: Problems and Solutions

    Addressing major hazards in the battery room like fires, explosions, and acid burns can lead some managers to neglect the smaller ergonomic issues. Unfortunately, these small issues can also become big problems when left unaddressed. Luckily, common-sense precautions allow battery-room managers to protect employees from both kinds of risk. Here are some straightforward ways to address recurrent ergonomic issues in... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Battery Handling Equipment for the Coming Year’s Budget

    Improved battery room configurations and new equipment can yield big gains in productivity and profitability. As the end of the year draws closer, managers of large forklift fleets consider placing an investment in this type of infrastructure in the coming year’s budget. BHS custom designs its battery handling equipment for safety, efficiency, and lifetime cost savings. A complete system can... Continue Reading
  • Preventative Maintenance for AGV Batteries

    Automatic guided vehicles (or automated guided vehicles, depending on who you ask) are touted as the future of material handling. They’re driverless forklifts or carts that follow paths through floor implants, pre-programmed routes, or by using cameras or laser guidance. As advanced as AGV technology has become in recent years, one thing about these devices will be familiar to anyone... Continue Reading
  • Efficient Forklift Battery Watering Without Single Point Systems

    Integrated Watering Systems are the gold standard for watering forklift batteries. For industrial operations that have the means to install them, these automated watering systems are a great investment. But what about the many, many facilities that aren’t ready to move to a single point system? In 2015, industry publication Modern Materials Handling reported that 70 percent of North American... Continue Reading
  • Developing a Forklift Battery Watering Strategy that Works

    Ask any battery room operator how often to water forklift batteries and you’ll probably get one of two responses: “Check them once a week and water as necessary,” they’ll say. Or they might say, “That depends.” The second response is about as accurate as it is frustrating, which is to say, totally. The fact is, battery watering can be tricky... Continue Reading
  • Prevent Boil-Over with Forklift Battery Watering Tools

    Forklift battery boil-over is sometimes accepted as a standard risk of battery room management, but overflow incidents are far from unavoidable. In fact, if your operation has encountered multiple boil-overs this year, you should evaluate your equipment and make sure that you’re adequately outfitted. Boil-overs are dangerous for workers — and expensive for facilities. When battery acid contacts a sealed... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Battery Watering: Striking the Right Balance

    Watering forklift batteries can sometimes feel like a high-wire act. Add too much water and your risk of boil-over skyrockets; too little, and dry cell takes hold. Stray just a little in either direction, and you’ll find yourself plummeting into a financial pit. That’s because either of those outcomes will wreak havoc on battery life spans. To keep electrolyte levels... Continue Reading
  • How Lead-Acid Forklift Batteries Continue to Evolve

    With all the digital ink spilled over lithium-ion and hydrogen fuel cells, it can be easy to forget that manufacturers of lead-acid batteries continue to make improvements on the traditional chemistry of electric motive power. Here are a few of the advancements in lead-acid battery technology that will allow them to compete with newer power sources for electric forklifts: Integrated... Continue Reading
  • Power Requirements for Tomorrow’s Counterbalance Forklifts

    Nearly 60 percent of American forklift users rely on counterbalance trucks to meet the bulk of their material handling needs. Even more than 60 percent of the forklifts in North America run on electricity. (Both statistics date to 2014, the last year the Industrial Truck Association has compiled so far). But times are changing for electric counterbalance forklifts. New motive... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Batteries: Lead-Acid vs. Lithium-Ion

    In 2015, the first lithium-ion battery pack for an industrial lift truck hit the market. That’s astonishing, given that just six months prior, industry journal Material Handling and Logistics reported that lithium-ion batteries were “not available for lift trucks,” because “lift truck applications may have different requirements, such as lower voltage or higher peak currents than existing motive power applications.”... Continue Reading
  • Are Lithium Ion Forklift Batteries Catching On?

    It’s safe to say that we live in the era of lithium-ion batteries. They power our phones, our laptops, our tablets, and even our hoverboards (sometimes disastrously). You might notice a stunning omission to that list. Nearly 10 years ago, the first lithium-ion forklift battery propelled an experimental lift truck across the floor of a major Japanese manufacturer’s facility. Fast... Continue Reading
  • How Forklift Battery Handling Equipment Helps to Meet Federal Safety Regulations

    There are a couple of basic regulatory safety issues to keep in mind when you outfit your battery room. OSHA regulations require a “conveyor, overhead hoist, or equivalent material handling equipment” to assist staff in changing forklift batteries. The reasoning is plain: Forklift batteries are heavy. Without the proper mechanical assistance, staff members are at a high risk of workplace... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Battery Handling Equipment for Smaller Fleets

    Not every forklift user operates a vast fleet of hundreds. In fact, most don’t. A 2010 survey by industry journal DC Velocity found that the bulk of their respondents (57 percent) operated fewer than 25 lift trucks. Only 12 percent regularly used more than 100 trucks. The same survey uncovered another key statistic: almost 90 percent of the respondents said... Continue Reading
  • Battery Changing Solutions For Existing Pallet Trucks

    Most of the published advice on forklift battery management is aimed at larger fleets. But what about the small operation — the kind that only runs one or two forklifts? Facilities with smaller forklift fleets — even down to a single truck — probably realize that an extensive forklift battery changing system doesn’t make sense for their bottom lines. After... Continue Reading
  • Regulating Hydrogen in the Battery Room

    The most dangerous thing in your battery room isn’t sulfuric acid. It isn’t even forklift batteries themselves, despite their crushing weight. The truly hazardous byproduct of charging batteries is invisible, tasteless, and odorless. It is lighter than air. And even a relatively small volume of it can cause a serious explosion. We’re talking, of courses, about hydrogen. Battery charging areas... Continue Reading
  • Designing a Better Forklift Battery Room

    So you’ve decided you need a new battery room. Maybe your current battery charging area is outdated, or perhaps your fleet is just now large enough to justify the expense. Regardless of the reason, your new battery room’s success depends on a great plan — from choosing the ideal location to optimizing equipment. Battery room planning tools from BHS help... Continue Reading
  • Washing Forklift Batteries and the Law: What You Need to Know

    Washing forklift batteries is a simple maintenance task, but like so many warehouse operations, this activity is subject to serious legal regulations. Don’t let that scare you away from the job; washes extend the operating life of your batteries and lift trucks, plus they keep your workplace safer. But it’s crucial that you obey the law when you wash batteries.... Continue Reading
  • Using Battery Wash Equipment to Optimize the Washing Process

    You know you have to wash your forklift batteries, but what’s the best way to go about it? The right gear can save your operation time and money, while preventing costly accidents. Here are a few guidelines for creating a battery wash procedure that’s simple, effective, and affordable. For optimal safety and efficiency, choose an automated solution. Washing forklift batteries... Continue Reading
  • Safety Tips for Washing Forklift Batteries

    If you want to keep your forklifts running at peak efficiency, you must wash your batteries. But washing forklift batteries isn’t without its challenges. The runoff from the process is full of acid traces and heavy metals that aren’t safe for your employees. Luckily, there are some simple solutions to increase safety during battery washes. By following these tips, you... Continue Reading
  • Why Washing Forklift Batteries is a Crucial Maintenance Task

    With all of the day-to-day tasks involved in running a warehouse, it can be easy to overlook a crucial part of your operation: preventative maintenance. Forklift batteries must be washed regularly to keep your fleet profitable. Establish a strict washing schedule for your batteries and stick to it. You’ll see the following benefits in no time: Longer Battery Life –... Continue Reading
  • How to Avoid Acid Damage in the Battery Room

    Forklift batteries are essentially giant tubs of acid. While you can’t prevent the occasional drip or spill, you can — and definitely should — protect your floors and equipment from the caustic effects of battery electrolyte. According to the Portland Cement Association, concrete is particularly vulnerable to acids. Acidic liquid drains into the pores in concrete and eats away at... Continue Reading
  • Efficient Battery Rooms Start On The Ground Floor

    There’s one easy way to tell how efficiently a battery room is operating — just look down. Battery room floors that are pitted, cracked, or uneven can tell you a lot about the operation as a whole, and what they have to say isn’t good. For flawless battery changes every time, you really need a flawless floor in the battery... Continue Reading
  • TCLP Analysis: How Environmental Regulators Test Your Battery Wastewater

    If you’re washing your forklift batteries (and you are washing them, right?) then you’re also producing hazardous waste. Battery wash water contains traces of sulfuric acid and toxic metals that the EPA regulates heavily. In order to avoid enormous fines and possibly even criminal charges, every facility manager should understand exactly how the EPA goes about determining whether your wastewater... Continue Reading
  • Optimizing Vertical Space in the Forklift Battery Room

    Warehouse space is at a premium. Between 2003 and 2012, U.S. commercial buildings added nearly 30 million square feet of warehousing and storage space, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This increased demand forces facility managers to squeeze every available inch out of existing floor plans — especially in the forklift battery room. Battery rooms can contribute... Continue Reading
  • Improved Storage for Forklift Batteries and Chargers

    A common and enduring myth claims that concrete floors can siphon the energy out of lead-acid batteries. Fortunately, it isn’t true — but there are plenty of other reasons to keep forklift batteries off of the ground. Efficient battery rooms use tiered storage systems and forklift battery charger stands to complete change-outs quickly and safely. For most facilities, dedicated battery... Continue Reading
  • What is Forklift Battery Gassing and How Do You Manage it?

    Next time you’re in the forklift battery room, look up. You should see an extensive system of vents and ducts above the battery stands — if not, it’s probably time to redesign your charging area. Battery room ventilation systems remove the excess hydrogen that can build up above charging batteries. But why do forklift batteries leak hydrogen? Understanding the causes... Continue Reading
  • Why is Forklift Battery Rotation Management Important?

    If you don’t rotate your car tires, you can expect to pay for early replacements thanks to premature wear — and likewise, you’ll need a good forklift battery rotation schedule to get the most out of your forklift fleet. The benefits of battery fleet management systems are well documented. Fleet management software provides a clear plan for battery rotation, helps... Continue Reading
  • How Lead-Acid Forklift Batteries Work

    Electric lift trucks made up 64 percent of the U.S. forklift market last year; by now, it’s likely that some (or all) of your fleet runs on lead-acid battery power. When you’re used to seeing electric forklifts zip around a facility every day, it’s easy to take their power source for granted. However, the lead-acid forklift battery is worth considering... Continue Reading