Tag Archives: Battery Care

Properly Maintained Batteries Reduce Downtime, Keep Your MEWP Running Smoothly

Properly Maintained Batteries Reduce Downtime, Keep Your MEWP Running Smoothly

Batteries are essential to keeping machines running smoothly and running (period). To keep your mobile elevating work platform functioning at peak performance, it is vital to maintain the battery (batteries) associated with your machine. Maintaining equipment can be complex and far-reaching with many steps involved in the inspecting, maintenance, repairing and operating cycle, so here are some tips on how to better maintain your equipment’s batteries. Whether it be equipment that you own or are renting, following these steps will keep you equipped for success and will reduce avoidable downtime.

  • Replace when needed

It’s standard practice, and important, to regularly test batteries to ensure they are charging and functioning properly. Testing regularly, and especially before use on a new project, is an effective way of avoiding unfortunate job site situations stemming from ineffective batteries. Always remember to test the charge on your batteries and replace bad batteries when needed and especially prior to important work dates. 

A poorly maintained battery may need to be replaced within one year, whereas the well maintained battery can last as long as three years, according to an article published by Genie’s Aerial Pros. When a lead acid battery needs to be replaced, they can be locally sourced from a variety of retail outlets for fast and simple replacement, provided the replacement battery is on the same amperage rating and weight, as the batteries are part of the counterweighting of the unit.

  • Top-off battery fluid 

Battery fluid (a mix of acid and water) levels will naturally drop with each use and charge and low fluid levels can negatively affect battery performance and persistence. Batteries which are not consistently maintained with battery fluid top-offs, perform worse and with shorter lengths of operation. Always check your battery’s water levels after charging and add any additional water as needed. Remember to only use distilled water and never to substitute with tap water. It’s also a conscientious idea to check acid levels after each charge, as well. This can be accomplished with a hydrometer. 

  • Performance test

It’s important to conduct testing on your batteries using a digital or carbon pile battery tester to make sure that batteries are operating at their optimal performance. The quality of the tester is important because average testers will not be able to pull the correct number of amps for even the smaller MEWP types. 

  • Check for corrosion, cleanliness and security

Remember to check your batteries for any corrosion and make sure that it’s clean and there are no barriers to a firm, safe connection. Any obscurities to the connection can reduce a battery’s performance and your machine’s functionality.

  • Keep it tidy 

It’s very important that batteries remain dry and clean. Dirty and moist surfaces can create discharge resulting in less efficient batteries. Batteries which are not properly cleaned and stored in adequate/dry storage areas, will result in batteries that struggle to maintain adequate charge thus reducing potential operating times. This can be devastating for productivity, particularly projects which must be completed on a time-sensitive schedule. 

Read more tips on how best to charge your batteries in one of our previous blog posts

Battery Charging Tips

Learn how to charge your equipment batteries safely and get the most out of them with these battery charging tips. 

Avoid Corrosion

A dirty battery may corrode and has the potential for heat build-up, resulting in shorter battery life and other safety hazards.

Avoid corrosion by cleaning battery contacts with a soft cloth, ensuring the battery remains dry, and storing batteries at room temperature. If batteries do corrode, carefully dispose of them.

Contact your local recycle center for tips and information on how to best dispose of and/or recycle dead batteries.

Check Connections

It’s important to check battery connections to ensure that they are secure. Damaged connections and/or cables may require replacement to guarantee reliable power. 

Turn Off Charger Before Dislodging

To protect your battery and to keep it functioning optimally, remember to turn off chargers before dislodging your battery.

Keep a Charge

Maximize your battery life by keeping it above 20%. It’s recommended to keep batteries charged above 20% for optimal battery care and to extend your battery’s life.

Use Breaks

Avoid downtime related to battery charge! One way you can achieve this is by using operator breaks or shift changes as an opportunity to charge your battery.

Remember Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is very important for battery care and safety. Remember to store batteries and equipment in well-ventilated areas to avoid hazard.

When charging, keep the battery compartment open to improve ventilation. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific information.

Check Water Levels

Always check your battery’s water levels after charging and add any additional water as needed. This is an important step to ensuring that your battery remains operational and maintains efficiency.

Weekly Charge

Give each of your batteries a weekly equalize charge to keep them operating at their peak performance.

Contact the Experts

Have questions about your battery? Need to purchase a new one? Contact us! 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in April 2023.