How to Store Your Electric Forklift for the Long Term

Electric forklifts are, as the name would suggest, powered by batteries. They’re also a popular choice for warehouses across the world, namely down to their reasonable running costs and eco-friendly properties.

However, you might not need them all year round, so what should you do with the electric forklifts you’re not using anymore? You don’t want to get rid of them because you’ll likely need them again in the future. The best option in this case is to store them for the long-term.

Long-term storage requires specific measures to be taken in order to prevent the premature degradation of your electric forklift fleet. Here at Refurbished Forklifts, we have over three decades of experience in the material handling industry, and so we know what’s best for your electric forklift, especially if you’re going to be storing it for long periods of time. Here’s how you can store your forklift for the long term.

Store electric forklifts inside

If you’re going to store your forklifts for long periods of time, do not store them outside, even if they’re under cover.You’re still allowing salt exposure and moisture to access your machines, therefore causing oxidation and rust to form.

Rust will reduce the overall integrity of the chassis, undercarriage and even smaller parts and components. If left like this for a considerable time, it could render your forklift unusable or too unsafe to operate at all, thus causing you to buy a brand new forklift to replace the damaged one.

Prevent these additional costs by storing the electric forklifts indoors as opposed to outside, where your equipment isn’t open to the elements. If you cannot store them inside, look into external inside storage. This will mean storing your machinery offsite, but it will ensure the integrity of your electric forklifts.

Store electric forklifts on dry ground

Water and electricity do not mix, of course, and neither does metal. Metal rusts and electrical components can fail and pose serious dangers to your employees. To keep your employees safe at all times, ensure your forklifts are stored somewhere dry so as to mitigate moisture from gaining access to the electrical system. Keeping your forklift in a dry place will also help to prevent your electric forklift from rusting.

Store electric forklifts on level ground

Keeping your electric forklift on level ground will help to prevent it from rolling. It ensures stability and safety all round. It’s important that this step is taken extremely seriously so as to avoid the following issues:

  • Employee injuries
  • Products becoming lost or damaged
  • The warehouse or property itself becoming damaged
  • Damage to your forklifts

Avoid extreme temperatures when storing your electric forklifts

Do not store your forklifts anywhere that has the potential to become extremely cold or overwhelmingly hot. Extreme temperatures alone can prematurely reduce battery life, as can sudden changes in extreme temperatures, such as being cold at night and hot in the day. This, on repeat, can be detrimental to the life of your electric forklift. Essentially, do not put your electric forklift in cold storage for the long term, only the short term, if at all.

Ensure the safety & security of your electric forklifts

You need to protect your electric forklifts at all costs. Whether you have one in your overall fleet or several, these are exceptionally important assets and so they must be preserved adequately. Set up security devices and put measures in place to prevent and deter theft or vandalism. CCTV is a highly-effective, popular and reasonably-priced solution.

You should also lock your electric forklifts away, but it’s important to note that padlocks can be easily broken. Make sure you have large, heavy doors at entry and exit points and that they have heavy-duty internal locking mechanisms that would be difficult for even the most experienced of criminals to break.

Thoroughly clean your electric forklifts before storing for the long term

Your electric forklifts need to be thoroughly cleaned so as to ensure their integrity over the long-term. You should also clean the space in which you’ll be storing them. This helps to prevent insects and other pests from gaining entry and chewing at wires and cables that are easily accessible to them.

It will also help to remove any debris that might have been caught up in the forklift whilst operations were underway prior to storage. This helps to reduce potential downtime or extra incurred costs further down the line, such as maintenance and repair services to get the electric forklift back up and running again.

Clean the batteries of your electric forklifts every six months

Just because your electric forklifts are in long-term storage, doesn’t mean that you can wash your hands of them for the foreseeable future. You’ll still need to perform regular battery checks on your electric forklifts. This is usually done every six months or so in order to remove battery acid residue.

This ensures that the electric forklift is ready for use by the time it, eventually, comes out of storage again. It’s important to note that batteries should also be disconnected if you’re looking to store your electric forklift for a considerable length of time. This will help to prevent any electric discharge.

Conduct regular maintenance checks & carry out repairs

Much like when checking, cleaning and disconnecting the battery, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance checks on your electric forklift. Again, you cannot store it away for long periods of time and bring it out again with the expectation that it’ll work as it used to. If you carry out maintenance checks and repairs on a regular basis, then you can expect your electric forklift to run again as planned, almost as if it had never entered long-term storage.

When conducting maintenance checks, you’ll need to carry out the following jobs as the bare minimum:

  • Anti-greasing exposed parts
  • Covering areas where moisture could get in
  • Lubricating joints and other parts and components
  • Checking tyre pressure
  • Checking the cleanliness of the battery

Refurbished Forklifts have a wide range of used forklifts and second-hand warehouse equipment available, regardless of the industry you work in. Whether you need one machine or several, you can count on us to help. In addition to used electric forklifts, we can also offer second-hand LPG forklifts, refurbished diesel forklifts, reconditioned reach trucks and used pallet trucks, to name a few. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our professional team – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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