Aisle Master Lead Acid Battery Checks

Operators should never opportunity charge lead-acid batteries but should routinely carry out Aisle Master battery checks. Doing so is one of the best ways to reduce costs and improve safety but it often gets overlooked. Watch Locators’ video guide below to help ensure your Aisle Master works the way it should every day.

If you do have any questions regarding Aisle Master Battery Checks please do not hesitate to call one of our friendly team members on 01202 854 200.

00:00 - Battery Checks
Unlike normal counterbalance trucks where you can flip the whole lid and the seat back and have full access to a battery, on a lot of machines, you only can see part of the battery when you lift the lid up. You need a battery filling system and something like this (indicates to canisters and tubing) – which is a battery topping bottle because unless you pull the battery out of the tank – with another forklift truck – you physically can’t get to all of the cells to top them up properly. That all sounds great and very easy and it certainly makes life easier. But, unless you can visually check that all of the floats on your battery-topping system are working properly that has its own issues – and I’ll come onto a little bit later.
00:40 - Dos and Don’ts
So the basic dos and don’ts of lead-acid batteries are: you should, run your lead-acid battery – or your truck, piece of equipment – at 80% discharge and then put it on charge. So if you’re routinely only using 20% of the capacity of your battery every day, do not charge your battery up every night because you’re using a cycle of its life. What you can also do is get heat into the battery if you charge it prematurely – when it doesn’t need it – and the battery takes longer to cool down, which is another danger and promotes early failure of batteries. Alongside the discharge elements – so try and discharge your battery 80%, certainly more than 60% but more than 80% – is never ever opportunity charge your battery. So, quite a lot of operators think that when they go on their lunch break for an hour by plugging the truck in a charger – or battery into a charger, I should say – they come back and the battery – the BBI – the battery discharge indicator has suddenly leapt up and you’ve got a lot more battery life in that’ll get you through the afternoon shift . . . but all you’ve done is shoved heat into the battery which is exactly the same as taking a Duracell battery and leaving it on a radiator. You get heat into the battery and you’ve then used the battery while it’s hot in the afternoon shift and you deteriorate the battery much, much quicker. So never ever opportunity charge a battery. If your batteries are not lasting on a daily basis and you keep doing what you do, you’ll need an additional battery. And nearly every single type of fork truck these days are made so it’s capable – so it’s easy – and you will be capable of changing the battery without too much manual handling. So don’t opportune – if you’re opportunity charging your truck to get it through a day and you haven’t got enough batteries – well, you’ve got the wrong truck, so you need to address that, rather than opportunity charging.
02:22 - Battery Topping

When it comes to topping and battery maintenance, then you need only every check and top your battery in the morning. Let’s assume you’re charging your truck overnight and you’re doing a normal day shift – you should only check your truck and the battery in the morning once the battery’s charged. If you top it up at night, when the batteries discharged, the water levels will be low and when you top it up – so that’s when it’s over the lead plates – and then you put it on charge and you’ll come in in the morning and the acid will have bubbled out over the tops of the cells into the battery tank. It’s very difficult for that water to come out and then you’ve got corrosion happening from underneath the battery as well. So only top and check your battery in the morning, when it’s been fully charged and had time to cool. The rule of thumb is, once the charger has finished its work, you should leave the truck for at least an hour after that to let the battery cool down. If you take the truck off charge prematurely – what’s called opportunity charging – the battery will be hot – because it would have had current flowing through it – and it will stay hot, sometimes for 2-3 days. And you might find a battery which would normally last 5-7 years will last 2-3 years. And the battery in one of these is about £4 and a half to £5,000. So if you get that unbudgeted cost in the rental agreement part way through, it could be quite a nasty shock. So, we’ve got the first couple of things done, so: discharge to 80% – ideally 80% – top the battery up in the morning, after it’s been charged – or during the daytime after its been fully charged – never opportunity charge a battery. But coming to the next point about battery topping.

03:50 - Single-Point Filling System
If you do have a single-point filling system – like this – you can connect up to it with your water topping system. You put your dionised water in here. Top it up and the float will automatically pop up at a certain level and shut off the flow into that cell. So that’s one way of doing it. Some batteries don’t have a battery filling system – it is an additional option – in which case, you need to flip up every single cell. On an 80 roll track that’s 40 cells. You need to top it up and keep an eye on that and when you’re doing so, you should have gloves on, you should have goggles on – because if you get any acid in your eye, you’ll burn your eyes – it’s really quite a horrible job that most people don’t want to be doing. I wouldn’t know exactly how to do it myself because I’m a salesman I don’t do it very often. Locators offers a battery topping service called, “Safe Power”. So, with every casual hire truck that we put out, we’ll come and top the batteries up for you. Every contract and hire truck we supply, we come and top the batteries up for you. Any truck that we service or maintain, we will offer this service to you. It is carried out by our sub-contractor NORCO. They’ll come to site every 2-4 weeks – depending on how hard you use your truck – they’ll top the battery up, they’ll bring their own dionised water with them. They’ll give the battery a clean off. They’ll check all the plugs and the filling system and all that sort of stuff and let you know if anything needs to be repaired or if anything’s damaged – if it’s within the contract, if it’s a maintenance thing, then they’ll do that work and they’ll carry it out for us while they’re on site. You’re operators don’t need to get involved in topping the batteries up then. All they need to do is remember the rules about charging, which is: don’t prematurely charge the truck and never opportunity charge it. It takes a huge amount of health and safety risk and the headache out of your life. It means that you don’t have to store dionised water on site, and typically the charge for all of that is about £200 per battery, per year. It varies on the size of the battery, but your salesperson will be able to tell you that.
05:42 - Thanks for Watching
Thank you for watching. If you have any questions, please refer to the operator’s manual for the machine or contact us at Locators.
00:00 - Battery Checks


Unlike normal counterbalance trucks where you can flip the whole lid and the seat back and have full access to a battery, on a lot of machines, you only can see part of the battery when you lift the lid up. You need a battery filling system and something like this (indicates to canisters and tubing) – which is a battery topping bottle because unless you pull the battery out of the tank – with another forklift truck – you physically can’t get to all of the cells to top them up properly. That all sounds great and very easy and it certainly makes life easier. But, unless you can visually check that all of the floats on your battery-topping system are working properly that has its own issues – and I’ll come onto a little bit later.

00:40 - Dos and Don’ts


So the basic dos and don’ts of lead-acid batteries are: you should, run your lead-acid battery – or your truck, piece of equipment – at 80% discharge and then put it on charge. So if you’re routinely only using 20% of the capacity of your battery every day, do not charge your battery up every night because you’re using a cycle of its life. What you can also do is get heat into the battery if you charge it prematurely – when it doesn’t need it – and the battery takes longer to cool down, which is another danger and promotes early failure of batteries. Alongside the discharge elements – so try and discharge your battery 80%, certainly more than 60% but more than 80% – is never ever opportunity charge your battery. So, quite a lot of operators think that when they go on their lunch break for an hour by plugging the truck in a charger – or battery into a charger, I should say – they come back and the battery – the BBI – the battery discharge indicator has suddenly leapt up and you’ve got a lot more battery life in that’ll get you through the afternoon shift . . . but all you’ve done is shoved heat into the battery which is exactly the same as taking a Duracell battery and leaving it on a radiator. You get heat into the battery and you’ve then used the battery while it’s hot in the afternoon shift and you deteriorate the battery much, much quicker. So never ever opportunity charge a battery. If your batteries are not lasting on a daily basis and you keep doing what you do, you’ll need an additional battery. And nearly every single type of fork truck these days are made so it’s capable – so it’s easy – and you will be capable of changing the battery without too much manual handling. So don’t opportune – if you’re opportunity charging your truck to get it through a day and you haven’t got enough batteries – well, you’ve got the wrong truck, so you need to address that, rather than opportunity charging.

02:22 - Battery Topping


When it comes to topping and battery maintenance, then you need only every check and top your battery in the morning. Let’s assume you’re charging your truck overnight and you’re doing a normal day shift – you should only check your truck and the battery in the morning once the battery’s charged. If you top it up at night, when the batteries discharged, the water levels will be low and when you top it up – so that’s when it’s over the lead plates – and then you put it on charge and you’ll come in in the morning and the acid will have bubbled out over the tops of the cells into the battery tank. It’s very difficult for that water to come out and then you’ve got corrosion happening from underneath the battery as well. So only top and check your battery in the morning, when it’s been fully charged and had time to cool. The rule of thumb is, once the charger has finished its work, you should leave the truck for at least an hour after that to let the battery cool down. If you take the truck off charge prematurely – what’s called opportunity charging – the battery will be hot – because it would have had current flowing through it – and it will stay hot, sometimes for 2-3 days. And you might find a battery which would normally last 5-7 years will last 2-3 years. And the battery in one of these is about £4 and a half to £5,000. So if you get that unbudgeted cost in the rental agreement part way through, it could be quite a nasty shock. So, we’ve got the first couple of things done, so: discharge to 80% – ideally 80% – top the battery up in the morning, after it’s been charged – or during the daytime after its been fully charged – never opportunity charge a battery. But coming to the next point about battery topping.

03:50 - Single-Point Filling System


If you do have a single-point filling system – like this – you can connect up to it with your water topping system. You put your dionised water in here. Top it up and the float will automatically pop up at a certain level and shut off the flow into that cell. So that’s one way of doing it. Some batteries don’t have a battery filling system – it is an additional option – in which case, you need to flip up every single cell. On an 80 roll track that’s 40 cells. You need to top it up and keep an eye on that and when you’re doing so, you should have gloves on, you should have goggles on – because if you get any acid in your eye, you’ll burn your eyes – it’s really quite a horrible job that most people don’t want to be doing. I wouldn’t know exactly how to do it myself because I’m a salesman I don’t do it very often. Locators offers a battery topping service called, “Safe Power”. So, with every casual hire truck that we put out, we’ll come and top the batteries up for you. Every contract and hire truck we supply, we come and top the batteries up for you. Any truck that we service or maintain, we will offer this service to you. It is carried out by our sub-contractor NORCO. They’ll come to site every 2-4 weeks – depending on how hard you use your truck – they’ll top the battery up, they’ll bring their own dionised water with them. They’ll give the battery a clean off. They’ll check all the plugs and the filling system and all that sort of stuff and let you know if anything needs to be repaired or if anything’s damaged – if it’s within the contract, if it’s a maintenance thing, then they’ll do that work and they’ll carry it out for us while they’re on site. You’re operators don’t need to get involved in topping the batteries up then. All they need to do is remember the rules about charging, which is: don’t prematurely charge the truck and never opportunity charge it. It takes a huge amount of health and safety risk and the headache out of your life. It means that you don’t have to store dionised water on site, and typically the charge for all of that is about £200 per battery, per year. It varies on the size of the battery, but your salesperson will be able to tell you that.

05:42 - Thanks for Watching

What our clients say

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa