Toby Johnson - Director of Field Service
Dec 3, 2015, 03:00 AM
Aerial Battery Maintenance Tips
A well maintained battery can yield up to three times longer equipment life
Electric booms and scissor lifts are indispensable tools at the jobsite. Compact and narrow, they quickly maneuver into tight areas to allow contractors to do their jobs. With their quiet operation and zero-emission design, they are essential for sensitive indoor applications.
Batteries are the lifeblood of these electric tools. Genie electric booms and scissor lifts are designed to offer a full-day’s work on a single charge. A battery pack not showing a full charge after being plugged in overnight or a machine running out of power well before the end of a workday are red flags, indicating that some maintenance or replacement of the batteries is required.
Following these service tips will help you to maximize battery life in your electric boom and scissor lift machines.
Remove rubber grommets and ensure the battery posts are free of corrosion and battery cables are clean and tight
Anything that gets in the way of a secure connection between the cable and posts can reduce the battery’s performance and machine function on the jobsite.
Remove filler caps and top-off batteries
During regular machine use and charging cycles, the fluid level (acid/water mix) will drop, which will reduce battery performance and the length of operation in between charges. Use only distilled water for this procedure, not tap water, as tap water contains minerals that will reduce battery capacity and increase the self-discharge rate. It’s also a good practice to check the acid levels at this time using a hydrometer.
Ongoing long-term maintenance…
Clean battery banks to remove excess dirt and debris
Make sure the batteries stay dry and clean. Otherwise, surface discharge can occur. This leads to reduced operating times between charges for both electric booms and scissor lifts.
Run an amp-draw test
Use a high-quality digital or carbon pile battery tester to ensure that each battery is performing to its recommended specification. The average auto parts load tester typically pulls about 40-60 amps, which is not enough for even small machine batteries. Smaller booms and scissor lifts will typically have four, 6V batteries, while larger machines will include a bank of eight, 6V batteries.
Perform a charge test by plugging in the battery charger
Verify that all the batteries are charging properly and replace bad batteries. Ensuring that each battery is functioning properly will avoid the need to exchange a unit during the rental period or replacing the battery on site.
Following the above maintenance procedures will significantly extend the battery’s service life. A poorly maintained battery may need to be replaced within one year, whereas the well maintained battery can last as long as three years. 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.