How to Jump-Start Your Forklift
Even with proper care and maintenance, older forklifts still run the risk of stalling. When this happens, you’ll need to know how to jump-start your forklift so it continues to work. However, for inexperienced individuals, this task can be dangerous, making it crucial that you follow the procedure to the letter. Learn how to jump-start your forklift to keep yourself—and your coworkers—safe on the job site.
Find the Right Booster Battery
When looking for a live battery to jump the dead one, it’s crucial that you only use a 12-volt negative ground battery. Using one with a voltage too low or too high can potentially damage both forklifts involved and put your safety at risk. If you aren’t sure of the forklift’s voltage, don’t attempt to start it; it could have a bad reaction.
Check Battery Fluid Levels
Before you try to jump the dead battery, check its fluid levels. If you find that they’re low, replenishing them with distilled water could fix the problem. However, this isn’t a guarantee, as the water can only conduct electricity if it’s being generated by the battery.
Position Trucks and Connect Cables
As you’re positioning the two forklifts next to each other, remember not to place them too close. You want them close enough for the cables to reach, but not so close that they’re touching. Be sure to keep both machines turned off and in neutral, engaging the parking brake to ensure they don’t move.
Once this is complete, you can begin connecting the jumper cables. To avoid sparking the battery, you’ll want to first connect the red cable from the positive terminal on the live battery to the positive terminal on the dead battery. Next, connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal on the live battery and the other end to a solid spot on the dead forklift’s engine. You mustn’t connect the black cable to the negative terminal of the dead battery, as this can result in a short circuit.
Start the Forklifts
After checking the cable connections, start the live forklift and let it run for a few minutes. Once the forklift is idling properly, try starting the dead battery. Keep in mind that it may take a few tries to get the engine started. But once it does, you must let it run for a few minutes before disconnecting the jumper cables.
To best protect yourself and the battery from unneeded electrical interference, disconnect the clamp from the engine block first, followed by the other end of the black cable. From there, disconnect the red cable and let both forklifts run for a few moments longer to ensure the current sticks.
For more information on how to properly jump-start a forklift, reach out to Toyota Material Handling Ohio. Our skilled and qualified forklift mechanics can educate you on protecting your battery and provide you with the most effective ways to start a dead one. We can also help replace parts of your forklift fleet with our new and used Toyota forklifts.