Batteries are often overlooked during the purchasing process as end users focus more on the bells and whistles of the equipment. As a result, many customers aren't properly educated on battery maintenance.

“Distributors can educate their customers about proper charging and maintenance before the sale,” says Lety. “I would set up a program as part of the sale of the machine or batteries to educate the customer on proper maintenance.”

Educating the customer should entail devising a battery maintenance scheduling program, making documentation a part of this effort. Training programs should also be specific to the battery type, with a daily checklist to be completed at the end of each shift by the machine operator.

It’s critical not to leave battery care to chance. As such, distributors and end users should together develop standard operating procedures outlining who is responsible for checking what and by when.

And don’t make training a one-and-done deal, says Tony Crisafulli, ATRA’s president.

“It’s important to follow up with the customer after the sale,” he says. “End users may have turnover and inexperienced personnel may now be operating the equipment. Creating a checklist or chart is a helpful tool, too. A distributor may also offer a preventative maintenance program. With a program, a distributor will be able to identify issues before they become huge problems.”

Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelance writer from Long Beach, California.

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Common Battery Maintenance Mistakes