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Battery Watering fill line

Take the Worry Out of Watering Deep-Cycle Batteries While Making Them Last Longer

The switch to battery-powered aerial platforms, scissor lifts, and boom lifts allowed these vehicles to be smaller, more maneuverable, and safer. Most use deep-cycle FLA batteries because they offer the lowest operation cost if you maintain and replenish water in the battery cells. That’s where the difficulty often lies. Busy schedules and long work hours often leave batteries improperly maintained in this critical area resulting in a loss of performance and life.

Addressing this issue results in two options:  replace your vehicle(s) batteries with more expensive lithium or maintenance-free lead batteries, or make watering simpler to assure your batteries are watered properly so they can last longer and provide optimum performance.  With the availability of a variety of battery watering monitors and single-point watering systems, there’s no reason that your batteries’ maintenance should be neglected.

A battery watering monitor replaces one vent cap on a single battery of a battery pack and indicates the battery pack’s water level. Since batteries are usually connected in series in a pack and charge and discharge together as a pack, you typically only need one monitor per vehicle to indicate the condition of the battery pack. Vehicles with multiple packs in parallel will need one for each series pack.  Watering monitors use a built-in probe and processor that triggers an LED indicator light to signal when the pack needs water. The indicator light can be mounted in the battery compartment for easy access by maintenance personnel or in a more convenient location that the operator can easily monitor.

Combined with one of several types of single-point watering systems on the market, watering batteries can be made very simple.  Watering systems are designed to work on just about any battery model. Most are very simple to install with many kits available pre-assembled for your specific vehicle, battery manufacture, and battery configuration. When batteries need watering, attach the inlet connection of the watering system to the kit’s siphon valve and a hand pump that supplies water from an appropriate source (most often a large container of distilled water). After a few pumps to start the siphon, all of the batteries in your pack are filled to the correct level without the fear of overfilling.

The advantages of maintaining the electrolyte levels more frequently and reliably results in battery packs lasting much longer – as much as 7 – 10 years in many instances, especially when battery packs are not discharged more than 50% as recommended by most manufacturers. Combine this with charging your batteries at every opportunity and performing an equalizing charge at least once per month. You’ll see a dramatic increase in the life and overall performance of your batteries.

In addition to saving money over the long run and making your batteries last longer, the drudgery of battery watering can be reduced to a quick and simple procedure.

JLG batteries

Replacement Batteries For JLG Electric Scissor Lifts

Choosing The Right Deep-Cycle Batteries for JLG 24-Volt ES, RS-Series, and JLG 48-Volt LE, E-Series Lifts

JLG is one of the leading manufacturers of scissor lifts and aerial work platforms that are used globally. The company has several lines of battery-powered vehicles that have improved duty-cycles due to their use of deep-cycle batteries.

Many of the company’s ES and RS Series scissor lifts feature a 24-volt system that takes a Group Size GC2 deep-cycle battery. Most of these lifts utilize four 6-volt batteries, so when it comes time to replace them, there are a couple of options that can keep these lifts running at optimum efficiency while also lowering annual operating costs. U.S. Battery’s US 2000XC2 offers 220 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, offering an excellent value for JLG ES and RS Series lifts to provide excellent life and reliability when maintained.

When work crews need a battery that can keep up with long work cycles and want a longer-lasting battery, U.S. Battery’s US 2200XC2 is perhaps one of the best and hardest working deep-cycle GC2 sized batteries on the market. The US 2200XC2 has 232 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, giving JLG lifts more runtime and longer life, especially with regular charging and maintenance.

JLG’s larger LE and E Series platform lifts have a 48-volt system and utilize eight Group Size 903 batteries. For these applications, U.S. Battery manufactures the US L16XC2 deep-cycle battery, which provides exceptional value with extended runtime and long life. The US L16XC2 produces 385 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, making it one of the most popular batteries in this size range for these applications. U.S. Battery’s US L16EXC2 battery is also a Group 903 and is a cost-effective solution for platform lifts, which supplies 360 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate. The US L16HCXC2 is a high-capacity model in the same Group Size 903, that provides 420 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, offering JLG LE and E Series lifts the maximum runtime available.

Proper Maintenance Makes The Difference 

To get the most performance from your new battery, you must develop a regular maintenance schedule that consists of:

  1. Checking and replenishing the electrolyte levels. Installing a BWT or Flow-Rite single-point-watering kit can make this an easy and quick process.
  2. Performing an equalization charge
  3. Checking and Cleaning battery terminals and connections
  4. Performing an opportunity charge when possible

For a full list of proper Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance procedures, please see our page or download our Care & Maintenance brochure.

U.S. Battery Deep Cycle batteries are handcrafted in the U.S.A. The batteries also feature our exclusive XC2 formulation that produces increased initial capacity, fastest cycle-up time to full-rated capacity, improved recharge-ability, and the highest total energy delivered than any battery in their class. For a complete list of Flooded Lead-Acid or AGM batteries for work platforms visit U.S. Battery’s Aerial Work Platform Battery page to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.

 

Skyjack-SJ-12 Vertical Lift

Replacement Deep-Cycle Batteries For Vertical Lifts 

Battery-powered vertical lifts are becoming increasingly popular with construction crews, as they are more compact, easily maneuverable, and provide a higher degree of safety than traditional ladders and scaffolding. 

To ensure reliable operation, it’s important for crews and rental facilities to utilize the proper deep-cycle batteries that power them. Some companies like Skyjack, JLG, Snorkel, and others, come equipped with four of our 6V flooded lead-acid batteries that feature quick fill caps that allow for easy inspection and water replenishing.  Over several years of operation, vertical lift manufacturers recommend utilizing the same type of replacement batteries to ensure proper operation. 

Deep Cycle BatteryModels such as Skyjack’s popular SJ12 feature U.S. Battery model US2200 XC2 6V deep-cycle batteries that provide a 232 amp-hour rating at a 20-hour rate, that is also designed to provide the highest rated capacity and fastest time to cycle up to rated capacity than any other deep-cycle battery in its class. These batteries also feature U.S. Battery’s SpeedCap design, making it easy to check water levels and to conduct routine maintenance, which includes checking water levels and topping off each cell to the battery manufacturer’s recommended levels as needed. 

Proper maintenance also includes visual inspections that require looking for clean terminals and wiring, then making repairs as necessary. Performing regular equalization charges at least once per month is also an important part of a proper maintenance routine that can prevent stratification and extend the service life of your batteries.

In addition to getting the right replacement batteries, the depth of discharge and regular maintenance are also key to making your vertical lift’s batteries last longer. Starting with a higher quality battery, such as what the vertical mast originally was equipped with, is a good start. It’s best to follow-up with ensuring that the batteries are limited to being discharged at no less than 50-percent. A 50-percent Depth Of Discharge (DOD), can be determined by first applying a full charge to the batteries, and the run time increases, regularly check the state of charge with a simple hydrometer. Battery manufacturers typically have a specific gravity chart that shows what the hydrometer will read at full charge, and also identify when it reaches various percentages of discharge. Periodically checking the hydrometer readings will give you a good idea of how much run-time the batteries can operate before reaching 50-percent discharge. Charging the batteries at this level, or before 50-percent DOD, will greatly promote longer service life.

With the right set of replacement batteries and routine maintenance, many construction crews and equipment rental facilities report that they have averaged five to seven years out of their batteries.

Screenshot of U.S. Battery Battery Application Guide Mobile App

Getting The Most Out of U.S. Battery’s Mobile App

U.S. Battery introduced its mobile app earlier this year.  This powerful tool allows users to access exclusive U.S. Battery content from their Apple or Android device. Here are a few ways that the app can be useful to you.

Battery Application Guide

When it comes time to replace one or more of your deep cycle batteries, selecting the right one for your application can be confusing. Battery powered vehicles and equipment often operate under different voltages and run-times, which makes selecting the right deep-cycle battery particularly important.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing created its mobile app to help you make the correct battery selection. The included Battery Application Guide makes it easy to find and select the right battery for a variety of applications including golf carts, floor machines, aerial work platforms, and more. By selecting your machine’s manufacturer and model, you can determine the batteries best suited to ensure your machine’s optimal performance.

Access to Product Spec. Sheets

From the app, you are able to easily access the most up-to-date spec. sheets and product information for all of U.S. Battery’s Flooded Lead Acid and AGM batteries.

 User-Specific Notifications

Learn about new products you might be interested in as soon as they are announced. Users can create a login and get notifications on new products, events, articles, and videos that are customized to their particular interests.

The U.S. Battery app is free and is available for download from iTunes and Google Play.

Battery Powered Elevating Platforms May Soon Be Replacing Ladders

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were 268,731

Ladder/Stool fall injuries, in the U.S., requiring medical treatment in 2017

Ensuring employee safety is an ongoing concern, causing many employers to look at the use of traditional ladders and scaffolding in the workplace. These growing concerns have in turn led to an increase in demand for compact vertical lifts and smaller scissor lifts. An article in the May-June 2018 issue of Access, Lift & Handlers Magazine reported that vehicle manufacturers such as JLG, Skyjack and, Snorkel are making smaller, more compact vertical mast lifts and scissor lifts in response to the industry’s call for greater safety for workers who would normally use ladders and scaffolding on jobs of 18 to 25 feet.

These low-level lifts feature smaller footprints, tighter turning radiuses, and are lighter than typical Aerial Work Platforms. They are available in manually operated or self-propelled models, allowing them to access areas that would be difficult or impossible for other lifts. The Skyjack SJ12 & SJ16, for instance, have a zero inside turn radius and only weigh 1,720lbs. and 2,130lbs, respectively. And, they only need four 6v deep cycle batteries, like the US2200 XC2, to supply the necessary 24V for operation. Due to their versatility and stability, construction crews, facility managers, and consumers are quickly adopting vertical mast lifts; as a way to reduce the risk of injury on the job.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Getting More Power From Your Aerial Lift

Replacement Batteries For Aerial Lifts

When working on a job site it is necessary for equipment operators to get the most battery life out of your scissor lifts.  High-quality Deep Cycle batteries can provide you with years of reliable cost efficient power.  Choosing the right batteries and properly maintaining them is crucial to get the most out of your lift.

Picking the Correct Battery

When selecting a replacement battery it is important to refer to the lift manufacturer’s specifications.  Most lifts use either 6V or 12V batteries, but not all batteries are able to supply sufficient power for every lift. The size of the lift, its lift capacity, and the lift’s intended application help determine its power requirements.

For Example:

  • JLG’s ES Series and R Series scissor lifts utilize a 24V system requiring four 6V batteries with a minimum rating of 220 amp-hours. Batteries like the U.S. Battery  US 2000 XC2 or US 2200 XC2 are ideal for these power requirements.
  • While the JLG LE Series scissor lifts are a 48V system and require eight 6V batteries with a minimum rating of 370 amp-hours. Making our US L16 XC2 the perfect fit for this series of lifts.

 

Maintaining Your Deep Cycle Batteries

Committing to a regular maintenance regimen is essential to increasing your lift’s battery life.  Regularly doing the following can also greatly reduce your operating costs:

For a full list of proper Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance procedures please see our Care & Maintenance page or download our Care & Maintenance brochure.

U.S. Battery Deep Cycle batteries are handcrafted in the U.S.A. The batteries also feature our exclusive XC2 formulation that gives them the highest initial capacity, fastest cycle-up time to full-rated capacity, improved recharge-ability, and the highest total energy delivered than any battery in their class.

Do you have a Skyjack, Snorkel, Genie, or another type aerial lift and want to know what U.S. Battery product would work best for you? Then please leave a comment below.