1. Depleted (flat) Batteries
Batteries are used in ceiling hoists with docking charge and handset charge methods. When the batteries are flat, not holding their charge or not charging at all, it can cause the ceiling hoist unit to stop working or it might only work on the lowering function but not the lift function.
There are several causes for battery-related breakdowns:
When the battery is flat, it is usually because it hasn’t been charged, not been charged for long enough, or not been charged systematically (routinely every day). Ceiling hoists are used in busy environments and staff have many conflicting priorities. So, it’s common for the hoist to not be put back on charge, or to only be on charge for a small amount of time before it’s used again.
Batteries not holding their charge
If batteries are only charged little and often, they will eventually lose their ability to charge fully and retain their charge. They like to be fully charged each time and left on charge when not in use. But rest assured, it won’t do the batteries any harm being left on charge all the time.
Batteries not charging
Another common cause of battery related call-outs is the battery not charging at all. This is usually due to a connection issue that stops it from charging correctly. For handset charge methods, the connections are inside the wire which connects the handset to the hoist motor. If this is pulled with excessive force, these connections can loosen which stops it from charging. This can happen when the hoist unit is pulled by the handset. Docking charge methods can be subjected to heavy use at the end of the rail which can cause the connections to become damaged and stop working.
Reduce battery related breakdowns for ceiling hoists:
To reduce the chance of having flat batteries, simply make sure your ceiling hoist is always put back on charge. If you find batteries are frequently left off charge, consider refresher training for all staff, as well as stickers and posters to help remind everyone to charge it. If they are consistently kept on charge when not in use, this will also ensure your batteries retain the charge they are getting.
When charging the ceiling hoist, it is good practice to check it is engaging and connecting properly with the charger. This can either be through a click, a bleep or a charging light on the hoist unit or charger. If the connection hasn’t been made properly, it won’t charge.
Note: Just because the hoist or handset is in the charging position, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is charging. For example, if the charger has been turned off in error, the hoist won’t charge, even though it’s correctly connected to the charger. The best practice is to look for some kind of confirmation, such as the charging light, to ensure it’s charging.
Ensure staff aren’t pulling the hoist by the handset or being too heavy-handed when docking it at the end of the rail – as both of these can cause charging issues. It might be they need training on how to use the specific ceiling hoist and charging method. See point 3 below on hand control not working.
If this is the case, Medaco can provide in-house training or a video to help all current and future staff understand the importance of looking after ceiling hoist batteries.