Our golf trolleys and especially the batteries that power them, tend to get neglected during the winter months. Many golfers will switch the electricity off that feeds them, abandon their trolley from the last time they used it and with a trolley ban likely to be in force, revert to a lightweight carry bag.
Hopefully some simple house-keeping tips will ensure that when bans are lifted your trolley and battery will be in good condition for you to concentrate on your golf and when you return to the course next Spring your trolley won't let you down.
Give the trolley a good wipe down with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Pay attention to any loose nuts and bolts, missing nut cap covers, frayed wires and missing straps and buckles, which can be replaced.
Remember, avoid using a pressure washer. Trolleys are built to take rain and wet conditions but not the pressures and unusual angles achieved with a pressure washer it could strip the paintwork and vital grease to keep the wheels turning.
Turn the main wheels forward - they should turn easily forward but not backwards without the axle turning. If they turn backwards, the clutch on that side may have failed or be slipping. ? ?Take off the wheels and remove any debris or grass around the axle. Give the end of the axle a light coating of grease before replacing the wheels. Clutches should not be oiled, greased or sprayed with lubricant. ?
?Check for corrosion
While checking the wheels and axles, check that the axle bearings are not worn. They should be round and the axle should not have excessive play. If they are worn they will affect performance by taking more power than needed and may require replacing. ?
?Check the axle for corrosion. Some better trolleys use stainless steel but others can corrode - so wipe with a lightly oiled cloth. Don’t forget to check the front mini wheel, remove debris and lightly grease the axle.
If the mini wheel does not turn freely or there is excessive play, it may require new wheel bearings or a complete new wheel. Check pneumatic wheels and tyres for punctures and tyre pressures. ? ?Check connections to the motor and any joins in the wires to the handle. Are they firmly connected? Make sure that there are no frays or breaks in any of the wires. ?
?Plug in the battery and run the trolley with the wheels in the air or, if you have the facility, with the wheels in the disengaged position. Does the speed control knob turn freely and increase/decrease the speed evenly? ?
?If there’s an on/off switch, make sure that it is working and the weather proof cover is in place. Check the motor gearbox sound for crunching gears or excessive brush noise. ? ?If you have a problem with any make of electric trolley, Golfstream can offer help and advice on 01843 594213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Just ask for Lee or Derek.
Batteries and charges
Paying attention to battery care will pay dividends. Lead acid batteries used for golf don't have a memory and should never be fully discharged. But with a bit of simple care and attention the battery will always be ready for its next round of golf.
All lead acid golf batteries have vents at the top to allow gasses to escape during charging. Make sure that these vents are always uppermost when charging to allow the gasses out. You can use your battery on the trolley in any position - it is only the charging position that is important.
Make sure that your battery is always charged for at least eight hours and preferably 12. This way the battery will always get its full charge.
If you only manage a short charge and try to play 18 hole, it may limp around the last few holes but you will discharge the battery so much it will be damaged. And if you have a battery designed for 18 holes and you try to do 36, you may scrape around a few extra holes but you will damage the battery through over-discharge.
Never compromise by buying a cheap and cheerful charger. In the long term it will cost you dear in replacement batteries and unreliability.
Some cheaper chargers have what’s known as ‘back discharge’. This means that if you leave your battery plugged into your charger with the mains unplugged, charge can run from the battery back into the charger. To be on the safe side, whenever the mains plug is disconnected, unplug the battery from the charger.
Best place for winter storage
Once the battery is fully charged you can leave it plugged in and the charger will normally offer a ‘maintenance charge’ until you are ready to play your next round. If you are not likely to play for a while it is perfectly acceptable to fully charge your battery and then disconnect it from the charger.
Winter storage should be in a place that is not too hot or too cold so avoid a garage, greenhouse, car boot or shed and choose, perhaps, the cupboard under the stairs.
Once you have played your round, make sure that you charge your battery as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours. Leaving it in your car boot until the day before your next round is a recipe for short and unreliable battery life.
* This Golfstream trolley and battery advice by Derek Richford of Golfstream, is endorsed by Yuasa batteries, world leaders in battery design and manufacture.