Truck and Track
Whilst the battery remains the same in appearance from the
outside and has not changed in looks over the years – it still
looks likeabox, theway thatweuse it has changed significantly.
Batteries are no longer being used to simply start the engine.
We now have electronic tachographs, GPS, vehicle monitoring
and fuel monitoring systems, not to mention a proliferation of
power take-offs. Smarter, modern-day vehicle technologies,
environmental policies and traffic congestion have all taken
their toll on the good old battery!
In a bid to become more resilient and longer lasting, battery
technology has changed. The traditional standard flooded batteries
are now competing with maintenance-free, AGM flat plate, AGM
spiral, EFB, pure lead, heavy duty, super heavy duty . . . the list goes
So, how do you ensure that you have the right batteries in your fleet
for the job and the application for which it is intended?
Battery-related defects still remain one of the top reasons
attributing to roadside non-starts, so that fleet managers are
“When was the last time one of our vehicles failed to start?”
“How inconvenient was it for our business?”
“Howmuch did it cost to resolve?”
“What is the true cost of one of our vehicles failing at the
“Are we confident it won’t happen again?”
Surprisingly, for some fleets these questions are repeated time and
time again. Levi Strauss once said: “An expert knows all the answers
– if you ask the right questions.” The team at Rotronics have been
asking somany questions over the years about batteries, using top-
of-the-range technology, that they could rightly be termed experts.
Rotronics are the UK partners for advanced CTEK and Midtronics
battery testing technology and specialise in Battery Management
Programmes. They collaborate with
technicians in the workshop.
Rotronics, declares: “The first key
question for a fleet team is about which
battery you should buy?With the wealth
of product out there – and considerable
differences in quality – this is a potential minefield, as batteries
appear to have the same rated specification.
“Rotronics work with managers and owners to buy the right
batteries for new vehicles entering the fleet and, through Battery
Management and testing, the team can help determine the best
options for the vehicles already in service.
“Going forward, workshop managers will no longer have to rely on
the battery sales person, since they can determine which option is
best for their fleet and offers the optimum performance.”
Once the right batteries are fitted in vehicles, a thorough
examination of test-and-charge practices is top on the agenda for
the Rotronics team, to help reduce expensive battery-related issues
and ensure that the batteries are fully maintained. That involves
looking at the workshop’s attitude towards testing and charging,
i.e. are they serious or not?
Ken Clark believes that the key question to ask is how well a
workshop is maintaining its vehicle batteries. Could more be done,
without adding too much time to what is already an extensive
checklist of routine maintenance for technicians?
years been developing its
proven Battery Management
Programmes, working with
fleet managers and their staff,
to identify more efficient and
proactive ways tomaintain and
identify battery performance-
related issues within their
Clark confirms: “Workshops using our Battery Management
Programme, who have put several chargers around the inspection
/ service pit areas, see excellent results. Vehicles are charged at
every opportunity, and batteries tested every four to six weeks.
Those workshops see the most impressive improvements and have
managed to cut non-starts by up to 75%. This activity becomes part
of the routine service inspection and takes a few seconds to save
considerable time and money.”
Rotronics is currently developing a Battery Management portal
which will allow workshops to analyse battery performance for
their own fleet and be able to centrally monitor any number of
workshops within a group.
So contact Rotronics now for a free evaluation and
demonstration of how you can save time and money! For
more information on Rotronics and its Battery Management
Programmes, check outwww.rotronicsbms.com o
Ken Clark direct on 0121 526 8185. You can also email@example.com
The reasons why batteries can let you down
when youmost need them