Every year, heavy-duty commercial trucking fleets lose time and money because of battery issues. The good news is there are things that can be done to resolve these issues and keep trucks on the road.
The Right Application
Purkeys’ Sales and Service Engineer Charley Gipe said the best way to extend battery life is to first make sure you have the correct battery for the application. According to Charley, fleets often buy batteries with the largest CCA they can get, thinking it will provide everything they need. Charley said, “If the battery is only required to start the truck, then a high CCA might be fine. On the other hand, if the battery will be supporting house loads such as inverters, look for one with higher cycling and reserve capacities as opposed to CCAs.” The important thing is to make sure you get the right battery for your application.
Develop an Electrical Profile
In order to understand how your truck is being used, you may need to develop an electrical profile. Today, most vehicles have limited idle times but still have electric loads they need to support. This means batteries have more of a cycling application. Data loggers can be installed to monitor battery cycling and can help determine your battery needs.
Proper Training and Equipment
Having the right battery isn’t enough to keep trucks running. Proper equipment for charging and testing batteries and proper training are also needed. Knowing how to properly use test equipment will ensure accurate results and save fleets time and money. Proper equipment and training will reduce the number of good batteries that are condemned and ensure defective batteries aren’t mistakenly sent out on the road. It’s important for fleets to make sure to get the appropriate equipment for the type of batteries they have.
According to Charley, “In order to understand if you’re getting the best performance, you have to be able to measure the battery usage.” These three steps can help fleets figure out their battery usage, if they are using the right batteries and reduce battery costs.