Ken’s Fleet Workshop Battery Management Recommendations for the Easing of Restrictions

We interviewed Managing Director Ken Clark, to understand what impact lockdown restrictions have had on fleet workshop battery management processes, and what fleet workshop managers can now do to prepare as these restrictions ease.

Here’s what he had to say.

So, Ken, what impact has lockdown had on battery management practices and vehicle battery health results for fleet workshops since the pandemic began?

Throughout the lockdown restrictions, we’ve seen increased interest in battery management equipment and practices from fleet workshops.  

We’re finding that fleet workshops want to know how to better prepare themselves for vehicles that are either being put into hibernation or being taken out of hibernation to regain battery charge now restrictions have eased. This is different to typical day to day testing we have seen in previous years, as vehicles would normally be in use, instead of hibernation.

What impact will this have on fleet workshops as restrictions ease?

The industry has seen a big increase in demand for battery replacements due to vehicle defects associated with non-starts.

If we look at the data held in our Rotronics Online Battery Information System (ROBIS), our customers data shows that approximately 50% of all vehicles coming into the workshop have a battery that requires a recharge.

For battery replacements, our customers have seen anything up to 27% or one in three vehicles. This tells us that there’s a big opportunity in the industry at the moment to perform battery maintenance practices in order to reduce battery replacements and charge those batteries that may need it.

What should workshops be doing to maintain battery management practices now restrictions have eased?

The key is to ensure a battery test is carried out every time a vehicle enters a workshop, irrespective of whether it’s in the workshop for a planned maintenance service inspection, interim or vehicle off road service.

By doing this, workshops will pick up the early detection of problems with batteries before they cause a non-start or defect. Then more importantly, it can be followed through with the charging of the battery as required to ensure the smooth operation of that vehicle going forward.

Why is it important for workshops to be following these guidelines?

Proactive testing identifies any imminent defect that’s likely to be present in the vehicle and therefore minimising the risk of a future roadside defect or problem. It can then be followed up with charging to make sure the batteries are in a healthy condition.

What is the benefit of this to the workshop?

It means the workshop can be more productive by doing planned maintenance rather than ad hoc activities at roadside. It also ensures that the cost drivers within the business are maintained and kept to a bare minimum.

Thank you for that Ken, so what battery tester would you recommend for fleet workshops looking for an effective battery management programme?

The Midtronics EXP1000FHD battery tester, which stands for Fleet Heavy Duty Battery Tester, is designed specifically to support commercial vehicle workshops in proactively identifying trends and problems within their batteries.

To support with battery health result visibility, we link the tester to ROBIS, where data can be automatically uploaded and viewed by workshop management going forward.

And what about a battery charger?

The key workshop product we recommend is the CXPRO 50/2 Diagnostic Twin Output battery charger, as it equalises both batteries within a 24v set.

Finally, do you mind sharing why these products help workshops to reduce battery replacement costs and roadside breakdowns?

Using both the tester and the charger in combination as part of a routine proactive battery maintenance process during workshop planned maintenance will minimise the risk of any future defects.

This means fleet workshop managers and technicians can identify problems before they end in a roadside defect or non-start, resulting in an increased return on investment for testers and chargers.

If you’ve got any questions, you can get in touch with our team on 0121 514 0605.

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