Commercial workshop managers must invest in a proactive battery management programme, as a decline in commercial vehicle production means ageing fleets are active for longer on UK roads.
According to SMMT (2021a), the UKs “production of commercial vehicles (CVs) declined 31.5% in January, with just 5,616 units leaving factory gates” in “the worst start to the year since 2015”. The COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit impacts have caused new vehicle demand to fall.
Declining production means emergency services, logistics, public service vehicles and other commercial industries, are using ageing vehicles and batteries for longer, increasing the chance of roadside breakdowns and vehicle non-starts, due to discharged or damaged batteries.
Increased breakdowns cause time, budget and resource strains for commercial workshops, and the solution is to regularly test and charge batteries to avoid future defects.
New commercial vehicle production has continued to fall since 2020, as SMMT (2021b) reported “UK HGV registrations fall -32.2% in 2020 as operators postpone fleet renewal”. The COVID-19 pandemic means drivers are likely to still be furloughed, reducing vehicle demand.
To keep commercial fleets in top condition, we recommend regular battery testing and charging. This swiftly identifies potential battery defects, such as unbalanced batteries and parasitic drains, before they cause non-starts. These can impact company productivity, revenues, and reputations.
We recommend investing in the Midtronics EXP1000FHD Heavy Duty Battery Tester for commercial vehicle applications, and the Midtronics CXPRO 50/2 Battery Charger, for use with 24V battery sets or individual 12V batteries.
Current battery testers and chargers should be serviced, calibrated, and repaired regularly, to ensure accurate readings prevent battery misdiagnosis. For Midtronics and CTEK products, we recommend calibrations are carried out annually.
SMMT, (2021a). UK commercial vehicle manufacturing down -31.5% in January - SMMT. [online] SMMT. Available at: <https://www.smmt.co.uk/2021/02/uk-commercial-vehicle-manufacturing-down-31-5-in-january/> [Accessed 8 March 2021].
SMMT, (2021b). UK HGV registrations fall -32.2% in 2020 as operators postpone fleet renewal - SMMT. [online] SMMT. Available at: <https://www.smmt.co.uk/2021/02/uk-hgv-registrations-fall-32-2-in-2020-as-operators-postpone-fleet-renewal/> [Accessed 8 March 2021].
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