Supplying batteries since 1952

TRANSPORT OPERATOR BATTERY FEATURE NOV/DEC ‘13

Written on October 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Manbat – Effective Battery Management That Saves Money

Of all the components that come together to make up the commercial vehicles that travel the length and breadth of the country on a daily basis, the battery is arguably the least understood and the most commonly overlooked. As a general rule, providing the battery starts the vehicle, the common assumption, even among experienced technicians, is that it’s ‘okay’.

However, the breakdown evidence from the UK and our cousins in Germany points to the fact that all is not well with this assumption because battery failure is in fact one of the major causes of roadside breakdown in both these countries. Moreover, far from being confined to the open road, battery failure can even occur in the workshop during the vehicle’s service or repair!

As part of its on-going commitment to its customers to provide them with more than simply a replacement battery service, Manbat, the UK’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle battery distributor and leading battery management specialist Rozone, have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and point out the benefits that efficient battery management can bring to operators and workshops alike.

“A great analogy,” says Manbat’s Myles Pemberton, “is to consider a vehicle entering the workshop with a flat tyre. There is no way that the vehicle would leave the workshop in the same condition because for one thing it is a sales opportunity, but more to the point, it’s an obvious visual problem!

“Batteries, however, pose an altogether different challenge as they look the same whether fully charged or completely discharged, there is not the visual fall back there is tyres or indeed for many other components. The vast majority of battery failures could be prevented and a huge reduction in business overheads obtained through correct management of the vehicle’s batteries.

“By taking a couple of minutes to check the battery’s state of charge for example, a technician is able to assess its condition and take the necessary remedial action, which could simply be to fully charge the battery, make an adjustment to the system or rectify a more serious fault. Either way, they could ultimately prevent the operator from incurring the cost, in both time and money, of a roadside breakdown.

Did You Know?
• Two out of three commercial vehicles entering the workshop have a battery/batteries that require attention, whether it just needs charging or replacement
• Up to 80% of battery failures are a result of poor maintenance or ‘Sulphation’, which is caused by sustained low battery voltage (12.4-volts or less) over prolonged periods and results in the build up of crystals on the lead plates in the battery and reduces its performance and service life
• Batteries loose 0.1-volts every month, which increases two-fold during winter
• Often the alternator will not fully recover the power taken from the battery, through everyday use
• Regular mains charging will increase and prolong the “serviceable” life of the average battery by two years or more

How Can Manbat Help?
Manbat, through its partnership with Rozone, will work alongside its customers to not only identify and supply the most suitable batteries from its portfolio of VARTA®, Lucas or Numax, but will also determine the best battery management programme to support the purchase.

Manbat’s long held mantra is service, service, service and this ‘end-to-end’ battery management programme provides its customers with the support they need from the initial purchase, through care and maintenance advice and life extension and finally, over the course of time, to battery replacement.

By implementing such a tried and tested battery management programme, which uses state-of-the-art testing & charging platforms, Manbat can deliver simple yet effective, bespoke programmes for workshops.

Customers using these programmes are achieving significant increases in battery efficiencies and the subsequent reduction in operating costs that are associated with battery and electrical system failures. This is perhaps most dramatically brought into focus with the cost of a motorway ‘jump-start’ for a lorry sometimes costing as much as £300.

Battery Management At A Glance
• Extends service life of commercial vehicle batteries
• Increases workshop efficiencies – minimising costs through accurate pro-active diagnosis and remedial action
• Reduces battery and associated electrical system costs by up to 50%
• Minimises ‘non-starts’ and ‘vehicle off-road’ defects
• Reduces unnecessary premature battery replacement costs
• Bespoke ‘end-to-end’ programmes designed for the needs of individual workshops

Conclusion
“Replacement batteries represent a significant cost to an operator,” says Pemberton, “so they want to ensure that they purchase a quality product that’s up to the job. However, without an on-going battery management programme in place, they are not protecting their investment or ensuring they get the best return on it.

“By contrast, our partnership with Rozone means that we can not only supply the high quality products our customers need, but we can work with our them in the most pro-active way possible. This allows us to review their individual working practices and processes, create personal training programmes and fully meet their individual company requirements, to ensure they maximise the long-term efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their battery purchase.”

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