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June/July 2017

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

continually asking:


“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 out o

r call

Ken Clark direct on 0121 526 8185. You can also email

The reasons why batteries can let you down

when youmost need them

Ken Clark