Descartes UK

Don't let winter stop you in your tracks

Don’t let Winter stop you in your tracks!

Some sound advice about your fleet batteries from Ken Clark, Managing Director 
of Rotronics Battery Management Solutions.

We know all about Winter, in that it gets colder, wetter and there is a chance of snow at some point. None of this is good news for vehicle batteries. A drop in temperature can change a battery’s performance significantly by more than 30%, when it gets really cold.

We know all of this. And we also know how to prevent it. Truck and Track has teamed up with Rotronics to help fleet managers radically reduce the overall costs related to battery problems throughout the year, but specifically in the Winter months.

A well-managed Battery Management Programme is required to combat the excessive drain on vehicles due to the current darker nights – there are increased demands on power for lighting, heating systems, electrics, heated seats and demisting windows. With this heady cocktail in play, charging is vital.

At every opportunity the batteries on vehicles should be tested and charged, and fleet managers can build this process into normal workshop practices without any disruption.

Battery problems are the most frequent reason for roadside breakdowns. Expensive non-starts and unnecessary battery problems rise significantly in the Winter, and Truck and Track has asked Rotronics, as specialists in battery management solutions and UK partners with CTEK and Midtronics, to help commercial vehicle managers find a simple solution to this expensive problem.

So don’t end up at the side of a cold, wet and windy road this Winter. If you stay on top of battery management in the workshop, the fleet should run without a hitch. We work closely with a wide range of commercial vehicle customers to reduce unnecessary costs and get the best out of their fleet batteries.

Rotronics offers the latest-generation test and charge technology from Midtronics and CTEK, dedicated to servicing the heavy-duty and commercial vehicle workshop.

The Midtronics EXP1000FHD tester was created specifically with fleet workshop users in mind, incorporating many features enabling recording and building of vehicle-specific test analysis records through its ability to record the vehicle’s individual fleet or VIN number.

The Midtronics CXPRO 50/2 diagnostic charger delivers twin-output 50A balanced charging and supply mode features, for any 12V and 24V application. It offers efficient balanced charging of both batteries in a 24V set, with no need to disconnect the brace.

The CTEK MXTS 70/50 is the latest in CTEK charging technology and is both a high-current power supply for memory flashing and workshop charger, developed for both 12V and 24V lead-acid batteries.

The CTEK MXTS 40 is suitable for both 12V and 24V vehicle workshop charging. It is simple to use and provides selectable constant voltage settings supporting vehicle diagnostic programming.

The workshops using our Battery Management Programme which have seen the best results have put chargers and trolleys in every pit. They charge the vehicles at every opportunity, and batteries are tested every two weeks. These workshops have seen considerable improvements now, and they have managed to cut non-starts by up to 75%. This is part of a routine service inspection and takes a matter of seconds to save considerable time and money in the future.

A Battery Management Programme ensures that:
  • The return-on-investment can be proved, and each workshop will have the expertise and knowledge to maximise fault diagnosis, increase productivity and improve customer service.
  • A full auditable record is available to monitor and track a fleet’s battery performance.
  • Batteries are tested proactively, at the point of service and routine inspection.
  • Imbalanced batteries are identified and charged accordingly.
  • Batteries are maintained to optimum levels.
  • Defective batteries are identified and replaced before they affect vehicle reliability.
Battery imbalance is a serious and unseen problem – without regular monitoring and maintenance, there are few obvious symptoms until it is too late. Most workshops will see the visible signs of battery imbalance or overcharging, through the telltale symptoms of electrolyte staining and corrosion on the terminals.

However, simply cleaning those up will not solve the problem. Instead, you should get to the root cause of the problem to improve battery life, battery performance and vehicle reliability.
The longterm implications associated with battery imbalance are:
  • Premature failure.
  • Roadside non-starts.
  • Recovery costs.
  • Customer complaints.
  • Compensation costs.
  • Non-delivery of goods.
So for more information on Rotronics and the comprehensive Battery Management Programme it can offer your company, go to or call Ken Clark direct on 0121 526 8185. You can also email