Maintenance

Building a Successful Battery Re-charging Program

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

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When a truck has battery issues, fleets normally replace all the batteries so that truck can get back on the road.
Once the batteries are replaced and the charging and cranking systems tested, the vehicle can get back on the road and, most importantly, continue to generate revenue.

But what happens to the removed batteries? Generally only one of the batteries in the pack is bad; the rest are likely discharged due to the bad battery. Recharging these batteries and putting them back into service is a huge savings to fleets as it helps them maximize their return on investment in these batteries.

A critical part of a successful battery program involves setting up a "battery room." Below are some of the important elements to the battery room:

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- Staging area: All removed batteries are placed on a pallet that is marked "To be Charged."

- Battery charging area: An area that is designed to be safe and operated by a single technician. This area is equipped with smart chargers that do not require constant labor.

- Battery test area: This should be close to the test area to maximize efficiency.

- Extended wait area: Once the batteries are tested they should sit an additional two days then be re-tested to ensure they are good enough to be put back into service.

- Clearly marked pallets so the batteries can be segregated once they have completed the testing process: Good batteries, ready to be put back into service; Cores/Scrap batteries that are out of warranty; Dead batteries that are within the warranty period that should be returned for warranty credit.

Information courtesy Purkeys Fleet Electric, which offers electrical system audits.

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