The Importance of Reliable Power Amid an Era of Social Distancing

By Alan Kohler, Marketing Manager, ODYSSEY Battery at EnerSys

As COVID-19 continues to impact various industries, fleets are focusing on minimizing unnecessary maintenance to help protect crews and drivers. It is imperative to not overlook the importance of choosing components that require minimal maintenance during this time to help protect drivers and keep work trucks operating and on the road.

Amid the requirements for social distancing, it has become more critical than ever to have a reliable source of power to keep your work truck operating at peak performance to avoid crowded service centers and optimize productivity and profitability. Following appropriate social distancing guidelines has led truck drivers across the country to rely heavily on technology-based solutions to avoid in-person contact, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and mobile devices for remote conferencing. In other cases, operators are relying more upon radios and cell phones to connect with dock managers while remaining in their cabs.

The increased use of communication technology and rechargeable mobile devices highlights the need for dependable batteries. Batteries must provide reliable starting power, as well as enough power to run the various onboard accessories needed to avoid costly downtime and limit the operator’s potential exposure to others. A battery failure to a vehicle in service could lead to a costly field service call, involving expenses for towing, parts, and repairs. Additional fines and losses also could be incurred if deliveries are late or appointments are missed.

There are several types of batteries appropriate for work truck and commercial vehicle environments, the most common of which include flooded lead acid and sealed Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. Flooded batteries require regular maintenance, including refilling with distilled water, as well as inspecting and cleaning battery terminals. Sealed AGM batteries eliminate the need to check water or levels, therefore reducing maintenance.

In work trucks and commercial vehicles, multiple 12-volt batteries are connected together in parallel to meet the power demands of larger engines and the increased number of accessories. If one of the batteries fails, the truck could sit idle while maintenance crews try to figure out which battery failed and why. This is one reason many fleet operators maintain battery rooms. These dedicated spaces enable batteries to be separated into categories such as ready for service, testing/charging, warranty and to be recycled. With a bank of ready for service batteries, maintenance departments can swap batteries to avoid costly downtime and help ensure deliveries can be made on time.

The maintenance department is then able to diagnose each of the batteries. It is crucial to analyze the batteries pulled from service as quickly as possible to identify the cause of the failure. If none of the swapped batteries show signs of failure, that could be a clear indication that there may be a larger electrical issue at play.

A premium AGM battery, such as an ODYSSEY® battery, can provide up to triple the life of conventional lead acid designs. In addition to longer life, premium AGM batteries, like ODYSSEY® Extreme batteries, provide both enormous cranking power and deep cycle reserve power to keep accessories running and meet all the requirements of today’s work trucks and commercial vehicles.

The ODYSSEY® Extreme battery uses advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology to densely pack flat plates in the battery that result in producing at least 15 percent more plate surface area, which provides more power. The battery’s unique design also offers additional protection against high-impact shock and vibration, which can dramatically affect the battery’s life.

Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery care and handling, and direct any questions to your battery professional.

Learn More About How ODYSSEY® Batteries Deliver Greater Reliability and Value:

Technicians may refer to the ODYSSEY® Battery Technical Manual as a good source of information about how ODYSSEY® batteries work. A copy may be downloaded here:

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