Whether you depend on your vehicles to provide essential services to the community or simply shuttle staff and equipment between buildings, fleet maintenance is critical. Performing regular inspections and maintenance on your fleets’ batteries should be near the top of the list.
Proactive maintenance extends the life of the battery. Through OMNIA Partners, Public Sector cooperative contracts, Lawson Products provides wide variety of fleet maintenance solutions to help you stay proactive. Making minor repairs now can avoid more significant problems or emergency repairs down the line. Most important, preventive battery maintenance keeps vehicles and drivers safe.
LOCATION & USAGE IMPACT BATTERY LIFE
Batteries generally last between 3 and 5 years, and where you’re based has a big impact on battery life. You might think cold climates are the toughest on batteries, but the opposite is true. The expected battery lifespan in the Northernmost states is 58+ months, according to AAA. In south Texas and Florida, it’s less than 41 months.
That’s because heat has a higher effect on degradation. Consider the extended heat waves in the U.S. in the last few years. The combination of high outdoor temperatures and vehicle temps of 220 degrees under the hood packs a wallop. Batteries may last longer in northern locales, but in the coldest months a vehicle still needs to run every few days to ensure the battery maintains its charge.
In addition, batteries age more quickly from lack of use, during which time the battery will self-discharge, and from frequent short trips, which don’t allow the battery to recharge fully.
BATTERY MAINTENANCE ESSENTIALS
Industry estimates of average fleet vehicle downtime costs range from $488 to $1,000 per vehicle per day. Here are a few areas to focus on in your regular battery checkups to avoid those costs, delays and disruptions and keep your vehicles moving:
Excessive vibration, jerks and jolts may damage the battery’s internal components and terminals, casing, and plate assemblies, reducing battery life. Prevent damage by checking for loose or missing hold-down hardware and ensuring battery hold-downs are properly secured.
Watch for Cable Wear & Tear
Vehicle start issues will occur if cables aren’t securely attached to the battery terminals. Keep cable connections tight to ensure top performance. Check sleeves and wraps for evidence of wear and any exposed copper where the terminal meets the cable. Cables can also fail due to corrosion at the terminal crimp area.
Moisture, dirt and corrosion will damage exposed battery cables. Self-sealing, high dielectric insulating wrap seals smooth or irregular surfaces is resistant to moisture, water and chemicals and insulates against corrosion and debris. Designed to fuse to itself without adhesive or heat, it’s perfect for use in the field or on the road.
Heavy duty wall shrink tubing is the ultimate protection against corrosion. Its heat-activated adhesive liner surrounds the material and produces a water-tight seal. Use a heat gun for controlled heat and consistent results.
Clean Terminal Connections
Corrosion occurs when battery terminals are exposed to the hydrogen gas found in battery acid. Because corrosion can lead to undercharging, terminals should be visually inspected and cleaned regularly to remove any build-up.
Lawson Products & OMNIA Partners
Lawson Products is a leading distributor of fleet and facility maintenance products in North America. We serve state and local governments, school districts, colleges, and universities with our contract available through OMNIA Partners, Public Sector. Lawson offers battery maintenance products across multiple categories to help procurement professionals keep their vehicles moving. Products include battery terminals, lugs and connectors, cables and cable protection, booster cables, booster packs, chargers, battery cleaners, terminal protectors, and battery acid wipes.
In addition to offering a broad line of maintenance and repair products, Lawson offers site-level inventory management services and technical support. To learn more about Lawson Products available through OMNIA Partners portfolio, vendor-managed inventory, and cooperative contracting solutions, click the button below.