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All you need to know to keep on trucking

During a global pandemic, industries are affected by reduced working hours, lockdown-enforced curfews and the financial impact of COVID-19. One industry that needs to keep on trucking is the logistics sector as they ensure essentials are transported around the country.

Like cars, modern commercial vehicles are equipped with a number of creature comforts that provide drivers with heat, navigation, logistical and on-board entertainment systems. Each of these systems is helpful in getting drivers to their destinations safely and on time, but each system also takes a toll on the vehicle battery.

While the battery may seem relatively simple to keep charged using the vehicle’s alternator, commercial vehicles often have an additional layer of complexity in how fleet owners manage and maintain them.

Helpful hints from the battery experts

To ensure your commercial vehicles are performing at their peak, the experts at First National Battery have come to the rescue with some simple tips.

  1. Test the battery with a load

Many logistics companies are equipped with the gear to test their vehicle batteries. However, it’s important to note that when doing so, the tester must be set to mimic the common loads instead of just testing the auxiliary items and the starter. If a battery starts instantly with the load-test applied, you’re ready to hit the road. If not, it may be time to get in touch with South Africa’s trusted battery specialists, who will do a thorough battery and alternator test. After the test is done, they will provide a report and refer you to a specialist if need be – they will never replace your battery unless absolutely necessary.

  1. Switch off electrical components

As many truckers spend their days on long-distance journeys, they often stop at rest-stops or roadside accommodation facilities. This means they could be hopping in and out the cab several times, and possibly forget to turn off electronic devices such as radios, navigation systems and possibly USB chargers for smartphones. Each of these components drain the power of a battery, especially when the vehicle is turned off, and a truck with a flat battery results in delayed deliveries, impacting your business.

  1. Keep the terminals clean

To contribute to your vehicle’s longevity, it’s important to check the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion. This is simple and takes 15 minutes if done at least once a month. Doing so prevents a build-up of corrosion going forward. All you need to do is,

  • Brush the terminals using a heavy-duty wire brush
  • Remove the battery terminals from the battery
  • Make a water and baking soda mixture that helps in scrubbing off the corrosion.

You can go a step further by using a corrosion-resistant spray that reduces the build-up of stubborn corrosion on your terminals.

Each of the above tips may be helpful in keeping your commercial fleet moving and your business running optimally. It’s important to note that vehicles equipped with high-quality commercial batteries will be more of a business asset, due to increased reliability, resulting in efficient deliveries. To keep on trucking, get in touch with First National Battery and the specialists will assist with all your fleet needs.


Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa