The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on us all, and has especially challenged companies which led to fleet vehicles being unused for a prolonged period of time. Some vehicles may have suffered from battery drain, and employees found out the hard way that the vehicles’ batteries were dead.
The good news however, is that your GPS devices does not cause this burden! When vehicles are unused for a prolonged period, some systems still require battery power to maintain user settings, some of these devices are; the radio, clock, alarm, and other systems; newer vehicles have even more electronic devices that require energy. Your battery is only recharged by the alternator when the vehicle is started and running, this means that vehicles that are dormant for extended periods, don’t allow for the battery to be recharged. T&T is a tropical island so we need to factor in hot weather as well, if the vehicles are sitting majority of the times in this temperature. Heat reduces battery life, and voila! you have a recipe for dead batteries.
So what’s the best way to prevent dead batteries?
- Disconnect the batteries – This is a sure way to prevent the electrical system from guzzling battery power. The only downside is your employees will have to reset the clocks and radios. Battery disconnect switches are also an option, which could be added during a vehicle’s next scheduled maintenance.
- Start and run the engines weekly – It’s in your business’ best interest to try and have your staff start run fleet vehicles as much as possible even during downtime. Simply starting is better than leaving the vehicles inactive, however driving vehicles does a far better job restoring batteries’ state of charge.
- Keep Your Fleet’s Batteries Charged – Once you have sufficient manpower, your team can charge the batteries on a monthly basis. There is also the more-efficient option of using a trickle charger. That also comes with a caveat: Be cautious when using these as you could wind up overcharging your batteries because some trickle chargers don’t have automatic shut off systems. Another challenge you can encounter is finding outlets to plug them all in, however, an alternative would be using solar trickle chargers, which would provide power without negatively affecting your utility bill.
- Set up a Low Battery Voltage Alert – This can be easily achieved by investing in an efficient and versatile GPS System. Many GPS trackers can alert management of failing batteries. Gaffar GPS customers can request to set up battery dead/disconnected alerts if a vehicle’s battery drops below a certain voltage for a length of time.
Battery Drain? It’s Not Only Your GPS Tracker.
As GPS Trackers are becoming dominant in the world of Fleet Management, and is usually the main external security system, it is easy to see why Fleet Managers may think the GPS System is
the potential source of the battery drain.
The reality we face, is that any modern vehicle that remains dormant for a month or more, will likely experience battery drain, regardless of whether it’s equipped with a GPS tracker or not due to the fact that radios, clocks, alarms, and even the GPS devices all require small amounts of energy from the vehicle’s battery.
Even though it is likely a GPS tracker may draw some current ,without preventative measures, a vehicle without a GPS tracker will still have its battery drained over time. It is for this reason that Gaffar GPS Solutions recommends the aforementioned solutions listed above. As the Fleet Manager you should undertake the most viable and feasible action for your vehicles.
It is essential to concoct a plan to care for your fleet that remain inactive for a long time, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is not leaving us anytime soon. Being proactive always comes in handy, so take a few precautions to ensure that battery drain doesn’t stop your fleet when it is ready to go and when you need them.