TUKWILA, Wash. — As freight volumes continue to fluctuate, fleet managers are forced to deal with vehicles that sit on the fence for long stretches of time.
The result is trucks that are unwilling to start once they are called upon due to parasitic battery discharge. The cost of maintaining electrical system integrity of dormant vehicles has grown as the industry has slowed.
“Some people call it ‘lot rot,'” says Will Watson, vice-president of sales for IntraUSA. “When trucks sit parked for a week or even less, the drain on the batteries often discharges them to the point that the truck can no longer start. The cost and labor involved with jump-starts alone is significant for truck fleets, but because batteries often ‘die’ after just a few deep discharges, replacement cost magnifies the problem.”
However, Intra says its new Jump-Start Prevention Kit builds off the company’s existing technologies to solve the problem.
“We combined capabilities of our Low-Voltage Disconnect with our High Current Battery Disconnect, and packaged it into a portable unit that can be easily moved from one truck to another,” explains Watson. “In one quick-connect, quick-disconnect unit, dealers have a portable tool that monitors the batteries and automatically disconnects power.”
The unit continually monitors current draw from the vehicle battery, and if battery voltage reaches a critical level, the battery is automatically disconnected, preserving the ability to start the vehicle — and saving battery life.
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