Returning to work after the holiday period can be a let-down at times, but it can be downright frustrating if you find your fleet vehicles won’t start! Year-on-year we see this issue crop up after extended holiday periods – fortunately, it’s avoidable with a bit of preventative maintenance.
Vehicle batteries are becoming smaller and smaller from the point of manufacture – 45Ah is now a typical battery size in light vehicles. Manufacturers are also adding items such as “Smart Charging” that can be very problematic for accessory power drawer e.g. the Ford Ranger. Fully charged these batteries will run flat on a vehicle left unused in around three weeks (or much less in some models), without any Smartrak electronics connected. Let alone other current drawing devices such as two-way radios, work lights, etc. And once an AVL is connected the time to run flat is more like two weeks. So, if the vehicle is not used from 22nd December to the 8th January then it will be marginal to get started. Worse, when the battery is partially discharged going into Christmas then it will almost certainly be flat on return to work.
Typically, this affects light/white fleet (e.g. Toyota Yaris), trade vehicles and specialised trucks/plant that are sporadically used and vehicles with ageing batteries.
Some things to consider
- If you have a master switch fitted, ensure you check it’s turned off.
- With a Smartrak Timed Power-Off Harness fitted, Smartrak electronics will not draw power over the break.
- Disconnect the vehicle batteries before heading away.
- Have a mechanic or auto electrician on stand-by, or a jump start pack on hand in the new year.