Heavy Duty Trucking

DEC 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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www.truckinginfo.com cle," he says. While they may require a slightly larger up-front investment, they will pay for themselves in the long run. Simple maintenance After selecting and installing the right battery and pairing it with the correct alternator and inverter, the next step is keeping an eye on it. "Proper battery maintenance is very important," says Megan Vin- cent, marketing supervisor at Phillips Industries. "A corroded terminal can cause many problems. Just a few minutes of preventive maintenance can save all the headaches." One of most important — and simple — tasks is regularly inspect- ing your batteries by checking the terminals and posts for corrosion and residue buildup. "Buildup of corrosion can result in lower voltage from the battery over time," says Vincent. If and when you find any buildup, removing it will keep your battery performing better. It's important to use the proper tools and procedures when doing so. Vincent suggests starting by removing terminals — negative terminal first — and using a proper brush to clean residue and corrosion. "You may also want to use a battery cleaner to neutralize acid, and for added protection, use a felt pro- tective washer with corrosion inhibi- tors before reattaching the terminals, positive first," she says. Keeping it charged According to Maria Orlando- Krick, marketing manager at Ener- Sys, proper charging of the battery is the single most important action in ensuring that the battery will last for its intended life. Sulfation, the for- mation of small sulfate crystals that can convert to a stable crystalline that deposits on the negative plates during prolonged charge deprivation, can cause batteries to eventually fail. "Proper charging will break up the internal sulfation that builds up in the battery and extend its service life," says Orlando-Krick, who suggest us- ing a battery charger when necessary. When storing a battery, she also recommends fully charging the bat- tery first. "Most conventional batteries that are only partially charged when put into storage could experience permanent damage and may not recover to their full capacity, even if they are charged prior to reinstalla- tion," she adds. ■ 800-490-9040 Air-Weigh.com Wasting your HOS looking for scales? With Air-Weigh on-board scales, drivers know their weight as soon as they load. Circle 104 on Reader Action Card BATTERY MAINTENANCE DEVICE TOTAL 12V DC CURRENT FOR ACTIVITY TIME % OF TOTAL POWER 19-inch TV/DVD Combo (2-hour movie) 6.06 AMP 12.12 AMP 4.0% Coffee Maker (15 minutes) 93.32 AMP 23.33 AMP 7.8% Laptop Adapter (Plugged in for 8 hours) 5.60 AMP 44.8 AMP 14.9% Microwave (8 minutes on high) 84.00 AMP 11.20 AMP 3.7% TOTAL INVERTER LOADS 91.45 AMP 30.4% The chart gives examples of common appliances and technology used by drivers and how much current they draw from the batteries, assuming a 400-amp-hour battery bank. SOURCE: TROJAN BATTERY CO.

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