Bemused by battery woes?

Bemused by battery woes?

Keeping a fleet of vehicles in a fit and ready state is crucial to the efficiency of a logistics business. However, the number of aftermarket accessories fitted to many vehicles today can put a drain on a vehicle’s battery.

Tracker South Africa, however, wants to clarify that most often a simple tracking device wouldn’t be responsible for draining a battery.

“It’s incredibly unlikely that it’s the tracking unit causing the problem,” says Ron Knott-Craig, executive: operational services at Tracker.

“Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) allow up to 50 milliamperes (mA) during 24 hours for all aftermarket fitments. It’s not a fixed rule, but using more than this would drain the battery power within a few days. A tracking device should use 2,0 mA or less in 24 hours and these limitations apply when the vehicle is switched off.

“Tracker’s units use 1,0 mA or less. They do this through engaging ultra-low power mode for most of the day. The units will only draw more current under certain circumstances, for instance, when detecting unauthorised movement of the vehicle, or when transmitting during a stolen-vehicle recovery activation.

“With a drain of only 1,0 mA or less during a 24-hour period, a vehicle battery would last for months, perhaps even years, depending on its size,” Knott-Craig explains.

So, if it’s not the tracker, what could it be? Bear in mind that all batteries degrade over time and will eventually reach the end of their service life.

The older the battery, the less likely it is to keep its charge. So, while the vehicle’s radio and lights might still function normally, the battery might simply not have enough charge to turn the starter motor and it will not be possible to start the vehicle.

Also, there are many bits of electronics in modern vehicles and some of these are on all the time, even when the vehicle is switched off. Combined with other aftermarket products, this could cause battery drain.

“For a modern tracking unit to drain a healthy vehicle battery, it has to be faulty, or the unit could possibly have been installed incorrectly. Tracker works closely with OEMs to ensure that its installation technicians receive the latest training, and install the devices correctly to ensure no damage or interference with the electronic circuits of the vehicle,” Knott-Craig assures.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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