Fleets regularly face issues with their heavy-duty truck batteries which can lead to road calls and unforeseen costs. While there are many reasons why batteries fail, Purkeys Chief Creative Engineer Bruce Purkey explains his top three reasons, which are the following:

  • Batteries are not charged and maintained near 100% state of charge. The main reasons why are the following:
    • Alternators that are not large enough for the application
    • Voltage drop in the charging circuit resulting from corrosion, loose connections, or undersized cables
    • Insufficient run time of the engine during normal operations
  • Batteries are cycled too deeply. When the engine is off, all electrical power is supplied by the batteries. The deeper you discharge the battery pack, the shorter the battery life will be.
  • Vibration. Damage can be done to the battery case, terminals, and the plate assembly when batteries are not secure.

There are simple solutions to prevent each of these issues:

  • Maintain proper battery charge:
    • Use an alternator with remote sense that is sufficient for the job
    • Conduct proper and routine battery maintenance
    •  Bring the batteries back to 100% state of charge.
  • Avoid batteries being cycled too deeply, use an Opti-idle system, which can start the engine so that deep discharges cannot happen. Also, LVD’s (Low Voltage Disconnects) can turn off loads at a pre-determined voltage to protect the batteries from discharging too deeply.
  • Reduce the chance of vibration, keep hold-downs tight and replace them as soon as they break or become damaged.

Purkeys looks at everything related to commercial vehicle electrical systems and helps fleets find a custom solution. Every fleet is different so Purkeys will assist in finding the right battery for the right application.