VARTA has launched the Truck Portal; a new service, training and information platform designed specifically for fleet managers of heavy commercial vehicles. It offers a range of tools to help with the decision-making process on which battery technology to choose, for optimising a company’s total cost of ownership (TCO). CVW finds out more.
For many companies trading internationally, long-distance freight transport by road is an important part of their business. However, the demands placed on these businesses by consumers have increased. What is ordered today is expected to arrive tomorrow. Under these conditions, the cab in the truck is often used as a hotel for the driver, at times up to seven days a week, even if it’s not always the same driver. TV screens, coffee machines and parking coolers or heaters make overnight stays and longer times spent in the cabin more pleasant. However, all of these electrical consumers put a strain on the battery. In addition, there is a trend towards outsourcing to ‘rolling warehouses’, leaving little room for optimum vehicle maintenance. Furthermore, new regulations on higher emission standards are urging companies to achieve an eco-friendlier footprint. This puts a significant amount of pressure on fleet managers.
Fitting a conventional battery to these well-equipped trucks will lead to a shorter battery life, a bigger risk of potential expensive breakdowns and an unwanted TCO increase, as they are not suitable for modern applications. To meet this challenge in the commercial vehicle segment, VARTA offers its ProMotive range of batteries, spearheaded by the new AGM. Each range allows companies to minimise the TCO by avoiding vehicle downtime and maximizing profitability. Nonetheless, only choosing the right battery technology for the various different applications can ensure maximum reliability of a fleet’s timing commitments.
To help make the right choice, VARTA has developed the Truck Portal. Using the portal is completely free of charge. It is also easily accessible from any internet-enabled device, such as PC, tablet or smart phone. When you arrive at the portal homepage, you will see it is broken down into four main features (left), making it easy to navigate for fleet managers visiting the platform.
Based on the input, the Battery Finder will explain and recommend the best available technology option (AGM, EFB or conventional flooded) for maximum performance and TCO savings. It compares the driving habits with a vehicle’s electrical requirements to evaluate which VARTA ProMotive battery would be best suited for each vehicle.
As the example above shows, you first select the type of vehicle, then input the brand, model and engine size, and then the Battery Finder returns the correct technology type, in this case an EFB, and part number details for that application.
The TCO calculator will help to understand the TCO saving potential of choosing the right battery technology. It shows the advantages of picking that technology by showing the cost benefits of owning a VARTA ProMotive battery.
Using the same example as for the Battery Finder, the TCO calculator asks for mileage information if your fleet experiences regular breakdowns due to battery failure, and any other likely costs should the vehicle break down. Based on this, it shows results of installing the correct VARTA battery versus downtime caused by vehicles not running, so a fleet manager can clearly see the benefit of installing the right battery first time.
VARTA recommends routine preventative maintenance and regular battery testing during servicing to get the most out of the battery’s lifespan. The portal’s maintenance section provides support in how to maintain the batteries in order to get the maximum performance from the application and prolong the service life for maximum TCO saving potential.
The knowledge sub-section will help you to better understand the role of the battery in the vehicle, as well as give valuable insights into various topics and market trends in the field of battery technology. This includes ‘How To’ guidelines, tips and tricks, and downloadable battery data sheets (example above).
Clarios – The company behind the brand
Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls Power Solutions, is a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions. It partners with its customers to meet increasing market demand for smarter applications, on a global scale. It has 16,000 employees to develop, manufacture and distribute a portfolio of evolving battery technologies for virtually every type of vehicle. To learn more about Clarios,