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On-The-Road Power Plant: VARTA ProMotive AGM Truck Battery by Clarios Gets Drivers Warmly and Reliably Through the Winter

  • VARTA ProMotive AGM is the durable and reliable battery solution for trucks
  • Comfort items such as parking coolers in trucks require more power – VARTA ProMotive AGM can cope with the increased demand
  • The VARTA Fleet Program offers trucking companies and fleets direct contact to the manufacturer and advise from battery experts

The long summer with several months of high temperatures is about to come up. For trucks, though, this is traditionally a time that places great demands on their batteries. After all, food products need to be kept permanently cooled until they reach their destination. Also drivers would like a pleasant climate in the cab. That means a high energy demand for the vehicles. Clarios, the global market leader for advanced energy storage solutions, developed the VARTA ProMotive AGM for operation under such extreme conditions. Its special technology makes this truck battery more reliable and more durable than conventional batteries so that they also continue to deliver their full performance in the winter after the rigors of the long summer.

We cannot afford flat batteries

Enrico Russo is already very familiar with the new product: His logistics company Russo SRL has been transporting food products the length and breadth of Italy for many years. The difficulty is that the food products have to remain cooled for the entire period so they do not spoil. “If the cooler system breaks down, I would have to throw everything away,” he says.

What Russo and his drivers need, therefore, is a reliable power supply that keeps the refrigeration system and all the other electrical consumers working night and day. “We operate to tight schedules. If there are problems with the battery, the engine doesn’t start or the cooler system fails, that has far-reaching consequences,” says the fleet manager. Either the goods become inedible, or they arrive too late at their destination. In both cases, the supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, and end-consumers ultimately find themselves without any food.

Truck as a second home

For the drivers, too, concerns for a flat battery have major impacts – a fact Fabio Bilibio, owner of trucking company Autotransporti Bilibio from Treviso, Italy, is only too well aware of: “It’s not easy to find good drivers, particularly in Italy. To recruit them, we have to offer them the best-possible new trucks – because the truck is their second home.” And life on the road is already hard enough: Places to shower are rare, and affordable food along the routes is difficult to find. Young people are also aware of that, which makes the job unattractive for potential new recruits.

Bilibio has therefore had his fleet equipped with all mod cons – i.e. with numerous comfort and entertainment features that make life more pleasant: TV, refrigerator, wifi – and, of course, cab air conditioning and heating. “With the conventional batteries installed as original equipment by the manufacturers, it was not at all uncommon to find that trucks would not restart after a statutory rest period,” reports the fleet manager.

Finally a soloution

That is all in the past now since his company has been using the new VATRA ProMotive AGM. AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. The glass mat absorbs the electrolyte and increases its cycle stability. That prevents the drop-off in capacity caused by electrolyte stratification. And there’s more: The energy management system plus battery sensor installed in the truck registered the fact that the battery – unlike conventional ones – does not see a decline in performance capability but rather an initial increase and then maintains this higher level for a time at least. This investment has paid off for Bilibio: Unlike some colleagues, he has not yet been forced to downsize his fleet because of the severe shortage of drivers.

The feedback from fellow trucking company owner Russo is also positive: So far, he has not experienced any unwanted stops or flat batteries with the VARTA ProMotive AGM. Distributor Pasquale Di Sabatino is particularly happy since his customers are often looking for an affordable solution – though this is not always the best choice: “Obviously, the new technology from VARTA is a little more expensive in terms of the initial purchase price. But whereas other batteries normally last a year, the lifetime of AGM batteries is up to six times longer than conventional flooded batteries. When you factor in fewer flat batteries on the road with their consequential costs, then the purchase price is definitely worth it.”

Direct manufacturer contact trough the VARTA Fleet Program Nevertheless, the increasing complexity of modern trucks represents a major challenge for trucking companies. To ensure that fleets are best equipped to cope with these, VARTA has not just developed a reliable, future-ready product in the form of the AGM battery, but also offers the corresponding service with its VARTA Fleet Program. The program’s main feature is that it offers fleet managers direct contact with the manufacturer. By registering free of charge on the website, members will receive custom advice relating to their fleet, strategic purchase recommendations, a newsletter covering the latest technologies and trends, support on battery management-related questions, analysis and optimization options for battery performance, and a great deal more.

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