With the amount of electronics incorporated into trucks nowadays, the often ‘˜taken-for-granted’ battery is taking on an increasingly important role. It is thus FleetWatch welcomes the news that First National Battery (FNB), a subsidiary of JSE listed Metair Investments Limited, has introduced of a new range of extremely vibration resistant heavy-duty truck batteries.
Electronics aside, given the appalling road conditions over which trucks have to travel in many of the provinces, the development will also be welcomed by those operators running older-model trucks. We say this because according to FNB, vibration is the single biggest cause of premature battery failure and this is precisely why these batteries have been developed to overcome this.
The batteries can withstand poor road conditions and rugged terrain – conditions which long distance hauliers, construction and agricultural equipment are often subjected to. They are made in South Africa for South African conditions and conform to EN specifications.
Dr Louis Denner, managing director of FNB, says the batteries have special vibration-reducing features such as plate locks fitted to the end cells to eliminate the possibility of inter-cell connector damage. Plates are also anchored to the bottom of the containers with hot melt glue to reduce movement.
“This range of batteries is subject to and exceeds SANS Battery Vibration test 60095-1: Rev 7 – the only batteries produced in South Africa which do comply. These tests require the battery to withstand vibration levels twice that of a passenger vehicle battery for four times longer,’ says Denner.
Other key features include a specially formulated paste for increased battery performance and high cycle life. Fully-framed grids provide superior strength, improved conductivity and eliminate the possibility of separators being pierced.
The batteries also have lower self-discharge rates to ensure longer shelf life, while the addition of silver calcium reduces gassing and water loss. The result, according to FNB, is a maintenance-free battery (under normal operating conditions). Additional features include:
- Increased cold cranking power for diesel engine starting even in the most trying conditions.
- Leak-proof dual-moulded vent that eliminates the possibility of acid spillage on the battery top.
- Central venting with flash arrestors for improved safety.
“FNB has always been at the forefront of battery technology. We believe in continual development and strive to produce innovative batteries that meet the requirements of our customers,’ says Denner. It seems that on this one, they have hit jackpot in meeting customer needs.