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The truth about hidden battery costs

26 March 2018

Just how much will your floor care battery cost you in the long term? Andrew Clarke, managing director for Juice Stored Energy, expands on significant battery related costs that are rarely considered in today’s cost conscious environment

Most purchasers of floor care machines just don’t consider the battery element. They are buying a tool for the job, a solution. They assume all elements are covered by the warranty, they are in the clear for a while, right? Wrong…Only battery cell defects are included under any standard warranty in the industry today.

Battery cell defects account for less than 0.09% of all warranty claims

Battery manufacturers confirm that less than 1% of all warranty claims result from cell defects. Battery misuse costs, inside and outside of the warranty period, can be extremely high and have a significant impact on operating costs over the life of the machine. Some contractors simply don’t know the total cost, it ends up lumped in with equipment costs and drags the profit margin down with it. 

These avoidable outlays often start what we call a ‘triangle of blame’ between the OEM, the client and the battery manufacturer. One thing is for sure, someone pays along the line and it is usually the end user!

It is estimated that the average abuse cost for a standard battery pack is around 25% of the original purchase price. So for a battery pack priced at £1500 that’s over £375.00 of additional service costs because the battery has not been maintained to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Getting the best out of your floor care equipment

Just like a car it follows that regular preventative maintenance will keep your machine in top operating condition and result in less breakdowns. Sadly, the majority of lower asset value machines are not regularly maintained and batteries do not therefore get checked and topped up. Add to that opportune charging and the subsequent battery failure is classed as misuse resulting in wasted time and service charges. 

There is a solution

The solution is simple – cost effective battery maintenance contracts from as little as £18.00 per week.

This level of service effectively ‘sweats the battery asset’, removing additional abuse costs and increasing the life of the battery from an average of 2 to 6 years dependent on specification and hours run. Each one of those years will see an average cost saving of 22% in addition to much improved health and safety factors for site personnel and the public. In our opinion, it is simply the easiest way to protect your workforce and reduce costs.

Much needed operator training

We should never forget that a battery combines lead, acid and high DC voltage. Industrial batteries need regular cleaning and topping up with deionised water if health and safety risks are to be reduced. Cleaning removes any acidic residue, corrosive and conductive material from the surface of the battery pack. Corrosion can eat into connectors and bolts, causing cells to fail and current to track between the terminals and chassis of the floor care machine. 

A battery maintenance contract will ensure regular visits to clean and top up all batteries onsite. Additionally service personnel will provide ongoing operator training, ensuring that all staff are aware of correct charging procedures and best practice battery management. This is invaluable for a busy facility with high staff turnover. 

An independent voice of reason

Juice Stored Energy are an independent, privately owned company that provide battery maintenance services across the UK deploying 17th edition qualified engineers. Services range from battery & charger supply, preventative maintenance and topping contracts, service and rental across all brands and all technologies. We are also a longstanding partner of the Micropower Group and a Fronius Charger Dealer.