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Fleet Manager Says Goodbye to 4+ Jump-Starts Per Month

Fleet Manager Says Goodbye to 4+ Jump-Starts Per Month

| Jessica Baris, Communications Specialist and Copywriter


Customer: Justin Donnay, fleet maintenance manager

Location: Shakopee, Minnesota

Fleet: Q Carriers, Inc. is a family-owned long-haul trucking company comprised of late-model trucks and trailers delivering goods across the continental U.S. and Canada. Q Carriers considers its professional drivers "the backbone of our business."

Fleet Maintenance Manager Justin Donnay had to call for road service four to five times per month for a fleet driver who would get stranded in the mornings after using several electronic devices in the truck overnight. Donnay tried different tactics to help the driver avoid morning jump-starts, including having the driver run the truck for a few hours before going to sleep so that the batteries could recharge. Despite this effort, "the next morning the truck would still die," Donnay said.

The frustrating problem was so pervasive that Donnay decided to try the Maxwell Engine Start Module (ESM) to see if it could help his driver get the truck started in the mornings.

Donnay installed the Maxwell ESM in the driver’s truck, a Peterbilt. The ultracapacitor module connects directly to the starter and completely takes over the starting function, freeing the batteries to power all other onboard electronic loads. "Within the first month, I had saved at least four jump-starts," Donnay said. The driver continued to use the same electronic devices overnight, but the difference was that, in the morning, Donnay didn’t have to call out for a jump-start. As long as the batteries can power up the ECM and the ECM has the power it needs, the Maxwell ESM will start the truck even if the batteries are low on voltage.

"This is a long-haul operation where there’s constantly a draw and a lot of starting and stopping," Donnay said. "Even when the Maxwell ESM is drained down or it dies cranking, you can let it sit for a few minutes, have the other batteries in the unit charge the ultracapacitors back up, and turn it over again. It’s almost like a jump-start of its own."

Ever since he installed the Maxwell ESM on the driver’s truck, Donnay said, with regard to batteries, "It’s been a maintenance-free truck. Within four months we figured we had the Maxwell ESM paid off."

What made him decide to try the Maxwell ESM? "My breaking point was a $740 service call to get the unit started. That’s when I decided that in and of itself paid off the Maxwell ESM. If the batteries are junk, you have to put in a set of batteries on the side of the road. A couple of times I’ve had an $800 to $900 service call just for a jump-start."

Donnay added that the Maxwell ESM has saved him on other costs associated with no-starts, including an average of two to three hours of downtime and the time and money spent on replacing bad batteries.

"The Maxwell ESM has over and over again paid itself off and proven its worth to this fleet," he said.

Mike EverettJessica Baris
Communications Specialist and Copywriter
About this author

Jessica A. Baris is communications specialist and copywriter at Maxwell Technologies and enjoys telling a good story. Her background includes writing and editing for the high-tech, construction, and meetings and conventions industries. A San Diego native, Jessica earned a Master of Arts in rhetoric and writing from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego.


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