Iceland Foods has slashed delivery fleet downtime due to flat batteries and low-speed accidents with the help of technology.
Working with Deeside-based Mercedes-Benz dealer Roanza Truck & Van, Iceland’s commercial fleet manager Alex McKinlay has developed a system helping to ensure that the retailer’s fleet of Sprinter home delivery vehicles can remain on the road for longer without the need for aftermarket battery protection systems.
Roanza’s after sales manager Nigel Lewin explained: “Sprinter vans can be fitted at the factory with optional Parametric Special Modules (PSMs) – electronic control units which allow us to access and alter or set various performance parameters. We looked at the issues Iceland was suffering and could see that we could use this technology to help address them.
“I tasked our technician, Lan Dempsey, to investigate adjustments to the PSM, which would drastically reduce the incidence of flattened batteries while also addressing some other issues raised by Iceland, such as minor body damage caused by low-speed accidents.”
Dempsey has now devised a programme that not only monitors battery voltage and turns off interior lights automatically if they are accidentally left on, but also limits the vehicle’s top speed and maximum reversing speed and flashes the hazard lights when reverse gear is selected.
Introduced this year on new vehicle orders, the technology has seen strong results. In 2013 more than 30% of Iceland’s Sprinters suffered a non-start incident due to a flat battery within their first six months of operation. Since the PSM programme was introduced this year, that figure has dropped to 5%.
“This is a fantastic turnaround,” said McKinlay. “It’s produced exactly the result we wanted, and made a tangible difference to our ability to deliver a top-quality service to our own customers. We’re now specifying the PSM programme on all new Sprinters and looking forward to even more vehicle uptime as a result.”