maintenance free batteries

Maintenance Free batteries-are now becoming the normal fitment on most cars and trucks

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This is a short article about maintenance free batteries

 The phrase maintenance free batteries is only partly correct.  What are Maintenance Free Battery vs Conventional  Cheap Car batteries , use up some of the water in their diluted mixture of sulphuric acid electrolyte during there every day cycle of charging and discharging. The electrolyte process turns into a gas mixture of oxygen and hydrogen and escapes from the battery. WE then add water to keep the battery topped up.

Low Maintenance batteries known as MF batteries use a different type of lead alloy. They use calcium alloy of lead and not a lead antimony alloy. This reduces the gassing therefore stops the need to keep topping up your battery. Indeed means that you have no need to top up your battery during the normal life of your  Battery.
The only problem can occur in exceptionally high temperatures where the Maintenance free batteries may boil but the newer types of MF battery now have pressure relief valves that come into operation when the pressure may get too high. For further reading…http://uk.ask.com/question/what-is-a-maintenance-free-battery

Altogether these batteries are becoming the normal standard for modern vehicle standards and are worth buying instead of cheap batteries.

Car batteries remained much the same, the only thing that changed was the different terminals and physical sizes of the batteries, battery plates, became a new mix of alloys and lead alloys and companies the likes of Lucas batteries became the first to introduce practically sealed batteries that were maintenance free, there were no screw tops on the battery for the driver to check the acid level.

Also there was the evolution of the cars. Many cars were now coming out on more sophisticated electrical systems. Which required car batteries with more power. We found that a difference in the old type battery and the new type of battery was that the new types of battery did not give you much time after failure, one morning the battery light would come on in your car and you would need a new battery, there and then; you do not have the time any more. It is very important to remember, that the Maintenance free batteries must be stood up in the upright position. The battery caps do not unscrew and so the battery is classed as sealed. But it is important to remember that the battery is not leak proof.

2020 AGM car battery update

At the present time then the AGM car battery has become very important! Because, of the popularity of the “Stop-Start” cars that are now on the market. So, the main idea of these cars is to save fuel consumption therefore reducing green gas emission’s. Given these points, a new type of stronger battery was needed to support the constant starting and stopping of the cars engine. Especially, when driving in the cities and towns. Of course where many stops would take place at road junctions, traffic lights and many other situations.

Importantly, the AGM battery was chosen! Because of the deep cycle capability of this type of battery.

caravan and motorhome batteries

Check Your caravan Tyres-This includes Motorhome tyres- before your journey

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Check Your caravan Tyres

Check Your CARAVAN TYRES

Tyre experts recommend that owners of any trailed vehicles should remove the complete wheel or wheels .Then take them to their favorite garage or auto centre. Then have them checked by a professional member of the team. It is important that the wheels  are given a thorough inspection, this will ensure the safest possible outcome. So Check Your CARAVAN and MOTORHOME TYRES . The most common thing found on caravan tyres is sidewall cracking. This usually only comes to light when the tyre is removed. We can flex the sidewall with the tyre removed from the wheel, and this will show the extent of the cracking. This problem is due to the affect of ultra-violet light acting on the carbon black. This is in the make up of the tyre when the caravan is parked, and is more common on Old Michelin tyres.     

This information also applies to motor-homes.

The wheels will be checked for corrosion. Then the tyres will be removed from the wheels and checked for internal cuts and damage. This is most important as unseen damage can become a nightmare scenario. Especially, when going down a motorway at sixty mile per hour and losing complete control due to tyre failure.

The tyre dealer will then Check Your vehicles tyres regularly, the outside of the for damage to the tread area and the sidewalls for cuts and cracks. Also important is to check the age of the tyre, this can be easily done by an expert fitter. Tyres do become out of date after six years and are affected by aging in the sidewalls.

Check Your CARAVAN TYRES As stated above cracks start to form around the rim area due to the caravan wheels been stood in the Sun for long hours. Especially, during the Summer months. And eventually the carbon black, that is used in the manufacture of the caravan  tyres, starts to break down. Small but deep cracks start to form around the rim area. This will eventually join up to create a very dangerous hazard. Indeed this is one of the most common cause for tyre blowouts on caravans and trailers. Any caravan tyres with cracks and cuts should be scrapped and replaced with a new tyre. Finally if everything is OK the pressures and tyre valves should be checked to the correct loading for your vehicle and trailer.

Another important point is to have the vehicle loading checked on your caravan tyres,

to make sure that the wheel set up conforms to your caravan or trailers recommended weight carrying capacity. Some of the larger heavier vehicle require more heavy duty tyres to carry the extra loading, your tyre dealer will advise you on the correct fitments by advising you fit either re-enforced or larger ply rated ones.
Check Your CARAVAN TYRES pressures, which should always be checked and adjusted when the pressures are cold before every journey. If in doubt replace with new and correct  caravan tyres.

2020 Update

At the present time then the caravan/motorhome market has hit the roof. Henceforth, so has the tyre market for these types of vehicle. So, it is even more important to fit the correct tyres on these vehicles. of course the main consideration is the weight that these vehicles will carry! Especially when loaded up ready for the holidays.

Most drivers of these vehicles are responsible and do buy the correct tyres. Indeed tyre companies now make special tyres for these vehicles. Michelin tyres are a good example. Hence offering the Michelin Agilis Camping tyre range.

Heres a great Email that a kind customer about this subject-

Dear Mr. Roberts

I recently came across a blog which appears to be headed by you.  The content was of great interest to me. So, for a large number of years, have had a 1988 Ford Transit Mk III AutoSleeper motorhome. Which, I had bought it to try and improve on the lack of guts of an earlier Mk II Transit and to avoid the types of construction which led to continual water leaks! I therefore pulled this Mk III Transit to pieces, using hands far more competent than myself, and fitted a 2.9 EFi V6 Ford engine with all ancillaries plus heavy duty clutch and gearbox. Importantly, I then fitted a sub-frame with front axle, rear axle, running gear and anti roll bars etc.  derived from a later heavy duty Transit and added adjustable dampers.

I needed to do quite a lot of other modifications to get the vehicle the way I wanted it. I thus have a wonderful high performance motorhome which, due to the massive increase in weight low down, it has a centre of gravity which should be below floor level or very near.  Thus, a very stable motorhome to drive at high speed to and from Ireland and on winding roads between times. In particular, I had researched tyres for the vehicle which has the 15” 6 stud wheels off the later Transit,  I remind with a single wheel rear axle, not double.  I looked at bullion vans and similar on the same set up and found that Michelin Agilis was the choice. I therefore fitted a set of Michelin Agilis 81’s, as they were at that time.

They were made in France.

I enquired of Technical Dept. at Michelin of the pressures I should run at and gave the weighbridge weights for my vehicle fully laden.  Particularly emphasizing that it was single rear wheel axle set up.  They assured me, particularly the rear tyres, should run at 42psi. So,  I questioned this but assurance was given again. Needless to say, with that pressure in the rear tyres, they looked as thought they had a puncture and would be unsafe to drive on!  The bullion vans were running 62psi minimum on the rear and I therefore put similar pressure in my rear tyres to put the matter right.  This achieved transformation. I therefore enjoyed my family trips to the West of Ireland and back many times and found the journeys comparatively relaxing compared with the trips in the previous Transit.

An MOT inspector commented that the vehicle was a delight to drive and asserted that it felt more like a high performance car than a motorhome.  He further added that most people merely stuffed a more powerful engine into a vehicle and did little more, but I had created a completely new vehicle by altering the specification so that everything gelled together to create something that  might have come out of the factory. I only had two problems with the tyres:  the first not really with the tyre, was that I suffered a burst tyre valve (fortunately when the vehicle was stationary).  I did write to the motoring press.  They seemed to treat me as a crank and were unwilling to make the public aware of the dangers.

 I fitted steel valves and solved the problem.

I noted in the motoring press, after about 3 years, an increasing number of letters. Advising motorhome owners who had gone down the motorway on their side or roof through a blowout. That they should fit steel valves when running high pressure!

The other problem I had, on a trip via Galloway:  I woke up one morning on campsite. So, to find that one rear tyre appeared very soft.  I went to the local tyre distributor! And estimated that I would receive my pension book before they got to attend to me!  I therefore put some air in the tyre and monitored it.  It held pressure perfectly.  When I got home, however, the mechanic who helps me. Indicated that one rear tyre had been cut deeply in the groove of the tread (almost as though with a Stanley knife).  He agreed with me however that it appeared to be tyre failure rather than sabotage.  I merely fitted a replacement to match the others.

Shortly afterwards, the tread was getting low on two of the tyres. I was advised to fit a later Michelin Agilis (Green X) ! Which I think was the early camping tyre, country of origin unknown.  A pair of these  were fitted to the rear. It was noticeable that the tyres seemed to have more of a balloon effect. Especially, in the side walls ! Also that they had no kerbing blocks in the side walls which possibly made the side walls more flexible.

I lost the precision straight line stability of the steering but worse found that the vehicle suffered from dreadful tramlining on the inside lane of motorways which I put down to the mix of tyres. There was no undue wear in the steering or suspension, the weight had been maintained as normal, as also the tyre pressures.

The vehicle then came out of use for a few years due to various family bereavements etc.

 Firstly, I am now in need of getting the vehicle back in trim and propose to replace all tyres. My inclination is to consider fitting a set of latest Michelin Agilis 3 which appear to be very similar in design to my original tyres and have side walls which will be the nearest match from a behavioral point of view.

Secondly, I am wary of the Michelin Agilis camping tyres referred to above, just in case they perpetuate the problem mentioned above, but also in view of the fact that motorhome owners (when I read their forums) seem to have had many problems with these particular tyres. I have always been a very safety conscious person and I am not prepared to take any risks which, for a vehicle like mine, means that I consider the tyres the most important part of the vehicle. I annex an image of the vehicle from which you will that it has a close coupled chassis design which has a large overhang at the rear.

The revised plating shown on the attached and the weighbridge weights where the vehicle was fully laden are shown on this scribbled note attached.  The actual travelling weights should normally be slightly less. The vehicle is capable of 112mph but is fitted with a governor on the back of the gearbox to limit the speed to approximately 89mph. So, I have previously been told, however, that the first statistic is the one that governs the tyre spec.

I hope you do not find this letter too long.

I could supply a lot more information, if needed, and hope that you will be able to give me some feedback of your views as to the direction in which I should go.  You might be interested to know. That I have regularly seen people with front wheel drive motorhomes. Being towed off grass campsites (weight in the back, drive on the front).  On one occasion in very wet weather, I awoke in the morning to find my wheel rims level with the turf.  I started and warmed the engine thoroughly then, despite leaving some horrific ruts for quite a long distance. I crawled the vehicle out without spinning a wheel!

The only downside to the vehicle is the petrol consumption!

Yours sincerely,

Mark Fitzgerald-Hart

ORNHAMS HOLDINGS

Ornhams Hall – Boroughbridge – York – YO51 9JH

new vans

Cars To My Employees-What Are The Pros & Cons Of Offering Company Cars To My Employees?

Cars To My Employees

Cars To My Employees

Plucked straight out of the ’80s and perhaps at odds with today’s modern city/commuter lifestyle, company cars still have something to offer as an effective employee perk across a number of industries.
Despite this continued popularity, many companies are caught between two minds regarding whether or not they should offer cars to their staff. The benefits and pitfalls are numerous, with poor handling of the situation potentially costing business owners significant amounts of cash every year. In this article, we’ll outline the pros and cons of offering a company car to your employees and what key challenges to look out for as part of your scheme to do so.

Pros

First, let’s look at the benefits of handing out keys to company cars. Cuts out transport issues Whether it’s significant commuting time or a lack of company vehicles making it difficult to reach important meetings in time and in style, transport creates a number of issues for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Fledgling start-up or established enterprise, it doesn’t matter. You need to make sure your team is getting around comfortably, efficiently and in a state of mind that encourages them to give their all. While we’re all very familiar with video chats now, actually meeting associates, clients and potential partners in person is invaluable.

With so many businesses operating on a strict time and financial budget, they can’t afford to blow it all sitting on a crowded, overpriced train. A company car ensures that all-important members of your team have an effective and efficient way of getting to crucial meetings — and impressing as they do so.

An accepted part of a benefits package

Benefits are a huge part of what attracts the very best candidates to specific positions these days. While everyone wants a great salary and the office culture to match, many younger professionals are interested in what companies can offer on top of the typical working experience, such as gym memberships, mental health support and the opportunity to experience training courses.

Company cars remain a popular example of this, and something many professionals may accept in place of a pay rise. While the initial costs of a company car may set you back further than a slight pay bump, over time that cost will even out and you’ll be saving on wages by the end of the year. Likewise, such an offering can help you balance the books by satisfying key members of the team. It makes them feel important to the business, encourages a greater level of professionalism and makes them less likely to enquire about other potential perks.

Money-saving options

A company car isn’t just a money sink — they actually provide a number of ways to save on travel.  Public transport and overnight accommodation can be         extremely costly for a business, especially when you’re sending more than one member of staff. However, if they have a company car they can travel more freely and get home without relying on train timetables.

This cuts out a significant amount of overhead you’ll never get back. Smart driving also makes a car less of a financial burden. By coupling a company car with fuel cards, advanced route planning apps and training in how to drive more economically, you can turn your company car into something that costs a fraction of what it does for other businesses. Fuel cards will give you unique discounts on fuel, apps will make sure you pick the most economic route and a more efficient driving brain will ensure you don’t burn through that petrol in an instant.

Cons

Now, let’s delve  into the issues that may arise when offering company cars.

Extra taxes

If you’re operating in the UK paying tax on a company car rests on the employee who drives it. This may be off putting to some employees. Especially those who had previously had no need for a vehicle and can’t afford the additional cost. However, this cost can be mitigated depending on the make of the car and the type of fuel it uses. If you offer a ‘greener’ model as your company car. Then this may entice a certain type of employee, regardless of the tax costs.

Cars require significant maintenance

A company car is for life, not just a motivational tactic. If you’re committing to handing out company cars. So, you need to be ready to swallow the maintenance costs. Especially new tyres  and servicing costs.
While responsibility of the vehicle and making sure it is in working and legal order may fall on the driver. hence, criticism can quickly come back to you. Many  companies prefer to keep documentation themselves. Of course, and manage the car in-house. Rather than giving full responsibility to an employee. This can cause conflict and downplay some of the trust and reward a company car offers.

Likewise, you need to consider the fact that many of your staff. Subsequently, won’t have the capabilities to store or drive a company car. A significant number of workers in major cities these days cannot drive or live in accommodation without parking spots. This would either render the benefit. Of course, useless or put it in a situation where it could get damaged.

A company car isn’t for everyone. There are many workers it won’t appeal to and keeping track of how it’s being used can add another layer of stress to your busy schedule. However, they remain a great gift for your top members of staff that can actually be quite economically effective in the long run.