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Need to run a second battery?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by ks_grasscutter, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. ks_grasscutter

    ks_grasscutter Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I am new to plowing with a truck, previously have just plowed with an ATV. I will be running an 8' straight blade, either Boss or Western. Do I need to add a second battery or upgrade my alternator in order to run the plow? Will be on a NBS 2000 Chevy 3/4 ton with the 6.0 engine.

    Just ordered a set of Timbrens to keep the suspension from sagging. Also just had a new set of Hankook ATZs put on it. Anything else I need to watch for or upgrade?
     
  2. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Yes and no I run one battery in my gas trucks
    Yes and No on a alternator All depends on the plow you buy what amps it draws IF plowing for 12 hrs straight might be better get a high amp alternator but if you plowing for a few hours no need for it
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Either extra batt or alt would be a good idea
     
  4. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    Try it out first and see how your lights and voltmeter react to the plow. Make sure you have good clean wiring connections and look into upgrading truck cables from alternator to battery regardless.

    Some newer Chevy's have computer controlled charging that does not react quickly enough to the plow amp draw and this causes the voltage to drop/lights to dim and in my case an ABS system message in the message center. In my case I upgraded to a single Diehard Platinum (Odyssey) AGM battery and this solved the problem of the voltage dropping low enough to trigger the ABS message. The next step would be dual batteries.

    The plow is very intermittent duty and it alone will likely not require a larger alternator. If you have lights/spreader/other electrical loads that are continuous and add up to a lot of draw then you need an alternator, a battery alone will not help much here.

    Think of it like this, the alternator is like the air compressor, the battery is like the air tank.
     
  5. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 198

    I did both on my 04 2500. Prob didn't need to, but glad I did. I added a second battery on the pass side. Real easy to do. I put a 200-ish amp alternator on last week, haven't plowed with it yet though. Between my ipod being charged, cell phone charging, stereo going, heater fan on high, lights, the whirlybird lights and the plow, I was using a lot of juice and started to notice it after about 45 mins of plowing. Esp between driveways that are close together because I wasn't driving real far or running higher rpm's between drives to get a little extra charge to the single battery. I'd recommend doing at least an extra battery or a larger alt. It's there if you need it, and it won't hurt anything if you don't.
     
  6. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Only hurt there is when you have to replace battery's If one goes bad you really should replace both My power stoke need one battery but best replace both that was $350 for both
     
  7. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,980

    I plowed for 12 hours a few years back. With one battery, I had no noticeable issues. I did, however, put the largest / greatest CCA battery that I could fit in the truck. A NEW or reliable battery and alternator, to me, is more important than quantity of batteries used.

    My box truck has dual batteries. It's designed so that when the user stops to load or unload, they can shut the truck off, get out, unload / load their cargo with the lights / flashers on, and have negligible effect on the battery capacity.

    Not saying having a second battery isn't a good thing, as if I put a large electric salt spreader on truck, I would definitely consider installing a second battery.
     
  8. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 198

    very true. I added a battery to my camper and didn't replace both at the same time. I noticed a difference in run time. I'm lucky though, I live about 25 mins from Deka where they make batteries. They sell seconds/blemished batteries for dirt cheap. I got two new batteries for my truck when I added the second one. I paid around 100 bucks or so for both batteries including 2ga cables. I run these seconds in all my crap. My camper has two, jon boat has 3, truck has 2, tractor/mowers, etc etc. I've only ever gotten one dud battery. :drinkup:
     
  9. cl733

    cl733 Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 252

    2 batteries will run you a long time, small body high amp alternators aren't the best either,we run with 5 trucks running blizzard PP blades, the one truck with a single battery is constantly a problem,at coffee you leave that truck running,i use 2 group 65, batteries and plow back to back lots where im always swinging blades and have never seen a battery drain with a stock alternator
     
  10. ks_grasscutter

    ks_grasscutter Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Ended up running the stock battery and alternator on the first storm we had. Didn't have any problems, other than the radio stopping when I angled the blade. I was also running a LED strobe setup that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Probably will run without that next time as it wasn't as bright as I had hoped, so that may help some too.
     
  11. absolute

    absolute Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    It all depends on how many amps your pulling from your charging system, what your system can handle, and are you going to add anything latter. adding just a battery or just a alt may not fix your problem. For example if you add a battery you also need a battery isolator so you can properly charge both batteries. If your amp draw is 250 amps with running your heat, head lights, any emergency lights, plow, salt spreader, radio, ect. and your stock alt only puts out 160 amps your going to be putting a lot of alt on that truck. It wont matter how many batteries you have. Best place to start is how many amps are requierd to run what you want, can your alt handle it, and will adding a battery help for that surge when using your plow, sprader, or what ever.
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    What's the point of running dual batts and then putting and isolator in the mix. Your still back to square one with only one batt doing all the work.
     
  13. Monroe74

    Monroe74 Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    The point is the plow will use the one battery while the truck would use the other battery. And since each of those batteries will discharge at different rates the alternator won't need to charge both at the same time.
     
  14. CleanCutL&S

    CleanCutL&S Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Go with an AGM, like optima but many others on the market now.
     
  15. absolute

    absolute Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    With out the isolator the 2nd battery will never charge. You will have the power of both battery's with that relay in place.
     
  16. cl733

    cl733 Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 252

    thats why you tag team up two in the first place, you have to sense a voltage drop to start a charge, cant believe you can charge a hidden battery
     
  17. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    So my factory dual batt setup that does not have an.isolator, won't charge the second batt? It's all in how you hook up the wiring
     
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Then your still only using one batt. You don't need an isolator.
     
  19. absolute

    absolute Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I'm just telling it how it was explained to me when I had the same problem an what worked for me. If you have a better solution by all means let's here it!
     
  20. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 620

    When batteries are hooked up in parallel to a generator both batteries will get charged.