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New batteries

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by raptorman03, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. raptorman03

    raptorman03 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    I'm going to replace the batteries in my truck what should i go with Die Hard or what?
     
  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Best battery

    Your opperation depends on a vehicle that starts, get the biggest and best batt that you can afford.
     
  3. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    You can't go wrong with an Optima if you can spend that much.
     
  4. butters

    butters Member
    Messages: 79

    I am not a big fan of Diehards. I think that they used to be made better back in the day, but my last one lasted no longer than the cheap ones I have purchased at Wal-Mart and K-mart. In fact, I heard from a parts retailer that alot of companies get their batteries from the same manufacture. The Diehard at Sears might be the same battery for $20 less that is sitting on the shelf at K-mart... I am sure that some batteries are better than others, but I will never pay $80 for a high-end battery again. I have had the best luck with the middle of the road brands/models. I would say get one that has a high CCA output and a good warranty.

    For what it's worth, Consumer Reports 11/2004 issue reviews automobile batteries.
     
  5. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I get my batteries at Sam's Clubs or Walmart and I have had no problems with them at all other than just normal aging (no battery lasts forever) You can but two top end batteries at Sam's for about the price of one Diehard too and they will do just as well.
     
  6. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,829

    optima yellow tops
     
  7. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    BUTTERS-Can YOU Post the CONSUMERS BATTERY REPORT? I lent Mine to My Daughter & She hasn*t Returned It to Date!--I DONO? Why? Every ONE Doesn*t Subscribe to the CONSUMERS REPORT!-- $29.95 a year! as They TEST--Every Thing! & It sure takes the Guess work Out Seperating the JUNK from the GOOD STUFF! In Buying just About Any-Thing!from Tooth Brushes to HUMVEES!--Ole JIM--
     
  8. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    We use dual optima red tops. NEVER had a problem since...
     
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    I can get 4 to 5 years out of top end Walmart or Sam's Club batteries in plow service (dual batteries) for about 100 bucks. You just cannot beat that price/performance ratio. Also from what I have read on the optima'a the cranking amps is impressive for its size but the reserve capacity (the time in minutues it will carry a 25 amp load) is nothing to crow about and well below a lot of other batteries and this reserve capacity is what keeps you "alive" and working not the CCA'a
     
  10. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I'm not saying this to be disagreeing with you Tarkus, just posting my experience. I've had one red Optima that lasted eight years as a plow and preluber(about half of that) battery while I went through one interstate and one other (Deka or something like that) as the truck batt. I used an isolater from Napa to seperate their use. The Optima never let me down till the end. Of course that set up cost more than duals of a lower price, which may have worked just as well, but it served me well over that time. What was nice about that configuration was being able to jump start the truck from the plow battery If I ever left the lights on or ran the battery down from playing the stereo while working on it.
     
  11. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I switched over to an Interstate deep cycle marine battery two years ago instead of adding a second battery and it seems to be working well or maybe I am becoming a more careful operator.
     
  12. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    By far the best batteries I've ever used were OEM Delco batteries. The last one we replaced was new in 1993 and was replaced this past summer (after a certain someone, not me, left some lights on all day). Funny how one over-use will kill an old battery that was fine up until that point.

    My plow truck has a pair of commercial truck batteries (larger than automotive size, typically a pair would be found in diesel box trucks etc.) and the name on them is 'Trojan' (named after a condom? ;)) The battery shop told me the same thing, that there are only about three battery manufacturers in North America and most you have to put your own label on, they come in straight bare plastic. The 'Trojan' stickers came from the distributor they got them from. This is my second winter on them. Last night it was -26*C here before windchill and they cranked over my 10:1 383 no problem.

    By far the worst one's I've ever had came from Canadian Tire. Not sure why but I've never had one last more than a year or two.

    Had so-so luck with 'Energizer' batteries from Walmart... I suppose their warrenty is typical of most, but I had one last 25 monthes on a 96 month rated battery (their top-of-the-line).... 25 monthes they pro-rated to 36 (3 yrs, even though it was just over two) and at that point they said I needed to pay 65% of a new battery. What a gyp! What happened to 96 monthes? Apparantly its only a rating and in reality means nothing. The best part was I caught them trying to put a smaller, cheaper battery in my box and charging me for the big one... dickheads...

    My conclusion? I think batteries are hit and miss, probably doesnt matter what brand it is if there are only three manufacturers (I suspect Optima was not included b/c it is a bit of an oddball). I've been told gel-cells are the way to go but have no experience with them.
     
  13. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Those Optima batteries are design for a lot of amps in a short period of time with limited long term reserve capacity. Batteris with a high plate area to acid ratio have high starting currents and low reserve (Optimas) whereas batteries with moderate amounts of plates and more acid have a lot more reserve capacity (abilty to sustain a stiff load for more than 5 or 10 minutes) and will carry your truck a lot longer if you have a alt failure while plowing and that it far more important to me that a short term burst.
     
  14. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Make sure you have your alternator tested. There is nothing worse then buying 2 new batteries to find out you have a weak alternator and kill both of your new batteries. A simple load test will tell if it is in good working order.
     
  15. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Actually, each "battery" is comprised of a bunch of individual battery 'cells'. When you string these cells together in series and parallel you can get your 12, 24, 6, or whatever voltage battery. So yes, some "batteries" use the same manufacturer's cell, hence they are basically the same except for the label around the outside.
     
  16. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    6 each, 2.1 volts cells to be exact in a 12v battery but they tend to be a bit higher than that in reality. The bigger the physical size of battery, generally the better tha reserve capacity due to increased acid capacity. High starting current and high reserve capacity do not always go hand in hand though.
     
  17. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    hence why your voltmeter will read >14 volts. When you start hovering around 12 volts you know to replace the battery real soon cause its useful life is nearing the end.
     
  18. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Well 12volt under a heavy load is not bad but fully charged with no load it will read about 13.8 to 14.4 dpending on tempature. When they do a CCA test the measure the amperage it will sustain for 30 sec before voltage drops below 10.8 volts under load though in recent time I have seen them lower the voltage to 10.5 volts for cut off to make batteries "look" better under test.
     
  19. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    By look better I'm assuming you are refferring to amp-hours/capacity?

    But, IMO, going from 10.8V cutoff to a 10.5V cutoff will not give them much in the realm of capacity. I guess it all depends on the parameters of the test.
     
  20. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Actually it lets them use a higher CCA figure in 30 sec test because they can load battery a bit higher in same time frame when cut off is 10.5 yeilding a higher CCA rating. With reserve capacity rating it is the number of minutes to 10.8 volts at a 25 amp load.