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Plow works w/o battery? Question.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Jason Pallas, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Just a quick question: Should your alternator be able to run your plow without the help of the reserve of a battery?
    I just happened to disconnect the battery on my f250 and decided to see if the alternator alone would run the plow (western). As soon as I tried to lift the plow, it killed the engine. Just wondering if this is normal - or if it's a sign that my alternator isn't working as well as it should be. Thanks for the help.
  2. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    did you loose your preset radio stations?

    a vehicle can run without a batt. if all is well. but most alternators put out 75 to 120 amps at a high idles. this is not enough to run a load such as a pump. electric motors(the pump) have a large draw when they first start so you need the cranking amps stored in the battery.
  3. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Thanks - that's sorta what I thought. I figured that the reserve in the battery was probably needed for the initial start up draw from the pump. Appreciate your help - didn't look if the pre-sets were gone - it's a back-up truck. Hopefully, I'll never have to go to it - but it's always nice to have there in case one of the other trucks go south. Thanks again - good luck this year.
  4. Garagekeeper

    Garagekeeper Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    Your battery is the heart of your electrical system.
    The alternator "only" maintains the charge to the battery, and will not operate your plow etc alone.
    :rolleyes: John..................
  5. norrod

    norrod Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    I think it is best looked at like this: The battery is what actually supplies the current. The alternator is meant to be a "trickle charge" to maintain the battery.

    You should never remove the battery for a running vehicle. In the real world, alternators are not designed to deliver their rated output for an extended period of time. A completely drained battery can even cause an alternater failure. A completely dead battery should be recharged on a batter charger, not in your vehicle.

    Even though an alternator is designed to deliver 100A, this was not meant to be a continous wave output for a sustained period of time. An alternator running in max output mode for a prolonged period of time will overheat, may times causing the solder on the diode lead's to melt. The battery should always be in the system. The field cicuit of your alternator is what controls the alternator's output. This is controlled from the regulator which senses the systems voltage level, supposedly at the battery.

    Many modern vehicles will stop running the instant you remove the battery from the system because of the feedback the charging system requires from the battery (Closed Loop).
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2004
  6. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I agree with norrod.
    The 1 thing that I would like to add is that the battery also stabilizes the electrical system from possible spikes from the alternator.

    Unloaded (without the battery) an alternator can put out quite a bit of voltage.
    Which can burn things out when it spikes after a heavy load.

    Modern trucks, and cars have sensitive components that you may find costly to replace.
    Fuel pumps computers etc.

    WELDER Member
    Messages: 50

    what r some of you runnin for cca s?......mine is 750...on a 03 f 250....was thinkin of throw in in a bigger one.... :waving: