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ATV electrical system question

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by rtreads, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. rtreads

    rtreads Junior Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 29

    I have a couple ATVs I use for commercial snow removal. I have noticed that even though I put the beefy 220cca (standard is like 170cca) battery in my 08 polaris, the electrical system cant support the winch raising and lowering the plow after a couple hours working. I dont seam to have this problem as bad with my Arctic cat though. It is bad enough that I dont run with the headlights on. We dont really have to as the account I use them on is a large 340+ resident HOA. We do sidewalks and driveways at 2" and I use the ATVs to clear walks and cut in around the driveways so the trucks have an easier time back dragging the driveways.

    So my question is how are you guys running lights and other electrical devices on your ATVs along with a winch driven plow? I would like to run lights, even additional markers or LED flashers with out having a problem with the electrical system and winch.

    Thanks for the help!!
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    We have a couple Suzuki's with no problems, '06 polaris no problem, 2-:'12 Polaris'...suck. just leave them run the entire time (between jobs etc.) Seems to help a little. Dealer says yeah they can't stand up to the heavy commercial use. Great. Thanks for selling them to us.
  3. rtreads

    rtreads Junior Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 29

    ... that sucks. Sometimes you have to wonder what the hell people are thinking... or not thinking for that matter. Sorry to hear about your newer machines. Mine is an 08. I wonder if it needs a new stator or something on the charging system?
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    Throwing money at it won't do much. The systems on these units are not made to take a high amp load all the time. You'd be better off wiring in a deep cycle battery or making a harness that has all the heavy load components wired into it and use it for plowing only. Unplug when not using the plow.
  5. sm04257

    sm04257 Member
    from maine
    Messages: 33

    i went to a mower battery on mine for this reason and i have not had any problems since, i mounted the batter in my rear seat storage with longer cables
  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    I have run the http://www.mibarproducts.com/powerlift.html for the last 6 years and it doesn't draw down on the battery as bad the winch does. it does a better job scraping and can back drag away somewhat form areas as well. The Winch is my backup if the Mibar fails and so far have not had problems.

    though I due run through scraper bars at a faster rate now and if you plow uneven places you due a lot of up/down on the switch.

    but is doesn't draw on the battery as bad as a winch. Or get the Moose Plow lift or cycle country Plow Lifts.

    they are baby winch's that are rated for 300LB capacity and don't draw as much as the big boy winch's.

    just my $.03 worth.

    sublime out.
  7. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    I have an 07 Grizz with OEM 18AH Yuasa battery (battery date in 9/06) and have had no electrical issues while plowing in the dead of night at 10 degrees. Perhaps your alternator isn't putting out enough juice or battery capacity is diminished.

    If a battery test reveals reduced capacity you could try reviving it with a charger that has a pulse width modulation (PWM) phase. I've used a photovoltaic module and a Morning Star PWM solar charger to revive "dead" batteries and to desulfate good batteries. CTEK makes pulsing chargers; I have on order a CTEK MUS 4.3 but I don't have any experience with it yet because it hasn't arrived. However the specs look right and it was less than $60 at Amazon. You might look into something similar if your battery is going south. Then again it could be an undersized alternator, ghost load or other problem.
  8. hghgrad

    hghgrad Member
    from MI
    Messages: 69

    I run a mower battery in parallel with the gel battery on my Honda. Grip warmers, hydraulic blade angle, and winch. Seems to have helped. I plug it into the maintainer when I'm done.
  9. MtnCowboy

    MtnCowboy Member
    Messages: 96

    HLC-GregH and hghgrad are right. Since you plow sidewalks, and as ATV alternators are reportedly RPM-dependent magnetos, your problem might be a plowing speed that is too slow to provide the wattage necessary to power accessories and keep your battery charged. I plow roads at a fast clip ... no battery power problems. You could put another small battery in parallel or simply strap a deep cycle on your rack. You'd need a maintainer (Battery Tender, CTEK, etc) to charge the paralleled batteries or the deep cycle. Or you could buy more insurance coverage and plow sidewalks at 25 MPH.

    If your current battery has been discharged a number of times it might no longer be suitable for connection in parallel. The simple check for a small, maintenance-free, wet Yuasa – and this is according to Yuasa – is to fully charge it, let it sit 2 hours and then check voltage. Between 12.8 and 13.00+ volts means the battery is good to go. A reading of 12.79 or less doesn't necessarily indicate a bad battery; it may not have fully charged, it might be on the way out, your voltmeter might be .01 volts off, the battery temperature is below 77 degrees – or Yuasa just wants you to buy a new battery whether you need it or not. Other battery types will have different terminal voltages representing their alleged serviceable ranges.
  10. rtreads

    rtreads Junior Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 29

    What you just said triggered a connection. The plowing we do with this unit is fairly detailed and at slower speeds. I Think plowing in LOW would rev the motor more and solve this issue....

    Local weather looks like I will get the opportunity to try it this Saturday. I will report back!!

  11. irv

    irv Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    i have a honda rubicon i plow with. it has the highest alternator output
    of all the atvs i have ever looked at. the 09 is my second one.i have
    heated grips, aux lights, warn winch, and a power pivot. i also put in
    a 250 cca yuasa battery. havent had a problem in 8 years. ive also
    had a rancher 350 and a 400 at with no problems over the years. i
    also use a battery tender plus when the atv is sitting.
  12. glngib

    glngib Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Some of the side by sides are going to something like the Optima Yellow Top battery. They are pricey but capable. You need 30amp hour battery. I am getting by with the stock battery plowing with my Ranger 570 but will get something better later. If you run two batteries without an isolator I think both batteries should be the same. The stock lights are drawing alot more power than if you had the LED lights. I am still learning about different mods. etc.