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Two batteries

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 129, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. 129

    129 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I need some advise from the pro's...I drive a 91 Dodge Power wagon and use a Curtis pro 3000 plow. The plow sucks alot of juice, making the lights, radio, and heater fan fade when in use. I'm looking at hooking up a extra battery. Any advise would be of great help. I just was on the phone with a Truck garage (They also install plows) and was advised to just hook up another battery directly to the other battery. does this sound right? I put a larger alternator in 120 amps last year, but it did not help much. I have also put in a new battery this season, but have yet to try the plow on it. Any suggestions? :dizzy:
  2. little pat

    little pat Member
    Messages: 83

    Check all your connections, a 120 amp alternator properly working should handle your current requirements. Two batteries won't help if there is a bad connection.
  3. J & B Lawncare

    J & B Lawncare Member
    Messages: 88

    Duel batteries


    I have some knowledge of duel battery system as I have been working on ambulances for many years. The way you were told to hook it up is on way and the cheapest way. You can go with a isolater and other more expensive parts. But either way you should buy two new batteries when you install them or you will always be fighting to charge the weakest battery.

    J & B Lawncare.
  4. 129

    129 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks for the tips. I will hook up and try out the plow with the new battery tomorrow. Hopefully the new battery working with the new alternator will do the trick. Thanks again..Scott SOS snowplowing:waving:
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Umm, no!
    Not exactly.....

    An isolator seperates the second battery from the first battery but allows the charging system to charge both batteries. IF you use an isolator the first battery (starting battery) cannot be feeding the same power circuit as the second battery (aux)- they must be feeding SEPERATE circuits or else the isolator is nullified which means the plow would have to be wired to run exclusivly off the aux battery and when the aux battery drains the plow will cease functioning- but the truck will still start because that battery is "isolated" so this will cure the lights dimming and radio issue but NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. what an isolator is good for, relating to ambulances, is keeping the life saving equipment in the back and the emergancy lights from drawing the start battery down below being able to start the ambulance. Imaging having to get a jump start to get the car crash victem to the hospital after stabilizing him. Isolators are also used in RV's to keep the lights and 110 inverter from killing the starting battery. This is not our situation.

    The best option is to make sure all connections are clean and good and install the biggest battery that will fit. The more plates the more reserve capacity in the battery which means the longer it can supply power- a group 27 battery is larger and heavier than a group 34/78 battery (by 2 inches and 9 lbs)- it supplies less CCA but has MORE run time.

    you can install a second battery with no trouble IF you do it properly.
    Locate a place to install another battery- ideally close to the primary battery. Install a second battery tray and hold down. You want it so the cables are as short as possible- ideally not running the power from the second battery from the bed to the front of the truck. buy two IDENTICAL NEW batteries. they must be identical so they draw the same current from the alt or, as J&B points out you will cook your alt. Buy both of them new so they age the same and degrade the same to also avoid a mismatch. Now install them and wire them in PARALELL. Parallel keeps the voltage at 12V but doubles the CCA and reserve capacity allowing longer draw times before effecting the lights. Parallel means positive to positive and neg to neg.

    If you wire in series (pos to neg) you will double the voltage and destroy the ignition system, computer, and probabily the starter in your truck.
  6. 129

    129 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    duel batteries

    Thanks for the tips...I'm currently looking at hooking up a second battery. I have plenty of room under the hood, so it will not be that far from the original battery. Hooking it up in Parallel is what I'm going to do. I hooked up the plow today, hoping the new battery and alternator cured the drain problem, but it did not. I did check all of the wires and everything is clean and tight. Talking with another Old timer, I was told he had the same problem with his old 91 dodge. He just ran the batteries in parallel and it cured the problem. Thanks again...I will let everyone know how it turns out. :waving:
  7. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Yup, that is what you want - 2 batteries wired together. If you just stay with one battery, you can get a good one and it will work fine for a while but you won't be long before you wear it out or cook the alt. The demand is just too much. You end up discharging the one battery too low - even if everything seems to be working fine - and automotive batteries aren't designed for that. Putting the second battery in will give all the buffer you need. There are other threads on here where this has been discussed and I don't think anyone who knows what they are talking about will argue against the second battery.
  8. wddodge

    wddodge Member
    Messages: 64

    I can only second what the others have said, run two identical batteries hooked in paralell and it'll solve your problem. My first plow truck was a '79 Dodge with the same problems as yours. After dicking around with it for the first year, I put in dual batteries and cured the problem. The next truck got dual batteries before the subframe was bolted on.

  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Also, I would look at the plow pump motor and check and clean it. Electric motors use more juice when they wear- dirty bearings cause resistance, dirty commutator causes poor contact, brushes could be glazed or worn causing poor contact, etc. Got to pull mine this year when I change the filters. Oh, and change your internal filter and fluid while you;re at it- any more resistance in the system can cause more current draw.
  10. 129

    129 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks to all that responded. I'll be hooking it up in the next few days. I'll let ya all know how it ended. :waving:
  11. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Anybody that plows Really needs to be at best 60% mechanic.Any mechanic is only as good as the TOOLS they own to complete the job. So I suggest 2 Inexpensive BLUE_POINT/ Snap-on Tools One is a 600amp inductive starter draw indicator part# mt 109. The next is a 100amp inductive alternator current indicator part # mt 110. Tools of this type have been around since Electricity and theDealer wont tell you about them till you have heard about all the top technology they have for sale.ithink I paid about $50.00 for the pair.One note dont drop the they are delicate But accurate and you can diagnose all above issues with them.By the way hold on2nd Battery and change that pump motor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Even with a new plow truck, plow and a high out put Alt, A 2nd Batt is a good idea. I wouldn't plow with out 2 batts. But cheek the pump motor for a good ground and clean the pos connection, before spending the money for a new motor.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
  13. ROYALT91

    ROYALT91 Member
    Messages: 57

    dual optimas

    I have been running dual yellow tops together for a couple years now, and they work great it takes some of the load off the alternator. I would def recomend running two.

    dual battery 3.jpg
  14. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    You have to much good information, since we're talking batteries, I'm consider myself a pretty good mechanic since I have to work on my Chevelle all the time, but my buddy and I both have dual batteries in our trucks, his a 2003 2500 and me a 2005 250, one battery is for starting, what is the second one for exactly ??

    thanks in advance
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, if they are diesel's they are both for starting. Odds are they are diesel's since Gasser's don;t come factory with 2 batts. Diesel's need more power to start, something like %100 at normal start and %250 at 0 degrees. Since any given battery can only generate either high cranking amps OR long reserve time (not both) the options of adding a second battery in parallel effectively double's the Cranking amps available. Most diesel's in cold climates have Group 27 batteries which are 950Ca (at 80Degrees F) and 750CCA (0 degrees F), by having 2 in parrallel you get 1400CCA- the best a single battery can do is 1000CCA- and that (group 34 or 78) is for short periods of time- an extended cranking session will quickly kill it because it has a shorter reserve so the Group 27 is a better chioce.

    If they are gas engines check to see of they are in parralel or isolated. Ford may have started useing smaller (read cheaper) batteries in parralel as starting in gas also or it may have been a custom order with an isolater for a camper option. Follow the pos leads- if they join together it's parallel- if one of them goes to a funny looking box with 3 connections (one of which goes to the alt) that's the isolator.

    Lots of great battery info on the web- try www.uuhome.de/william.darden/
    His FAQ is excellent. I just researched alot of options for my Ram- just bought 2 Group 27 Inmterstates (installed last night actually). Got 6 years out of the Factory Mopar 750 Group 27's- so I'm doing something right. (Dealer tells me they are Exide's and only last about 3 years....)
  16. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Thanks again for the good info, the Ford is a Diesel and my buddies 2500 is a gasser, but its the 8100 engine, big motha.
  17. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    Oh yeah, you can get both high starting amps AND a long reserve in a single battery.

    Try a deep cycle Northstar NSB 75 or the Group 31 NSB 90 with a CCA rating at 1100 amps. It actually tested at 1345 CC amps and reset the testing rig!

    If that ain't enough juice fer your plow, try a Group 31 Odyssey PC 2250.

    That's 2250 amp 5 second starting pulses every day for eight years with a CCA rating at 1250! Out of ONE battery!

    It's only an inch longer than the Dodge battery tray (13 inches). I cut the side outta the tray and it dropped right in there.
    Warning, this battery is a military design, it's spendy!

    They, (I got two of those bad boys) along with my 205 amp alternator, power both plows and the spreader.
  18. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    here is my dual isolated battery setup. Complete with two seperate alternators.


  19. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Those look like some small batteries ........:rolleyes:
  20. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    DAMN! I'll think about those next time- although I recomend against useing deep cycle batteries for starting batteries. they are not really designed for that and don;t hold up as well usually.
    Where'd you get a 200 Amp Alt?! My 135 cooks the batteries all summer long, how's that one hold up?