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When it comes to semi truck maintenance, battery care is a crucial component. Whether you’re in familiar or unfamiliar territory, the last thing you want to have to worry about is getting a jump start or using a semi truck battery charger. Battery problems can cause detrimental downtime and additional costs, so a little care goes a long way. To learn more about how to care for semi truck batteries, red flags to look for, and when to change truck batteries, read International Used Truck Centers’ guide below!
There are a number of reasons why a battery can fail, causing you to rely on your semi truck battery charge or the kindness of strangers more than you should. Here’s a quick look at the most common causes and preventative actions you can take:
In many cases, especially when fleets are involved, semi truck batteries are replaced too soon. This typically happens when the battery won’t stay charged. The problem with simply replacing the battery without looking into the problem further is that there could be an underlying issue, such as a parasitic load or alternator voltage malfunction, that will continue to leech battery power until it’s resolved. Voltage drop tests, load tests, and general circuit inspections are all good ways to keep tabs on battery health.
Testing your semi truck’s battery frequently will help reveal the source of any charging issues, so you can hopefully resolve the problem and save the battery. If the battery is the problem, then it’s time for a battery replacement. It’s important to note that using testing equipment requires training. The devices need to properly calibrated to get correct readings. If you’re unsure of how to test your truck’s battery, take it to a professional who can perform the right tests and get the most accurate results possible.
The average semi truck battery voltage is 24 volts, but there’s much more to choosing a battery than voltage. When it comes time to replace a semi truck battery, there are two main ratings to consider: cold cranking amps (CCA) and reserve capacity (RC). CCA batteries are best for trucks that require a lot of power to start up. When fully charged, reserve capacity batteries hold more power for long-lasting operation.
Another possible option for your truck is an AGM battery. Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries have become popular choices for fleet managers, because they offer a variety of benefits over flooded cell, including a longer shelf life, better performance under stress, reduced maintenance, and greater safety. While not all fleets are sold on AGM, they generally have a reputation for cycling better than flooded cell.
If you’re unsure of the correct battery for your truck, check your owner’s manual or consult a technician who can help. If you choose the wrong semi truck battery, chances are you’ll notice the following problems:
Do you have additional questions about replacing semi truck batteries? The team at International Used Truck Centers can answer! From semi truck battery care to truck summer maintenance to DEF tips and tricks, we’re always happy to share our knowledge of semi trucks and semi truck service. Contact us for more information about our inventory or visit one of our locations near you.