The overall life of truck batteries have improved significantly over the past few years. The main concern these days is making sure that a trucks battery has enough juice to do its job properly. This means truck drivers must be sure that their actions aren’t causing the battery to drain unnecessarily, also known as deep discharging or deep cycling. Even though the battery can be charged again, once it’s gone through a deep discharge it’s highly likely that lasting damage has already occurred.
A couple of options to keep the voltage up include attaching the battery to a low voltage device that provides a steady stream of power to the batteries if it falls below a certain voltage point. Also, since high temperatures can directly affect a battery’s overall performance, it’s recommended to keep them out of direct sunlight.
Periodic & Complete Battery Checks
Thoroughly checking the battery is a regular part of truck maintenance. When done properly, there will be less need for truck repairs. And because batteries made today are much easier to take care of, it doesn’t take much time to examine the battery on a regular basis. Before performing any work on a battery, it’s necessary to take all necessary safety precautions.
How to Perform a Battery Check:
1. Visually inspect the battery for any signs of trouble, i.e. bulging battery, cracks, sulfation, etc.
2. Remove and inspect battery cables. Be sure to remove the ground cable first, and then check both of the battery cables for any damage.
3. Thoroughly clean the battery posts and cables.
4. Use a hydrometer to test the battery.
5. Check the batteries electrolyte level.
6. Use a digital voltmeter to make sure that the battery has at least 12.6 volts of power.
7. Perform a load test on the battery, which needs to be at a minimum 9.1 volts.
8. Put the cables back on carefully, making sure to tighten each one properly.
Regular truck maintenance is very important, which includes checking the battery. A few interesting tidbits about batteries… Did you know that a hot battery will charge much quicker than a cold battery? Or that putting a battery on a concrete floor will not cause it to discharge quicker?