Battery Life

Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:42 am

Anyone know what the normal life of a tractor battery is? Just curious it seams like the battery's in my tractors don't last as long as I feel they should,but that could be due to them sitting for months without use and I don't keep a charger on them.

Do you think that is my problem :?:

Re: Battery Life

Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:15 am

Keeping them charged will definatly help but the quality of batteries anymore really su*ks. I was replacing smaller batteries all the time and last year I had the interstate battery guy talk me into getting a GOOD one for approx $ 70.00. 8 months later and he will be replacing it. Had it tested and has a bad cell. My 1282 mower has a $22.00 wal-mart 360 amp battery thats been in it since may 05 and still going strong. Go figger. I have gotten into the habit of starting all of my equipment at least once a month and letting it run for 10 minutes or so. Seems to help. My .02 Grump

Re: Battery Life

Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:50 pm

I seem to get anywhere from 5 to 8 years out of batteries on my cubs before they get tot the point of having to replace them. Cranking time does drop off after about 2 to 4 years, but they are still ok long after that if you keep it tuned up good. One thing I have noticed is that the older rigs with cutouts and not regulators seem to get a longer life out of batteries than ones with regulators, so long as you watch about overcharging. I have always assumed that it was because the cutout system did not monitor battery voltage, and keep force charging them rather than shutting down as voltage comes up has something to do with it. Back in the days when we had oldler vehicles that ran on 6 volts, when a battery go to the point it would not take a charge in the truck we would get a new one for it and put the old one in the H with a cutout and get 2 or 3 more years of use out of it.

Re: Battery Life

Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:35 pm

You will find that vibration has a lot to do with battery life. A battery that is either well cushioned and tied down will outlast a battery that flops around in a battery box and sits on steel. Put a piece of plywood under the battery and some of that flat foam insulation around the battery to keep it from wiggling around.
Also, charge the battery up every couple of months (especially in the winter). I don't suggest keeping it on a charger all the time, but it is good to fill-er-up on occasion.

Re: Battery Life

Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:22 pm

Keeping any battery clean, topped off with fluid and fully charged will do wonders for it's longevity. :wink:

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:25 am

I just had a battery go bad after 3 years. I parked the tractor too far away from the house during the winter to occasionally charge it. Plus i let one cell go low. I purchased those battery tenders from harbor freight but i didn't try them yet. I have two new batteries in the garage and i noticed there very low and needed charging. This is why i do start up's during the winter everytime it gets warm to keep the gas clean in the carbs and get the juices flowing to the batteries. They key thing with batteries is keep them charged up often. These can't sleep for the whole winter.

This is the only downfall with having multiple tractors the batteries are a PIA.....

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:30 am

Yep, I have one battery that is going on 9 yrs and still working, and one that was 3 yrs old and dead short.
It seems almost a matter of luck as to how long they last, but I have gotten 9-10 yrs out of batteries, that if not
used constantly, I keep them on a battery tender float charger which helps considerably.

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:01 am

Thanks everybody I didn't expect to get so many responses on this subject. The one thing I got from all your suggestions is what I suspected I'm not charging the battery's in the winter as I should be and I should probably start them more often. The suggestion to place a piece of ply wood under the battery is one I will try, as far as having them fit tightly in the box that I have done.

I do clean the terminals periodically but I have been told that filling the battery with water shortens there life, because it dilutes the electrolyte in the cells. Most batteries I thought were sealed today so you couldn't fill them. I don't know it's a mystery to me when it comes to batteries, as many of you have said they just don't all last that long, you just have to hit it lucky.

I have a mechanic friend who sells Interstate batteries I think I will give him a call and see how much a battery will be from him. I will admit I have always bought cheaper batteries.

Thanks for all your help I know I can always count on good advice from you guys. I can't count how many times I have relied on advice from people on this site for the tractors that I own and it has always been good :D

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:38 am

I purchased one of those larger 12v batteries for one of my cub cadets. It cost me $75. I figured it would never go dead over the winter but it did go low power wise. I just purchased one of those hand held jumpers with the air compressor. So now i can jump anything anywhere. Its handy to have with so many tractors. I'm tired of using jumper cables and my jeep tractor to start everything.

With a generator charging system you should keep the idle up high enough so the amp gage shows the needle is just in the charge area + when idling just a little into the + area. Then when its idling its always charging just a little.

The best battery i have so far is the yellow/black one from walmart it has 1,000cca its in my jeep tractor. I think its 6 years old now. I think its the ever/start one.

Most of the time i change out my batteries in my car every 4 years because i use the 5 year rated battery and i want to play it safe too.

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:47 pm

Well it's settled the battery is Dead :( my mechanic friend and me tested it and under load it dropped like a lead balloon :roll: I checked on the date and discovered it was four years and five months old,and according to him (my mechanic friend) that was good for the type battery it is. He talked me into going to TSC and getting a new battery from them, he said they carry a decent battery and there not as expensive as the interstate and they are just about as good. It's a trip but I have enough things that I will be needing that it will be worth while making the trip.

One other thing that the mechanic told me to try today and that's charging the battery at low amps for twenty four hours. According to him sometimes it will bring a battery back to life for a wile, anyway it's worth the try so Ive had it charging since 11AM. We will see! :big smirk:

Re: Battery Life

Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:20 pm

I usually give it a 2 amp charge for 90 minutes. If that doesn't do it i'm off to TSC again for a new battery.

My buddy here connectikit showed me the right way of doing it he removes the batteries to store them in a warm place trickle charging them often all winter then there ok in the spring.

Re: Battery Life

Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:25 am

BigBill wrote:I usually give it a 2 amp charge for 90 minutes. If that doesn't do it i'm off to TSC again for a new battery.

My buddy here connectikit showed me the right way of doing it he removes the batteries to store them in a warm place trickle charging them often all winter then there ok in the spring.


Well the verdict is in and the 24hr charge was a failure :cry: The battery is definitely DEAD :!: Soooooo as you say BigBill it's off to TSC for some new LIFE :!: And that's a wrap.

Re: Battery Life

Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:00 am

The battery in my cub is from 2002. I think I got it from Sams club. Well I broke my cub on a stump last July and got it back together last month. After sitting six + months it was dead and would not take a charge. Well I ended up jump starting it a and driving it around. I had to jump start it the next three times I ran it. Hard to believe but the battery came back and is starting the cub fine now. As John says it does not have the power it did new. But is as good now as it has been for the last three years.
They do make a pulsing DC charger that is supposed to help rejuvenate batterys but I haven't tried one.

Billy

Re: Battery Life

Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:32 pm

Cowboy wrote:The battery in my cub is from 2002. I think I got it from Sams club. Well I broke my cub on a stump last July and got it back together last month. After sitting six + months it was dead and would not take a charge. Well I ended up jump starting it a and driving it around. I had to jump start it the next three times I ran it. Hard to believe but the battery came back and is starting the cub fine now. As John says it does not have the power it did new. But is as good now as it has been for the last three years.
They do make a pulsing DC charger that is supposed to help rejuvenate batterys but I haven't tried one.

Billy


You know Cowboy it's strange that you mention the battery you have came from Sams Club, because that is exactly were I bought the one I have in the tractor now. As someone else said in an earlier post.Some times you just have to be lucky :wink: Ive tried jumping the tractor several times and it will start and run, I have also driven it around as you said you did, but no luck :? as I said I charged the battery overnight on 10amps I even took the battery out of the tractor to do that.

Tried it the next day nada. Sam's is a lot closer but I just needed an excuse to checkout TSC and guess what. THEY HAVE BATTERIES :D I just might get lucky this time and it will last as long as yours has :{_}:

Re: Battery Life

Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:46 am

Cool. It really does seem like the conditions of these batterys very a lot. I got a 55 that had a new IH battery and it did not last a year. The 64 cub that I have the 2002 Sams battery gets run at least a hour a week in the winter. And two to seven hours a week in the summer.

Billy