Heavy equipment vehicles are used in rough terrains with extreme weather conditions. To ensure optimal performance of your heavy equipment vehicles, you must have a sound battery system.
Listed below are some factors to be considered to ensure you buy the correct heavy equipment battery for your construction site.
Type of Battery
There are three main types of heavy equipment batteries – Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) battery, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery, and Gel Cell battery.
Each battery type has different performance characteristics, different charging requirements, different costs, and different builds. For example, the gel cell battery has a higher reserve capacity than the other models. On the other hand, AGM batteries are more expensive than FLA batteries. Therefore, the choice of battery is based on drawing the line between cost and performance.
Reserve Capacity of Battery
Reserve capacity refers to the time taken to discharge the battery after it is fully charged. In other words, reserve capacity is the amount of time for which the battery can supply power. A battery with a higher reserve capacity is always preferred.
CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) Rating
If your construction site is in a cold location, you must ensure that your battery has a high CCA. CCA points to the amount of power a battery can supply at 0 degrees for 30 seconds, at 7.2 amps.
A heavy equipment battery that is used in cold conditions must have over 800 CCA rating. FLA and AGM batteries have higher CCA than gel cell batteries.
Size of the Battery
The size of the battery must be compatible with the engine of your vehicle. In addition, the battery must fit perfectly, allowing a minimum of 3 inches gap from the hood. Group size refers to the orientation of the battery terminal and the size of the vehicle’s battery case. The group number of batteries must match the vehicle’s requirements.
Dry Cell Batteries
Use dry cell batteries for heavy equipment vehicles. Dry cell batteries are sealed, and there is no spillage. Dry cell batteries do not demand much maintenance and are safer too.
The nominal capacity of a battery is also referred to as AMP hours. Nominal capacity is the amount of energy obtained from the battery at a specific constant current. For instance, if a battery has a nominal capacity of 100, it implies that it can continuously provide five amps current for 20 hours.
Vibration Proof and Spill-Proof
During a heavy ride, vibrations can cause loose settings and malfunctioning of the battery. Ensure that your battery is vibration-proof and can take the intense shock. AGM batteries have higher resistance to vibration than FLA batteries.
Spill-proof batteries are easy to maintain. However, wet cell batteries can spill and cause damage to the heavy equipment vehicle.
Batteries with Handle
A heavy equipment battery can weigh anywhere between 40 to 70 lbs. Batteries with a carry handle can be installed and removed easily.
A battery that has been stored for a long time before being used does not last long. The expected life cycle of a battery is generally indicated on it, right next to the date on which it was manufactured. Make sure that you check for this information before making a purchase decision.
Choosing a heavy equipment battery with proper specifications is the first step for trouble-free operations at the construction site. Also, you must always ensure that your batteries are maintained in their appropriate State of Charge (SOC).
Batteries must be inspected for corrosion once every three months. They must also be cleaned regularly. Careful usage of batteries with regular servicing can significantly increase their lifespan.