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Senior Advisor

Battery Maintainer/Charger

I'm wanting to put an on demand charger on my tractor to maintain the batteries.  Anyone recommend a certain brand or more importantly, is there a certain brand that I should avoid?

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9 Replies
Veteran Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

We have the Schumacher 1562A and it was a great addition to our arsenal of tools.  Has auto sense for 6/12 volt and will actually charge a battery in less time than we thought.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

Can you leave that on for long periods of time. My combine seems to go through more batteries than enything else. I attribute it to setting so much.
Anyone use a solar powered charger? A bin I rent doesn't have power any longer. we use a generator to run the fan and auger. But when we left the tractor and auger there for a few very cold weeks this winter, we had to go start the generator and come back latter to load.
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Highlighted
Veteran Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

Yes the manual says you can leave it on indefinately for storage.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

A battery maintainer can be left on indefinately.

As to the 'solar chargers', they are really maintainers, in that they will really only top off a battery.   If it is really low, it will take a LOOOOONNGGG time, to recharge batteries, especially on something like a combine, that uses a lot of power. 

For example, at Amazon.com, you can buy a Schumacher (a good brand in chargers) 2.5 watt unit for about $25.

Now, remember amps X volts = watts.   So, take the 2.5 watts, divide by 12 volts, and you have .21 amps (yes, 2 tenths of one amp).   Great for leaving hooked up for a month, to keep a good battery topped off, but an eternity to charge a dead battery.

You can move up to a 30 watt unit, for about $100.  This would give you 2.5 amps of charging.  To put this into perspective, if you have a starter that draws 500 amps (like a small tractor) for every minute of cranking, it would take 200 minutes, or over 3 hours of charging, to bring the battery up to snuff, provided you had a bright sunny day.

IMO, the solar chargers are GREAT for maintaining a battery, but unless you have several days, it won't charge a dead one.

 

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Advisor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

You could get a booster with auto mode and leave it on... Costs power and 200 though. If you have a multimeter you could just test total charge once and again.

Do you have a power drain somewhere? Might be better to fix it
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Senior Advisor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

Don't think I've got any additional draw over normal, but the tractor sits indoors for long periods of time without running.  Since switching to no-till my sprayer has taken the place of the tractor as the farm work horse.  Just wanting something to keep the battery at the upper end as it sits.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

I bought a little digital battery charger which can be fixed to the tractor. When not in use plug it in and it turns itself off when it is fully charged and comes on if there is a leak.  It cost about $65.  its a beautty.

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Advisor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

If your really wanting to keep them up make sure you look at the electrolyte levels. Lots of people don't. Wear glasses around anything on a charger too, they can explode. Most people don't wear glasses but should: I know machine shops make their employees wear them
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Senior Contributor

Re: Battery Maintainer/Charger

Yes, a lead/acid battery will produce flammable gas during the charging process.   A weak battery on a fast charge can produce enough to actually explode, if it arcs internally, or it can produce a fireball around it, from the gas it is venting out.

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