Semi Truck Batteries: Everything You Need to Know

red semi truck battery

For your big rig to be able to perform at its maximum efficiency, you have to ensure that your semi truck battery is in its best condition. However, the information about truck batteries can be quite overwhelming as there are several things that you need to know about semi truck batteries. Some of the essentials are listed below.

Types of Truck Batteries

There are different types of truck batteries but the three main product classifications include the starting (wet/flooded), the cycle service (flooded), as well as the AGM or the sealed Absorbed Glass Mat. The right battery that will prove to be suitable for your big rig will depend on the application of your truck, as well as the environment that it has to work in. Of course, your budget will also be another factor that can have a significant impact on the battery you eventually acquire for your truck.

Starting Batteries

Starting batteries are the cheapest types you can get. They are known to power up a wide range of semi trucks, including day cabs and dump trucks. However, although they are cheaper compared to other batteries, they require regular maintenance and check-up to lengthen their lifespan.

Cycle Service Batteries

Among the three classifications of truck batteries, the cycle service or the flooded ones prove to be the most inexpensive in the market. While they can support a multitude of applications, this type of battery is also one of the most difficult to maintain. In this case, you need to make sure that you adhere to their regular service maintenance schedule, wherein adding water and cleaning are performed. Just keep in mind to avoid overfilling the battery because this can cause corrosion later on ultimately leading to battery failure.

AGM Batteries

On the other hand, the batteries classified under the AGM prove to be most suitable for heavy-duty big rigs. While you may need to shell out a bigger sum to acquire this type of battery because they are a bit more expensive than the flooded type, you will most likely get the value of every penny you spend. This can be attributed to the fact that this type of battery works doubly hard as the cycle service type of truck battery. Just make sure to choose AGM batteries that feature advanced Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) because these tend to be more beneficial in various commercial applications.

Typical Truck Battery Life

The lifespan of your big rig’s battery is usually stated by the manufacturer. The average battery life may slightly vary depending on its classification as well as the manufacturer behind it. However, there are certain factors that can reduce its lifespan. For instance, cold weather can have a negative impact on your big rig’s battery life because of the higher load it needs to handle in starting the engine. Conversely, prolonged hot weather can also reduce the lifespan of your truck’s battery because the heat can cause the water in your battery to evaporate.

Causes of Battery Failure

  • Improper charging
  • Loose cables
  • Corrosion
  • Parasitic loads

There are instances wherein the battery of your big rig may already give out. This can be attributed to several reasons, such as improper charging as well as loose cables. In terms of the latter, you have to ensure that the cables are securely attached to the terminals of your truck’s battery.

Corrosion and parasitic loads can also cause your truck’s battery to fail. When your battery terminals are exposed to the hydrogen gas that is part of the battery acid, corrosion may occur. On the other hand, parasitic loads can draw excessive energy from the battery of your truck.

How to Handle Battery Issues

1. In case you suspect any issue with the battery of your truck, one of the primary things that you need to do is to turn on your engine and your headlights.

2. Observe your headlight brightness when you rev up the engine. If it changes, then the current that your truck’s battery produces is no longer enough to produce the right brightness.

3. Check your terminals and connections. If you still find yourself with the same problem, then it may be time to replace your battery.

Best Truck Batteries

Some of the best truck batteries that will pave the way for optimum performance include: 

  • Optima Batteries’ RedTop Starting Battery 
  • Odyssey Automotive and LTV Battery

The former is known to be 15 times more vibration-resistant while the latter boasts a 145-minute reserve capacity.

Final Word

When it comes to semi truck batteries, some of the things that you need to know include the different types of truck batteries, as well as their typical lifespan. Alongside this, it will also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various causes of battery failure as well as how you will be able to choose the right battery replacement. You should also explore the best truck batteries available in the market today. All these are geared towards ensuring that you get the right battery for your big rig, making sure that you maintain it appropriately as well.