When you’re a truck driver, every part of your vehicle plays a critical role in keeping your work in check. One of the all-important parts of your truck is its batteries. Batteries not only assist in running your engine, but they also run all electrical operations in the truck, from the A/C to the radio. Avoiding battery failures is important for keeping your truck on the road and keeping yourself comfortable while you drive.
Understanding Battery Failures
There are a few common reasons for truck battery failures: using the wrong batteries, bad charging, and vibration. Understanding what causes each of these types of failures is an important first step to being able to easily identify and diagnose some of the more common battery issues experienced by truck drivers.
Most trucking companies choose flooded cell or Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. It’s not always as simple as choosing one or the other—they both have their pros and cons. For each type, there is also an associated rating that needs to be considered. The rating is where most problems occur—if a battery is not rated for the vehicle you’re operating, you won’t get enough energy output, and you’ll run into constant problems.
Batteries can lose their charge due to a few different factors, such as loose cables, corrosion, reduced alternator output, and parasitic loads. While loose cables and corrosion are easier problems to diagnose, you’ll have to do some more legwork to determine if parasitic loads or reduced alternator output are the culprits.
Vibration simply means that the battery is moving around instead of sitting firmly in its casing, so the vibrations from driving cause it to lose contact, which also harms your vehicle’s energy output. Make sure the battery is set firmly in place and tighten the tie-downs around it.
If you’re still having battery issues and none of the usual suspects seem to be the problem, it’s time for diagnostics testing. These tests can be done with your trusted truck repair shop, and they will help to determine where the energy leaks are and where they’re originating from so the problem can be addressed and fixed. Sometimes a diagnostics test is the quickest way to deal with a faulty battery and get back on the road.
Truck parts deteriorate, batteries included. Keep a close eye on your truck’s batteries and remember to change them regularly. Keeping your truck’s batteries fresh will lower the risk of having to deal with battery failures while you’re on the road trying to finish a job.
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