Keeping batteries good on little used tractors

Discussion in 'Classic Machinery' started by powerfarmer, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. powerfarmer

    powerfarmer Member

    Cork Ireland
    Hi folks,
    Got a couple of tractors here that are used very little, what's the best way to keep the batteries in good order ?
  2. 8100

    8100 Member

    South Cheshire
  3. Netherfield

    Netherfield Member

    West Yorkshire
    As above or

    I have a garden tractor with one on, because it has a PCB it's always draining a little, smart chargers don't overcharge and cook a battery, and draw a little from the battery and then charge it again.

    A lot of new car outlets use them for cars in the showroom, people constantly opening and closing doors, playing with the windows and the sound system.
    8100 likes this.
  4. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Disconnect the battery while not in use.
    Clean the top of the battery especially between the terminals and cell tops.
    Store them on an insulated floor (timber) not cold concrete

    Consider the little LIDL / ALDI solar chargers for £20

    Changing from dynamo to alternator will also help a lot.
    But nothing beats using them regular and charging them well while in use (alternator instead of dynamo)
    ollie989898 and Thick Farmer like this.
  5. powerfarmer

    powerfarmer Member

    Cork Ireland
    Thanks for the replies, I ll check out those battery conditioner chargers,
    I had thought of solar as well, having seen it used on boats in winter storage.
    8100 and Mursal like this.
  6. oakleaf

    oakleaf Member

    I have 2 here that do about 50 hrs/ yr and have a little solar trickle charger permanently attached. Works a treat. Both batteries over 10 y.o.
    Keep battery and terminals clean as already mentioned also.
  7. spark plug

    spark plug Member

    One of the most important things IMO, it to use good quality batteries.

    I only buy Varta, Exide or bosh batteries and have very few probloems, even if not used for a month or two. But as said if something is only to be used a couple of times a year then a trickle charger / conditioner is the way to go.
    ollie989898 likes this.
  8. CTEK battery charger. Make sure you choose the model to suit the intended application mind.

    I personally would start up and run tractors and other kit at least monthly if I could.
    Qman and tomlad like this.
  9. HDAV

    HDAV Member

    Aldi Lidl do smart chargers for £14 but keep an eye on water levels, the solar ones look good and ideal if you don’t ha e mains where they are parked. Maplin did a good one but alas no more....
    Ctek are great and resurrected a 12v boat leisure battery that was showing 3v to holding reasonable charge (paid for the £60+ it cost right then) great on modern cars that are sensitive to battery voltage too. That was a model designed for start stop cars and one of the best hinges I found if you have caravan towing electrics you can chargethrough the towing socket (not on 7pin) with a £20 adapter
  10. I have had one for a fair while and to be fair they have improved the various models a lot. I have revived a stop-start car with one before as well. An excellent tool and ideal for infrequently used cars and machines as it won't sit trying to charge a battery at full pelt forever.
    8100 likes this.
  11. Zetor

    Zetor Member

    Fitted a solar charger to a diesel generator 12 years ago I’ve never used the Genny since but i start it every couple of years and it always starts first time!
  12. Gapples

    Gapples Member

  13. NasherXL

    NasherXL Member

    As mentioned,the best thing I find is buying the best quality battery you can. I use cat batteries for my combines and can always be safe in the knowledge I can go to them in winter after sitting since harvest and fire them up no bother.
  14. Zetor

    Zetor Member

    I agree but with any battery good or poor quality the cells form crystals if the battery gets under 80-90% charge and over time these crystals short the cells out and the battery eventually fails.
    The best way to prolong the life of any lead acid battery is to keep it over 90% charge, for me is a solar charger as they are fit and forget.

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