Trickle Charger For Semi - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Trickle Charger For Semi

Have 4 batteries in my Kenworth all tied together. Is their a trickle charger that can maintain all batteries and automatically cuts out when fully charge.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 12:20 AM
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I have installed battery disconnects in most of my trucks. I disconnect the batteries as soon as I Shut the truck off and it eliminates a lot of dead battery issues.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 12:52 AM
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Does the sun ever shine near it? Throw on the dash and plug it in the cigarette lighter. Simple.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 01:14 AM
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I have installed battery disconnects in most of my trucks. I disconnect the batteries as soon as I Shut the truck off and it eliminates a lot of dead battery issues.



You have to watch that with newer trucks. Anything with DEF, will pump the system for a few minutes after shutdown. Not a problem in the summer, but in the winter it will cause issues with freezing.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 02:11 AM
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I use cheap canadiantire 2 amp ones that auto switch and monitor on pretty much everything around here, including a 4 battery truck, they work well. They come on sale for about $50, cheap compared to new batteries.

Correction they are $46.99 regular price.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:28 AM
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Have you used those solar ones Brian or understand them? I could use a couple of those here for things that sit outside all winter without running extension cords or pulling batteries out. Even the auger could use one. Wondering if you really need a charge controller if the solar panel only maxes out at 12v. I see Battery Tender has a solar charge controller for $100 where as a simple solar charger is $25. I would think you can't overcharge if the $25 unit can't do more than 12v output.

As for the 4 battery question, I don't think it is an issue. You just need a unit with enough amperage. Ideally you would want to isolate each battery with one charger per battery so if you have a weak battery then the smart charger keeps the voltage higher on it till up to charge. But it's not a perfect world so if you simply charge all 4 as one unit then eventually that weak unit should come up to full charge.
The STX 450 here as 2x 4DLTs on it and I need to keep a battery tender on it in the winter as batteries run down in a few weeks. I measured the constant draw at 70 ma with the radio circuit being about half of it (hooked my meter up and started pulling fuses). So, if batteries are charged when I park it then a guy only needs about a 1.2W unit (0.1A x 12v) to keep them up. The larger amperage is only necessary when batteries are weaker.

There may be more science to it but that's some general thoughts.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:49 AM
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yes, the current is so low especially with the big batteries it is just fine. A 5 watt charger will never overcharge even a motorcycle battery. Also with solar, its not charging all the time. Lead acid is happiest fully charged, but as it approaches 14.4, the ability of the charger decreases since net current is supply minus battery voltage. Intercell/inter battery resistance difference causes the greatest amount of current drain in tractors semis etc. If the batteries are in relatively good shape, a tiny trickle charge of 100mA is all that is required. If there is one battery at say 11.95 volts and the other 3 are at 12 volts, that 0.05 volts diff gets burned up in the cell resistance - but it will never catch up since the low one discharges faster then the rest pulling them all down. All it takes is one cell in one battery of 4 parallel batteries to discharge the whole lot prematurely.



Lead acids love to be charged, and a small solar charger is ideal to compensate for those inherent intercell and interbattery resistance differences that kill batteries - if there is sun occasionally.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:53 AM
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Does the sun ever shine near it?
You’re talking about the Kenworth, right?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 11:05 AM
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Yes, don't plug it were the sun doesn't shine.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 12:21 PM
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The STX 450 here as 2x 4DLTs on it and I need to keep a battery tender on it in the winter as batteries run down in a few weeks. I measured the constant draw at 70 ma with the radio circuit being about half of it (hooked my meter up and started pulling fuses). So, if batteries are charged when I park it then a guy only needs about a 1.2W unit (0.1A x 12v) to keep them up. The larger amperage is only necessary when batteries are weaker. .[/QUOTE]

Was starting to have the batteries run down in my STX on a regular basis. Didn't seem to do it when it was new. I found Case sells a battery master disconnect kit for these tractors. I think the newer ones come with it. I just had it installed late last fall so haven't had a chance to really test it out but the batteries seem to be right up. (just put a charger on to top them up yesterday). Thinking about checking if one is available for the Case sprayer.

Trickle charger are not an easy solution for equipment parked in a dark shop.

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