Production needn't grind to a halt because of a battery failure if routine procedures are adhered to, thus ensuring that there's always power on demand when it is needed.
"You can't buy a battery with too much power," points out Barloworld Equipment group products specialist, Reuben Phasha, "and Cat batteries (seen right) ensure that there's always enough cranking power, reserve capacity and vibration resistance to get the job done." (Barloworld Equipment is the Cat dealer in southern Africa).
To ensure long-life and consistent performance, Phasha recommends that batteries should be boost-charged if the open circuit voltage (voltmeter) reading is below 12,4 V and prior to charging, it is important to observe Caterpillar's instructions for proper charger hook-up and use.
A battery that has not begun to accept the minimum (1/2 of recommended) charging current within 15 minutes at the highest charger setting (or voltage) should be replaced. Avoid using stainless steel nuts or threaded studs for testing or charging batteries since they do not provide the necessary lead-to-lead contact and can reduce the CCA (cold cranking amperes) and state of charge.
"Temperature has a dramatic effect on a battery's ability to crank an engine," Phasha explains. "Also note that machines operating in extremely hot or cold climates may need a battery with a higher CCA rating."
Cold temperatures don't just rob batteries of power: they also thicken engine motor oil, making engines harder to start. Heat can also damage batteries by causing their internal components to wear out quickly.
Adds Phasha: "Consider Caterpillar's recommended capacity to be a minimum-capacity guideline. A machine or vehicle that has a lot of electrical accessories such as onboard computers, air conditioning, or two-way radios will need a more powerful battery for optimum performance."