The lifecycle of semi truck batteries will depend on the battery technology.
There are some factors to consider when buying a battery.
We will talk about how batteries go bad and how to prolong the life of the various batteries.
We will also cover which is the best battery you could use for your semi truck.
Here’s a quick answer to how Long do Semi Truck Batteries Last:
Typically, a 24-volt semi truck battery will last between 3 to 6 years. The most common types of batteries used in semi trucks are flooded cell and AGM batteries. On average, flooded cell batteries last between 3 to 5 years whilst AGM batteries last between 5 to 6 years.
What Batteries do Semi Trucks Use?
There are a few types of batteries semi trucks use.
A starting battery, specifically designed for high and low cranking power, it produces more than 300 medium-duty cycles, perfect for cold starts.
The cycling battery powers a truck’s liftgate, lights, and APUs, or anything else you add to the truck. The high-cycle battery delivers moderate cranking power to start the truck engine.
The AGM battery is a high cranking and extreme, deep-cycle power battery. It is highly durable and designed for the most extreme weather.
How Long do Semi Truck Batteries Last?
A semi truck battery has a tough job, it has to start a hugely powerful engine and run all the electrics on an entire truck, including any extra links that the driver may add.
They are designed to last as long as possible, three to five years on average.
But they do have a demanding job, and if regular maintenance is not kept up, they could go bad a lot sooner than stated.
The battery is an essential part of the vehicle and requires regular maintenance.
If you have corroded terminals, not enough electricity can pass through the cables to power the truck’s electrical system for optimal performance.
Keep an eye out for any corrosion around the batteries terminals.
How Long do Flooded Cell Batteries Last in a Semi Truck?
It is typical for a flooded cell battery to last around 3 to 5 years. Some last longer than others, depending on how much power the truck needs and the terrain.
A Flooded cell battery on a semi truck that is being used for more strenuous work like off-road will generally need to be replaced sooner than a truck that is being used for long hauling.
It isn’t always the case. It largely depends on the level of care the truck driver or company gives the battery.
How does a Flooded Cell Battery go Bad?
The number one cause for a flooded cell battery going bad is neglect.
A well-maintained battery can last the length it is meant to last. Loose cables on a terminal can cause a short circuit.
Corrosion to the terminals or cables is another reason they go wrong.
The broken, cracked, or out-of-shape casing also causes damage. Excessive leaking and any discoloration is another sign of a bad battery.
How can you Prolong the Life of your Flooded Cell Battery?
To prolong the life of a flooded cell battery is simple enough. Regular checks of the cell levels to ensure the water is correct, any time you need a refill, used distilled water.
Check terminals and cables for any corrosion, clean them with water and baking soda, vinegar or lemon, and a wire brush or toothbrush.
Make sure you do not go over or under torque the terminals.
Over torquing them can cause them to crack and increase the chance of corrosion, as well as reduce power to the truck under torquing them will cause them to come loose.
How Long do AGM Batteries Last in a Semi Truck?
The AGM batteries on semi trucks last on average 5 to 6 years.
Depending on the level of care and the truck, some batteries will die sooner than others due to their usage.
It is not uncommon, however, to last longer than the specified timeline. Some truckers have reported their batteries lasting ten years.
How does an AGM Battery go Bad?
The term Bad, on an AGM battery isn’t bad at all. It has been completely drained and needs charging. They do not require any maintenance but can still fail you.
A starting battery in a deep cycle application can and usually does affect the AGM. It will drain the AGM of its power.
You can simply recharge the AGM, and it will be good as new.
Once you have charged the AGM, take the truck to a mechanic or test the batteries yourself.
How can you Prolong the Life of your AGM Battery?
Typically an AGM battery is designed to have a longer life than any other battery.
To prolong the life of one further, you could not overcharge it. If you have to store it, do so in a well-ventilated, dry, and cool place.
Use only the manufacturer’s recommended charger. To avoid the buildup of sulfation, keep the battery during and before storage. When in use, regular checks will need to be done.
How Long do Gel Batteries Last in a Semi Truck?
These batteries generally last around three to five years. Although, they can have shorter or longer lives than this.
It will depend on the conditions the truck is exposed to.
Any extreme weather and failure to care for the battery can affect its lifespan too.
How does a Gel Battery go Bad?
Overcharging any battery can make it go wrong.
A gel battery is no different. The battery is almost maintenance-free. Although there is little to do, there are still some checks to be made.
Make sure you regularly check for leaks. Although they are not meant to leak, it is still possible.
How can you Prolong the Life of your Gel Battery?
Keeping the battery away from heat as much as possible will help prolong its lifespan.
The only problem with charging a gel battery is you have to stay with it, and when it is charged, you have to disconnect it.
If you leave it on charge past the fully charged stage, you will damage the electrolyte, which is irreversible to repair.
Change batteries in sets, as they all need to be the same age.
How long do Lithium-ion Batteries Last in a Semi Truck?
The typical life expectancy of a Lithium-ion battery in a semi truck is around two to three years.
Like any other battery, they can last longer given the right situation.
Meaning, if you are hauling lighter loads through more level terrain. However, this isn’t always the case. You can expect them to die out a lot quicker in extreme temperatures.
How does a Lithium-ion Battery go Bad?
The cells in the battery casing are prone to extreme temperatures, as a result, will cause the cell to lose its current capacity for charging and discharging.
Low temperature reduces the power, and high temperature will damage the cells.
How can you Prolong the Life of your Lithium-ion Battery?
To prolong the life of a lithium-ion battery will be a challenging task compared to other batteries.
Keeping them away from extreme weather is one way, which can be hard for a truck driver to do.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not good to allow your lithium battery to go down 100%. It will cause damage eventually, better to charge it when it’s around 15% to 20%.
How many Batteries does a Semi Truck Have?
Most semi trucks have three batteries depending on how much charge they will need. Some may have four.
They’re primarily 24-volt batteries and should generally be the same type.
Ideally, use the same type of batteries and change them in sets.
Check all the cables and bolts, in case they also need replacing. Regularly check the terminals are secure as they can come loose through vibration.
Factors to consider when Selecting a Battery for your Truck
It is always a good idea to check your owner’s manual when thinking of changing your battery.
Consider the terrain as some batteries are more susceptible to extreme weather than others.
Remember all batteries need to be as close as possible in age. So when you change one, you may need to change others.
Cold-cranking amps (CCA) and reserve capacity (RC) are other things to consider. The CCA batteries are great for trucks that need a lot of power to start up.
Best Semi Truck Batteries
Batteries have come a long way over the last few years, and with the new ones on the market today, it won’t matter too much what brand you choose as they’re all roughly the same.
The best we have found is the Odyssey Extreme AGM battery for its high durability in heat and cold temperatures and gives out twice the power as a conventional battery.
The AGM AC Delco Professional is a very popular option for diesel owners, with a high cycle capacity and is charge receptive, with a low price.
The NORTHSTAR pure lead automotive has an increased reserve capacity with more starting power.
The new BOSCH flat plate AGM has better energy and extended shelf life with a greater charge and recharge capacity.
If you are unsure which battery is best for your truck, check the owner’s manual or ask a technician/mechanic for help.