Check or replace your construction machine’s battery

Codimatra offers expert advice on checking or replacing the battery in your digger, loader, bulldozer...

What does the battery do in a construction machine?

On our machines, the battery has two roles:

- To provide the necessary electric power to the starter to start the engine.

- To supply power to components when the machine is switched off or during heavy use.

Once you’ve turned the ignition key, the battery then provides the starter with the power required to fire up the engine. The latter will rotate the alternator which will in turn recharge the battery.

Electrical losses can arise as certain equipment stays on even after the engine is switched off, consuming energy and draining the battery.  This can include in-car objects such as the radio, Sat Nav, etc. Although these objects don’t consume massive amounts of energy, extended use will eventually drain the battery, as would leaving your machine’s working lights on overnight.

How to spot a faulty battery?

It's easy to detect weaknesses on your crawler excavator. Upon ignition of your machine, you can easily see the state of the battery as the lights on the dashboard appear dimmer or even off.

Some batteries come with charge indicators included, (such as next-generation batteries).  The most effective way to check the voltage of a battery is to use a multimeter, which shows its remaining charge at that very moment.

When to check the state of the battery?

Upon ignition, it is imperative to check your bulldozer’s battery while it’s cool.  Although the alternator normally recharges the battery, it is possible that the battery itself refuses to charge.  Therefore, checking in the morning with a multimeter allows you to compare the readings and pinpoint the fault.

The multimeter remains the only reliable way to check your battery!

To use your multimeter, you will need to connect two leads (usually red and black supplied with the device):  Black plug on - / Red plug on +

Then you will need to calibrate your multimeter to VDC (max 20V).

Depending on the readings, you will be able to assess the state of the battery in your dump truck or grader.

On a 12V battery, Codimatra thinks that anywhere between 12.60 and 12.72V is a good amount. If, however the charge is lower than 11.5V, then the battery cannot be used.

Replacing your old battery couldn’t be easier!

Batteries are fragile components and require care and attention. As they aren’t resistant to thermal shock, they are often protected in closed compartments.  These are easy to remove with just a few turns of a ratchet wrench.