Battery Maintainers

Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:06 pm

We've talked about battery maintainers in the past. One of these the best thing you can add to extend battery life. We are reaching the season where a lot of tractors will be sitting unused for quite a while.

My favorites are the Schumachers that Walmart sells (there have been 2 versions). They charge at 1.5 amps than change over to maintainer mode when the battery is charged. Walmart has just dropped the online price to $17. I think that is a real deal and have ordered a few more. Hopefully I can replace all the ones I have from the well known junk tool store.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher-SpeedCharge-Battery-Maintainer-and-Charger/13005742

Re: Battery Maintainers

Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:19 pm

Thanks, JIm. Amazon has the same unit at the same price, with free shipping if you are a Prime member. Looks like Walmart has free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

I will be getting a few more!

Re: Battery Maintainers

Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:24 pm

Walmart has free ship-to-store. You can order online then pick it up at the nearest store.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:03 am

I agree with Jim. Battery maintainers are some of the best money you'll ever spend. The Schumacher units are good units but the one's sold by my local Walmart don't do 6 volts. I remember reading in the past the other Walmarts sell the Schumacher maintainers that do 6 volts.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:37 am

A question many may wonder about: Do you recommend connecting them to the battery while still in the tractor, or remove the battery to a dry, heated location while connected over winter?

Personally, I remove my battery from all Cubs except the one my Cub-54 blade is attached to. Place the batteries on 2x4s or wood in my garage; heated (50's-60's F degrees) and dry.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:07 am

Stanton,
Your method is probably closer to ideal for the battery life than what I do. Keeping it warm (not icicle temps) and sitting on an insulated surface and attached to a battery maintainer sounds ideal. :worthy:
My tractor batteries get a less than ideal treatment.

The Bad: Battery stays in the tractor freezing their breather caps off in Michigan's brutal winter.
The Good: Tractor hides from the elements in an unheated garage and connected to a battery maintainer.
The Ugly: Tractors do still have to earn their keep during the winter pushing snow.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:03 am

ricky racer wrote:The Schumacher units are good units but the one's sold by my local Walmart don't do 6 volts. I remember reading in the past the other Walmarts sell the Schumacher maintainers that do 6 volts.

The one carried in my local Walmart is (I believe) the "Schumacher XM1-5 Maintainer", which is one of the other products shown on the page I pointed to above. It is currently listed for $19.97. It does not have a 6/12 volt switch but senses the battery and automatically sets itself for 6 or 12. It won't do anything if connected to a totally dead battery. I don't see a switch on the $17 one although it is listed as 6 or 12 volts. I guess it senses the battery to determine 6/12. I have some older ones that look just like it but have a switch.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:25 am

Stanton wrote:A question many may wonder about: Do you recommend connecting them to the battery while still in the tractor, or remove the battery to a dry, heated location while connected over winter?

Personally, I remove my battery from all Cubs except the one my Cub-54 blade is attached to. Place the batteries on 2x4s or wood in my garage; heated (50's-60's F degrees) and dry.

Stanton's method pretty much eliminates the need for a maintainer. To me, the maintainers are for those of us too lazy to remove the batteries :shock: or for the snow plow tractor. Most of my batteries are in good enough shape to hold a charge through the winter in a dry, unheated pole barn with concrete floor. I use a couple of maintainers and should get some more at the price Jim cites. I agree they do the job well and the one Jim references is good for 6 or 12 volts.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:28 am

I have been using the maintainers for years in the off season, and on things that only get occasional use, and have been very happy with them. All of mine are the Schumakers of one model or another. One thing I have found is that on small batteries such as my generator, they do tend to overcharge it and boils the acid out, so on it I have a timer that kicks it on once a week and runs for a couple hours. My personal experience has been that a battery connected to a maintainer when it is not used for an extended period tends to last longer.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:00 am

My experience pretty much mirrors John's. Some I take out of the tractor/vehicle, some I leave in. But, all spend the winter on maintainers.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:57 am

I also agree with Jim and of course I have been kinda vocal about it over the years. In our climate up here, it gets pretty cold in the winter. However, the cost of these maintainers is much higher up here .. so since we are leaving in the morning for Cecil's and we intend to do some shopping, I have a feeling that I am going to pick up a couple or three :big smile:

And I also use them whenever my Cubs or other equipment are going to be sitting idle for a while.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:17 am

I have 2 of these and bought 2 more now at the $17 price.
They are great for all the mentioned reasons - but...

I heard about this in a review somewhere - of the charger bringing a dead ( not just discharged ) battery back to life.
And my first one did it for me. A battery I thought was a goner, it saved it.

A $19 maintainer kept me from buying one of those "expensive" 6 volt batteries we all use. :)

Re: Battery Maintainers

Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:43 pm

I've got probably half dozen of them around here. I use them on lawn mowers, tractors, motorcycles and occasionally on a car to truck that is in storage. I use them on any piece of equipment that is not used a lot and also on any battery that is weak to keep it fully charged. I've been able to limp along for nearly a whole season with a mower battery that is so weak that it won't hold a charge from week to week for lawn mowing chores. By plugging in a battery maintainer after mowing I have gotten almost an entire season out of the way before I have to replace the battery.

Best money you'll ever spend if you have multiple pieces of equipment with batteries. I have several Schumacher's, Battery Tenders a Black & Decker and one cheapy that is sold by OEM the IH parts folks.

Re: Battery Maintainers

Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:59 am

TSC has the same Schuman charger listed for $24.99 and it has a micro processor that regulates voltage, etc. At Wallyworld $17.00 is a real good deal!

Re: Battery Maintainers

Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:23 pm

My new maintainers came in today. I replaced all my junk tool store maintainers. When I started, the little red LED on each of the junk units was glowing away as if everything was fine. On one battery the new maintainer immediately faulted out. Checked the battery voltage and found about 10 1/2. I've now put my old trickle charger on that battery to see if it will wake up or not. Clearly it was past time to ditch the junk maintainers.