Best Truck Battery Review

 The primary function of your car battery is to feed the starter with electrical current to start the engine. As soon as the engine is running, all power required by the car’s electrical systems is provided by the alternator.

Car manufacturers rate the type of battery their cars need based on engine size, charging systems, starter demands and installed accessories. Some light trucks can run on batteries used by small and mid-sized cars but large trucks and lorries obviously need more power. This means using batteries specifically designed for trucks.

Here are our top picks for batteries which are specifically designed for heavy vehicles like trucks and lorries. 


Optima 8014 – 045 D34/78 Yellow Top

Optima Batteries 8014-045 D34/78 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
  • 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10" x 6 7/8" x 7 13/16" tall, Weight: 43.5 pounds, Dual SAE &...
  • Reserve capacity of 120 minutes for constant performance
  • Optimal starting power even in bad weather. Case Material: Polypropylene

Optima is a leading brand in the industry which has been producing lead batteries for more than 40 years. Our top pick is a compact unit weighing 43.5 pounds and measuring 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches. This makes it easy to install and allows you to mount it in any position.

This battery utilizes SpiralCellTechnology. It has two coated lead plates with spiral cells which make it more tolerant and lengthens its life. With this battery, you can be assured of at least 300 recharge cycles which means it lasts three times longer than other similar products. A slow self-discharge rate also adds to its lifespan.

There isn’t much need for maintenance work on this battery. It has a polypropylene case and is spill proof. It is 15 times more resistant to vibrations compared to most other batteries. Starting the engine in extreme cold will never be a problem because it has impressively high cold cranking amps (750).  Even if the need for reserve capacity may be rare, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you have about 120 minutes of reserve capacity just in case you need it.

The fact that it can be used for both starting and deep cycling is another reason it ranks highly in our list.

Key Features

  • Weight: 43.5 pounds; Dimensions 10 x 6.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Yellow top
  • SpiralCellTechnology
  • Polypropylene case

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • 300+ recharge cycles
  • Spill-proof
  • High cold cranking amps – 750
  • High resistance to vibration
  • 120 minutes reserve capacity
  • Low self-discharge rate

ACDelco 48AGM Battery

ACDelco 48AGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 48 Battery
  • High density negative paste, improves performance and increases battery life
  • Enhanced life alloy/Silver Calcium stamped alloy increases cycle life and improves performance
  • Calcium Lead positive grid, maximizes conductivity and allows for low resistance

The ACDelco 48AGM is a good bargain considering it is not highly priced but offers good overall quality. As its name suggests, it features the Absorbed Glass Mat technology which makes it resistant to shocks and vibration.

In addition to this, the battery is designed to be spill-proof which makes it safe to work with. It is built to resist corrosion which helps to lengthen its life. Reliability is enhanced by a 55Ah 20-hour nominal capacity rating.

Some impressive performance ratings include 1250 pulse hot cranking amps, 760 for cold cranking and 980 marine cranking amps. Performance is further improved by a high density negative paste which also lengthens battery life. Short-circuiting is prevented by a robust envelope separator which also increases acid circulation.

As long as you use the battery correctly, this product can serve you well for at least 8 years. The manufacturer offers a 3 year warranty, promising to replace any battery which fails within this time frame, on condition that it is used correctly.

Key Features

  • Absorbed Glass Mat technology
  • Corrosion resistant

Pros

  • Resistant to vibration and shock
  • Spill-proof
  • Durable – 8 years’ service life
  • 3 year warranty

DieHard 38217 Group Advanced Gold AGM Battery

DieHard 38217 Group 49 lead_acid_battery
  • 20X more vibration protection safeguards battery performance over time, 2X the cycle life extends...
  • BCI Gp 49, CCA 850, 92 AH rating. Reserve Capacity (RC):170 ; Cold Cranking Amps (CCA at 0...
  • Spill proof design provides added protection for sophisticated electronic equipment

The manufacturers of this product have been making batteries for more than half a century so it is not a surprise that they have mastered the art. The 38217 Group Advanced product has a glass mat finish which protects against acid leakages and makes it more resistant to temperature fluctuations. It also boasts of 20 times more vibration resistance.

A complete frame of positive and negative plates help to prevent electrical shorts. An enhanced electrolyte system helps to protect internal components by absorbing more electrolyte.

CCA (cold cranking amps) are an important detail to look at especially if you live in an area which experiences extreme cold. This battery has 775 cold cranking amps which is more than enough power to get your engine running when temperatures are low.

Where lifespan is concerned, it has twice the battery life seen in conventional products and the reserve capacity is an impressive 170 minutes.

Key Features

  • AGM technology
  • CCA of 775
  • Reserve capacity of 170 minutes

Pros

  • Superior shock protection
  • Extended battery life
  • Withstands temperature fluctuations
  • Spill-proof design

Optima 8020 – 164 35 Red Top Battery

Sale
Optima Batteries OPT8020-164 35 RedTop Starting Battery
  • 12-Volt, 720 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 9.38 x 7.69 x 6.75-Inches Weight: 31.7 pounds, SAE Posts
  • Reserve capacity of 90 minutes for constant performance
  • Optimal starting power even in bad weather. Case material is Polypropylene

Another Optima battery makes it onto our list of best truck batteries. The 8020 -164 35 red top is a spill-proof, compact battery with a polypropylene casing. One outstanding feature of this battery is its weight. It weighs 32 pounds, making it easily usable in trucks, cars and even motorcycles. Its dimensions are 9.32 x 6.82 x 7.63 inches. You can mount it in any position and charging it is significantly faster than with other batteries because of its fast recharging capability.

The SpiralCell feature ensures high performance, not to mention 15 times more resistance to mechanical vibrations. This makes it a trusted option for drivers who often find themselves on rough, bumpy roads. In fact the manufacturer says it is race-proven, meaning it can handle virtually any kind of track.

With 720 cold cranking amps, this battery will not disappoint you on those freezing mornings when other batteries tend to struggle to get the engine started. You can take long journeys with peace of mind because the reserve capacity lasts about 90 minutes.

Key Features

  • Polypropylene casing
  • Weight: 32 pounds; dimensions: 9.32 x 6.82 x 7.63 inches
  • 7200 CC amps
  • Spill-proof

Pros

  • Compact, lightweight and versatile
  • Multiple mounting positions
  • Fast-charging
  • High vibration resistance

ACDelco 94RAGM professional AGM Battery

ACDelco 94RAGM Professional AGM Automotive BCI Group 94R Battery
  • High density negative paste, improves performance and increases battery life
  • Enhanced life alloy/Silver Calcium stamped alloy increases cycle life and improves performance
  • Calcium Lead positive grid, maximizes conductivity and allows for low resistance

This ACDelco battery stands out of the pack because of its durability. It has a puncture resistant envelope separator which serves to ensure acid circulates properly. Proper acid circulation helps the battery to stay cool and contributes to longer battery life. It also prevents shorts which can be quite dangerous.

The battery is made using an Absorbed Glass Mat design which helps to reduce the risk of leakage. Starting up the engine in the cold will never be a problem as it has a whopping 800 cold cranking amps. Also incorporated is a calcium lead positive grid which increases conductivity and facilitates low resistance.

With 140 minutes of reserve capacity you can travel without a care in the world.

Key Features

  • Absorbed glass matt
  • Puncture resistant envelope separator
  • Weight: 51.6 pounds ; dimensions: 12.4 x 69 x 7.5 inches
  • 140 minutes reserve capacity

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Reduced risk of leakage
  • Quick crank
  • Versatile: also usable for marine, industrial or recreational purposes

Odyssey 34 – PC1500T Automotive and LTV battery

Odyssey 34-PC1500T Automotive and LTV Battery
  • Cold Crank Amp (CCA)- 850;Dimensions L x W x H (in):10.85x6.76x7.82. Pulse (5-second) Hot Cranking...
  • Better warranty: Limited 3 and 4 year full replacement warranty - not pro rata
  • Longer service life: With 3-10 years of service life, ODYSSEY batteries save consumers time, money,...

Pure virgin lead plates in this battery provide more surface area which translates to more power for your truck.  15% more surface area on the plate gives this one battery the capacity to produce two times the amount of power produced by similar products. An Absorbed Glass Mat design reduces the chances of acid spills.

The service life is between 3 and 10 years. This is linked to the product’s 400 cycles at an 80% discharge depth. The cycle life is 70% longer than other batteries.

Extremely high and low temperatures need not be a concern when you are using this battery. Cold cranking amps stand at 850 and hot cranking amps at 1500. It has a recharge capacity of 135 minutes which is, on average, 40% longer than other batteries. You can charge it quite quickly as only 4-6 hours are required to have it fully powered up.

Extreme temperatures ranging from freezing cold of -40°C to sweltering heat of 45°C can be tolerated without any negative effect on the battery’s efficiency. It is designed to withstand shocks and heavy vibration making it ideal for trucks.

Key Features

  • Virgin lead plates
  • Absorbed glass matt design
  • Recharge capacity of 135 minutes

Pros

  • Fast recharge
  • Shock and vibration resistant
  • Tolerates extreme temperatures

Delphi BU9094R

Delphi BU9094R lead_acid_battery
  • Extended cold cranking amps delivery means more power for today's demanding electronics
  • Group 94R battery with 800 CCR and 140 R.C.
  • 20x the vibration resistance of conventional batteries

This battery is housed in superior corrosion resistant material which makes it last longer than many other similar products. A perfectly sealed design ensures you never have to deal with spills or leaks.

One of the reasons it is ideal for trucks and lorries is that it provides 20 times more resistance to shocks and vibrations compared to conventional batteries. This is partly attributed to optimized compression of components and fortification of straps, posts and welds.

Where charging is concerned, it proves to be convenient because it charges up quite fast. 800 cold cranking amps prevent any starting challenges and a reserve capacity of 140 minutes gives you more than sufficient back up power.

At 52 pounds in weight, this is definitely not one of the lighter batteries in the market but it is light enough for one person to carry and install it with relative ease. To determine if it would fit in your car, the dimensions of this product are 12.4 inches in length and 6.9 inches in width and 7.5 inches in height.

The manufacturer offers a 3 year warranty with the usual conditions requiring that the battery has been correctly used over that period.

Key Features

  • 800 cold cranking amps
  • 140 minutes reserve capacity
  • Weight: 52 pounds; Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.9 x 12.4 inches.

Pros

  • 3 year warranty
  • 20x vibration resistance
  • Fast charging

VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 Battery

Sale
VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 12 Volt 35AH AGM Battery Marine Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery Ideal for Boats and 18-35lb minn kota, minnkota, Cobra, sevylor and Other trolling Motor (12V 35AH, Group U1)
  • Dimensions: L=7.7" W=5" H=6.1"
  • Also avilable as a battery kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HOUCLWE
  • Heavy Duty Grids: VMAX heavy duty lead tin alloys provide an extra margin of performance and service...

The AGM technology used in this battery makes it one of the most durable products in the market. Like many other batteries used in trucks, this one is resistant to vibrations and shocks which also contributes to a long lifespan.

Battery manufacturers typically give temperature ranges within which their products can work. With the VMAXTANKS VMAX V35-857 battery, none is given because the product is weatherproof. It can provide 300A cold cranking amps and 390A marine cranking amps, making it ideal for very cold climate areas.

Assuming it is used on an 18 to 40 pound trolling motor, it is capable of providing about 9 hours of running time at a discharge depth of 60%. If you are wondering if this battery will fit in your truck, the dimensions are 7.7 x 5 x 6.1 inches.

You can forget about battery maintenance headaches with this product because you never need to check gravity of the electrolyte or add water. Charging can be done quickly and easily thanks to fast charging capability. You can use a smart charger or a microprocessor controlled charger to power it up.

Where price is concerned, you will be glad to note that this is a fairly low priced product compared to similar ones in the market, yet it provides good quality service for an extended period of time.

Key Features

  • AGM technology
  • 300A cold cranking amps; 390A marine cranking amps

Pros

  • Shock and vibration resistant
  • Fast charge capability
  • Durable
  • Maintenance free

What to Consider When Buying a Battery for Your Truck

Buying a new battery for your truck? It is not easy to navigate through all the information you find online. That is aside from the differing opinions from actual experts like the professional mechanic you take your car to, and the know-it-all guys who believe they know everything about cars.

Here is a summary of the most important details to keep in mind before you spend your hard-earned dollars.

Battery Dimensions

If you have ever bought a battery for your truck only to realize it simply cannot fit into the battery tray, you know how important dimensions are. Keep a reference note with you to compare dimensions when you go out to buy a battery. It should fit just right. It should not be a tight squeeze and a loosely fitting battery is not something you want to deal with.

Battery type:

Let’s look at 3 main types.

Full maintenance batteries

These are the most common in the market for trucks. They are significantly cheaper and are characterized by removable caps and vented holes. They are called maintenance batteries because you need to remove the cap every now and then to check the electrolyte level. You need to pour distilled water into the cell regularly to keep it in good working condition.

Maintenance free batteries

The vent caps on these are not removable and you never need to pour water into the cell. These batteries do vent but moisture from the vapors is directed back to the cell.

They are considered less risky than maintenance batteries because there is little chance of spillage.

AGM battery

This is an abbreviation you must have come across severally. It stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. AGM batteries are quickly rechargeable. They have heavy flooded batteries and are usually equipped with modern features like smart fuel efficient functions and electronic safety measures.

No maintenance is required.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA):

This rating refers to the amount of current which the battery is able to provide when the temperatures are at 0°F. Trying to start your car on a very cold morning might be a challenge if the battery you have has a low CCA rating.

When you go out to buy a battery, always pick the battery with the highest CCA rating within your budget.

Reserve Capacity:

This is another important rating ascribed to batteries. It is the number of minutes a 12 volt battery (fully charged) at 80°F can provide25 amperes at 10.5 volts until the voltage drops.

It is important to keep your battery’s reserve capacity in mind when buying a new one. Higher capacity assures you of more consistent performance.

Manufacturer’s rating:

There is a minimum requirement given by the manufacturer of each vehicle indicating the appropriate battery to be used. Ratings vary depending on vehicle models, power requirements, engine size and accessories installed.

Always make sure you check the rating for your truck. There is no harm in buying a battery with a higher rating than what is indicated for your truck, but having a battery with a lower rating will definitely affect your truck’s performance.

Terminals Fitting:

Check that the configurations of the battery you want to buy are the same as those of the old battery. If they are not the same, the cables may not be able to reach the terminals, making it more or less useless.

There is always the option to coax the cables to get to the terminals but this is not advisable. All the vibration encountered as the truck is moving may make the cables come loose.

Date of manufacture:

It is important to know the date of manufacture before you buy because batteries should not be used if they have been on a shelf in a store for too long. Always look for a fresh battery.

To determine the date of manufacture, you will need to do a little decoding. There will be a letter and numbers written on the battery. The letters A to L stand for January to December. The number refers to the year it was manufactured.

For instance E5 appearing on a battery means it was manufactured in May of 2005. J7 means it was manufactured in October 2007.

FAQs

What does AGM mean in batteries?

AGM stand for Absorbed Glass Mat. This construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended close to the plate’s active material. It increase discharge and recharge efficiency.

What do battery group sizes mean?

Batteries are grouped into different categories based on their size and dimensions. The Battery Council International (BCI) assigns letters and numbers to batteries so they fit in specific groups. Different vehicles require batteries of different sizes.

Some vehicles can accommodate more than one size of battery.

What does MCA mean?

The abbreviation means Marine Cranking Amps. It is a battery rating which indicates the amount of current it can provide at a temperature of 32°F. The higher the rating, the better the battery.

Does weather affect truck battery performance?

Temperatures do have an effect on battery performance. Extreme conditions, be they hot or cold do affect battery life. Every manufacturer provides a temperature range within which the battery operates optimally. The wider the range, the more leeway you have to use it in extreme temperatures.

What is the difference between deep cycle and starting batteries?

Starting batteries produce a huge burst of power for a very short duration of time. It is used to start up vehicle’s engine. It cannot last through multiple recharge cycles.

Deep cycle batteries on the other hand, provide a constant flow of current. This is done over a long period of time. With these batteries, draining it doesn’t reduce its longevity.

How many volts should a fully charged battery have?

When it is fully charged, it should measure 12.6 volts or higher. When the engine is running, it should have anywhere between 13.7 and 14.7 volts.

Why does my truck battery drain so quickly?

This could be caused by one of the following:

  • Faulty charging system
  • Faulty diode in the alternator
  • Uneven temperatures

Final Thoughts

Selecting the ideal battery for a regular car takes a good understanding of batteries and how they work. When it comes to trucks, it takes an even better understanding of the product and the specific needs of a truck or lorry.

The Optima 8014 – 045 D34/78 Yellow Top battery topped our list because it is a multi-purpose battery which can be mounted in any position.

With high vibration resistance and a propylene case, it lasts significantly longer than other batteries. High cold cranking amps and a relatively high reserve capacity make it a preferred choice. 

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