Stupid tractor battery


Old 08-28-09, 11:04 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Inverness, FL
Posts: 102
Stupid tractor battery

okay....i want to see if anybody has the same trouble i have.

1987 stx38 john deere 12.5 hp lawn tractor.
no lights, just starter and elect. clutch for mower.

every 2 years i have to put a new battery in it.
all i do is cut grass with it. (3/4 acre)

i know heat is a factor here in fl. especially on batteries.
these little tractor batteries seam to die quick.
the tractor charges and will restart once it`s running from a jump. it will run all day, but the next day when i go to start cold its like there isn`t even a battery in it.
there is no deep charge(i`m sure it would fail a load test)
is it just me? i`ve never had luck with these little ones even in my motor cycles. both were and the tractor are 12 volt.
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Old 08-28-09, 11:26 AM
indypower1's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Posts: 634
Sounds like the charging system is not charging. Since you are in Florida, and don't have to store it for the winter like we do here in New England, you should be able to get around 5 years out of your battery. My last lawn tractor used the same ( motorcycle type) battery that my snowmobile used. I swapped them from tractor to snowmobile and back for 5 years and never had a problem with a dead battery.
It also depends on what the cold cranking amps on the battery you bought was. You can get from 160 CCA to 360 CCA. The 160's are usually the low priced ones (under $25) while the 360's run $38 at Tractor Supply.
Old 08-28-09, 11:27 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
It not just you, it just the application of the battery. Some may be made more cheaply than others, but batteries as a whole will last the longest when they are fully charged.

Motorcycle, mower and other applications which have primarily seasonal usage are hard on batteries and cut their life significantly.

If you want your mower battery to last, take it out of the mower at the end of the cutting season and periodically put it on a trickle charger.
Old 08-28-09, 12:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Inverness, FL
Posts: 102
i will try the unhook for the season this time. (i always say that though)
we don`t cut grass in winter as it gets frost and goes dormant most all winter here just like up north.
i did get the cheapo battery as i usually have to replace the expensive ones as well.
i`ll get a better one this time and in 2 years maybe it`ll last.
Old 08-28-09, 12:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,288
As marbobj suggests, get a decent trickle charger and keep the battery on it when not in use. Modern chargers sense and maintain the voltage without overcharging. Many bikers use the Battery Tender or the Schumaker (sp) brand. The schumaker is available at Walmart for around $20 which is half the price of the tender. I use it on both my mower and bike.
Old 08-28-09, 02:19 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
I wish I could say I follow my great advice, but I usually change batteries in my mower and Norton every two years - pretty much on schedule.
Old 08-28-09, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,365
A pretty simple procedure for battery purchase is to expect it to last just a little longer than the warranty, the days of the TIMEX type products are gone. Have a good one. Geo
Old 08-28-09, 07:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: EveryWhere
Posts: 1,263

I'm only about a hour drive north of you, If you are getting 2 yrs. out of your batteries be thankful. We sell Yocam batteries which are not a cheap battery and they only average 2 years.

These smaller batteries have smaller/thinner plates and less storage for electrolyte, So it's doubtful you will ever get one that will last as long as a automotive battery.
Old 08-29-09, 05:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Inverness, FL
Posts: 102
i have suspected that they where a little less equiped that car/truck batteries.

i`m going to look into increasing my battery box/hold on the mower and see if i can get a small auto battery in there.

some small car batteries look like they might just fit.

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