You have heard that you should check your smoke alarm batteries at the time change in fall, and remember to check your equipment batteries now too. Waiting for the snow to fly is not when you want to think about getting new batteries.
If you are running a snow plow and an electric spreader, you put a lot of strain on your truck batteries. Just because your truck starts in the cold does not mean your truck battery is up to the job for a full day (or night) of work.
With continually working hydraulics and possibly an extra burden from running a spreader, your truck batteries have a hard time recharging while you are out working in the field. This is exactly why some folks swear by running with duel batteries, to help ensure the drain on the battery is spread out allowing for longer combined battery life.
If you are running only on a single truck battery and you are working as a snow removal contractor, often you will find your battery will not last like you hoped. I know of some guys who replace batteries every 2-3 years because working a battery that hard shortens the life of your truck battery.
You will know your battery is having a hard time keeping up if you are running into issues with your hydraulics after working only a few short hours and the problem goes away if you stop plowing to let the battery recharge for a while.
It is better to buy a new truck battery now than to find you are having to stop every hour to let the battery charge. Trying to save $100 on a truck battery is not worth the lost time sitting in a parking lot doing nothing.
Of course, it is not just your truck battery that needs to be checked. Whether you have devices that use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries, all batteries break down over time. Check your batteries on handheld controls, tracking equipment, phones, flashlights, etc. before the snow flies.
This article is by Staff Reporter Jeff Serafin who has been following the industry since 2006.
(Disclosure: I admit the battery is mine, the image of the 1/2 ton truck is just what I wish mine looked like. My vehicle is not so pretty now.)