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Tractor Battery vs. Automotive Battery

by Bill Hooper

The difference between a car battery and a tractor (or deep cycle) battery is the rate at which they deliver current, and how they are designed. A tractor battery may be used in a car, but a car battery is not recommended for use in a tractor.

How They Are Different

Car batteries deliver maximum current in a short period. After the car starts, the vehicle's alternator supplies most of the electricity. A car battery is designed with thin plates to provide a greater surface for energy production. A tractor battery can start the engine and provide a steady current for extended periods. Although the baterry can be discharged and recharged repeatedly, this process will ruin car batteries over time. Tractor batteries use thicker plates.

Car Battery Ratings

Car batteries are rated in cold cranking amps (CCA), which is the maximum amount of amps the battery produces while starting the engine. Higher CCA ratings are recommended in cold climate areas.

Tractor Battery Rating

Tractor batteries are rated in amp-hours (AH). A battery with one amp-hour can discharge one amp for one hour.

Choosing a Battery

Car batteries produce more cranking power for starting, but tractor batteries are more durable.

Deep-Cycle Uses

Deep-cycle batteries are more durable and have uses beyond tractors, including cars and trucks (especially those with a lot of electrical accessories), RV's, campers, forklifts, golf carts and boats

About the Author

Bill Hooper has worked in the automotive industry for more than 22 years. He worked as a service writer, parts counter sales, and a technician. He currently is working on his degree in computer programming. He has taken his knowledge of cars and passed it on through his writing.

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