What should I use to charge the battery in our ride-on mower? After storing the mower last year we had to have a new battery.

Battery maintenance is something that a lot of people don't think about very often - at least, not until it is flat and you can't get the engine to start.

If you want a battery to be reliable and last a long time, you need to look after it. This is especially important with powered machines that are used seasonally.

One solution to keeping batteries in tip-top condition is the CTEK XS800 switch mode charger with pulse maintenance. It is intended for seasonal vehicles with batteries up to 100Ah. It easily charges smaller 12V batteries common to motor bikes, jet skis and, yes, mowers and lawn tractors.

Maintenance charging is important because it will ensure that the machine starts after a period of rest and it prolongs battery life. The CTEK fully automatic battery charger analyses, fixes, charges and maintains the battery. It works in pulses and you can connect it as soon as you store the mower for winter and forget about it until you need the machine in spring. All that time it will be working away to ensure that the battery is fully charged and ready for use.

Without maintenance charging, batteries can be completely discharged between seasons. Batteries used in mowers and similar kit usually cannot handle a deep discharge. If the battery discharges by more than 40 per cent, it can result in the acid stratifying - where the undercharged sulphates separate from the overcharged corrodes in two distinct layers.

Trying to charge such a battery with a normal charger leaves the acid stratified, making it difficult to restore the previous power level. The CTEK takes care of this by reconditioning deeply discharged batteries, reducing the acid stratification and restoring the charge.

The CTEK is easy to use - just connect like a normal charger. At the start of charging it delivers maximum current to constantly increase battery voltage to a set level. Then the voltage is regulated and kept constant as the charging current is successively lowered. Once it has dropped below 0.4A, the charger automatically switches to maintenance charging.

The charger has two lamps. The first indicates charging and the other indicates maintenance charging. When the maintenance charging lamp is lit, it means that the battery is fully charged and a pulse is sent to the battery when the voltage drops.

The charger can also indicate various conditions. For instance, if the two lamps flash alternately, it means that the battery is badly sulphated or has a high self-discharge rate and probably needs replacing. For more details, visit www.ctek.com. Expect to pay £35 to £40 including VAT.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read This Next

What's new in sprayers

What's new in sprayers

Manufacturers have wasted no time bringing out updated equipment to comply with latest legislation, Sally Drury finds.

Reviewed: ride-on mowers

Reviewed: ride-on mowers

With mowing one of the key tasks at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the team are ideally placed to try out the latest machines. Sally Drury reports.

Kit for pitches

Kit for pitches

What is available to help groundsmen keep playing surfaces in the best possible condition? Sally Drury asks the experts.