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When it comes to batteries for over-the-road equipment, many of us think the more cold cranking amps (CCA) the better, but that is not always the case. Let’s dive into the construction of a battery so you can make the choice that best suits your application.


Lead acid batteries are comprised of plates, separators, and electrolyte.


Plates are comprised of lead, these give the electrical current a path to follow inside the battery.

Separators create a barrier to physical contact between positive and negative plates and help contain the “active material” that is generated.

Electrolyte allows the chemical reaction needed to power your truck.


Lead acid batteries can be deep cycle, starting batteries, or dual purpose.


Deep cycle batteries are intended to provide long-term power. They have thicker plates within the battery, and less surface area with the electrolyte, which results in a lower CCA count. Deep cycle batteries are generally able to withstand more discharge cycles than a battery with more cold cranking amps.

Starting batteries have a higher CCA because they are intended to start engines. They have thinner plates, and more of them; the increased surface area produces a higher CCA count so it can perform its intended function.

Dual purpose batteries provide the power you need to start a truck, and meet long-term needs. The number of CCA’s is determined by the number of plates and their thickness; the degradation of these plates has a significant impact on the life of your battery.


If you’re looking for the next step up, consider a lead-less AGM battery.


Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are comprised of sheets of glass fibers soaked in electrolyte. They provide a high burst of amps when required, and reduce energy when they can. As a result, they have a significantly longer lifespan than traditional lead acid batteries. They are also safe for in-cab applications.


So what is the best for you?


Now that you have some insight, you will have an easier time choosing the battery that best suits your needs. If you want to know more, or need additional help choosing your battery, stop by and talk to a Parts Professional at your nearest JX Truck Center location.