The basics of AGM batteries

Dispelling some misconceptions and misunderstandings about AGM batteries


For some short-run truck applications, AGMs may provide improved battery life, but do not think that AGM batteries will cure all of a fleet’s battery problems.

The suitability of AGMs depends on application issues, types of usage, life expectations, etc. Answer these few questions then seek out expert advice and training to assist you:

  • How long are your batteries lasting currently, or what are your expectations for battery life?
  • What are your charging voltage levels at the vehicle’s battery?
  • How many of the batteries that you replace are actually bad, or how good is your current testing and PMI program?
  • Does your application require the batteries to be cycled to deep or medium levels (e.g. more than 30 percent depth of discharge)?
  • Are your batteries suffering from lack of adequate charge acceptance due to use or connections? Are they constantly becoming discharged?
  • Do you have specific applications within your fleet where battery life is exceptionally low (e.g., liftgates, refrigeration units, electric APUs)?

Gale Kimbrough is the engineering and tech services manager for Interstate Batteries, the number one replacement brand battery in North America (www.interstatebatteries.com). Often called The Battery Man – due to his education, knowledge and experience in the battery industry, he has been with Interstate Batteries as a technical expert for more than 25 years. He serves on several national technical committees in the automotive and trucking industry and has conducted classes for more than 35,000 technicians around the world.

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