Battery Hard Wire

   / Battery Hard Wire #11  
I added a heater to a forklift years ago. Plumbed it into the heater hose size hoses that ran to the propane regulator. I used a car heater core that I built a wooden box around and added a 12 volt fan to push air thru it.
My forklift hours increased dramatically because everybody kept grabbing my forklift when I wasn't at work. I made the stipulation that if they used it, they better fuel it, or I would start taking my keys home with me!
That ended the issue of coming in to an empty tank of fuel every morning!
Heat is nice in the winter, even in Florida!
David from jax
   / Battery Hard Wire
  • Thread Starter
Im guessing you have a 20 or 30Amp alternator. Thats 360Watts of heat max before you start depleting the batt. Not much. You can get real heat by plumbing a heater core into your coolant circuit.
How much something like that cost? It’s also a soft cab
   / Battery Hard Wire #13  
Heat off of your engine is the best way to go! 12v electric heat is kind of wimpy (bunk in the truck I drive uses 12v heater ran off an APU. Never warm enough!!
The electric issues you are looking at, versus the better heat from engine coolant, says it all.
Batteries aren't as powerful in the cold and you need it to start the engine, and pulling the battery down by adding a 12v heater is asking for issues out in the freezing cold when you stall the tractor and the battery doesn't have the strength to restart the engine.
David from jax
   / Battery Hard Wire #14  
How much something like that cost? It’s also a soft cab
Pull a heater core from a junk car, build a wooden box around it, and plumb it into the coolant system. Wire a 12v fan in and mount it to the wooden box blowing thru the heater core. Probably cheaper than a store bought electric heater and you don't have to worry about upgrading your alternator or the huge demands on your tractor electric system!
David from jax
   / Battery Hard Wire
  • Thread Starter
You need to know the power rating of your heater in order to select an appropriate wire size. Of course you'll want to add a fuse or circuit breaker as well for protection. You may want a contactor or relay to ensure it only has power when your tractor is on and even then it will probably put quite a drain on the battery.
Couldn’t get a better battery to help reduce the drainage worry or trickle charge?
   / Battery Hard Wire #16  
This is a 300 watt heater. Why bother. I recall having a 600 watt heater years aho under my desk. Nearly worthless, and it was 120 volts
   / Battery Hard Wire #17  
   / Battery Hard Wire #18  
There is also the issue of burning more fuel to power an electric heater vs. using heat already generated by just running the motor.

That is, electric heater costs money to run.
Heat from coolant costs no extra.
In either case, an electric fan is needed so that cost is moot.
   / Battery Hard Wire #19  
Just as a side note. I remember when heaters in automobiles were optional. Many car ads would specify, "Radio, heater, WW tires". That would be considered "Loaded"--All options included. :D
   / Battery Hard Wire #20  
Back when I lived in the frozen tundra, I used to have a small disc plug in heater just to warm the inside of the rig before I headed out. Made it more bearable when it was -20. Any heater in small cab tractor I would think that it would depend on how long you used the tractor to make it worth your while to try and warm it up. My 2 cents.