How long does it take hazard lights to kill a vehicle's battery?

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The vehicle in question is this one:
http://www.halshydraulics.com/sites/halshydraulics.com/files/bulldozer03.jpg
Last night I came home from work around 5 PM and noticed that one of the two Cats they're using for the gas main project in my neighborhood had its hazard lights flashing. I tried the crew chief's cell phone, but it's his work cell, and I guess he doesn't answer it after hours. I knew from previous conversations that they are done at 3:30.
Later, around 9:30, when SWMBO and I were walking the dogs, we walked past the Cat and I decided to try the door. It wasn't locked, so I climbed in and turned the hazard lights off. The best I can guess is that they were on for about 6 hours.
When I left for work this morning, both Cats were gone, so either they jumped one with the other or the battery was fine.
Anybody know how long the battery in a Cat like that would last with the hazard lights on?
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On 11/20/2013 8:17 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

the flashers on, about 7 or 8 in the evening. The next morning, it was stone cold dead. I believe your kindness saved them a dead battery. And very often a starting battery completely discharged never comes back to life truly. So, you may have saved them from having to replace the battery next week. You are a good neighbor.
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Not to discount the good Samaritan aspect of what was done, but those things have two batteries. I believe that they are designed with long standby while not having the engine running and having full lights on. Emergency flashers really do not pull that much. The small batteries in cars are their primary liability.
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On 11/20/13, 6:35 PM, Nightcrawler® wrote:

There are a ton of variables as well... how much amperage do the lights draw, what percentage of the time are they on while flashing, charge on the feed battery at the beginning, condition of the feed battery at the beginning, battery temperature and likely others...
Erik
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On 11/20/2013 9:57 PM, Erik wrote:

And if the flashers are LED or incandescent.
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Nightcrawler®;3152562 Wrote: >

> batteries

I agree with Nightcrawler on this one.
I was in my local battery shop when someone brought in a huge battery; much larger than a car battery. Just out of interest I asked what it was out of, and I was told it was from a Caterpiller Grader. They use those a lot here in Winnipeg for clearing snow. The guy told me that the grader doesn't just have one of those, but two of them. And, the reason why they have two batteries is because they're often left at construction sites overnight in the winter where there's no electricity available for a block heater. So, they need both batteries to provide the power needed to start their cold engines in the morning.
In fact, my understanding is that in Northern Ontario, they will often collect wood and start a fire under the engine of the graders and bulldozers to warm up the oil in the oil pan in order to start their engines in the mornings in winter. I've never personally seen that being done; I just heard that it is done.
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On Thursday, November 21, 2013 2:29:54 AM UTC-5, nestork wrote:

Many years ago I worked in northern Wisconsin. One of my coworkers would arrive, start the oil draining while he disconnected his battery, and bring both inside the building. He was so skilled at these tasks they hardly added any time to his commute.
At the end of the shift he'd pour the warm oil back in, reconnect the warm battery, and start his car. Then often he'd jump the rest of us before he went home himself.
That's no longer necessary with the improvements in cars.
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On 11/21/2013 11:50 AM, TimR wrote:

draining while he disconnected his battery, and bring both inside the building. He was so skilled at these tasks they hardly added any time to his commute.

his car. Then often he'd jump the rest of us before he went home himself.

Sounds like a bit of extra work. But, it did manage to get his car started when others would not.
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On 11/21/2013 11:50 AM, TimR wrote:

Ghia. I did bring the battery in the house at night. I did not have a problem at work because I parked on a hill and could get rolling and pop the clutch.
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bring both inside the building. He was so skilled at these tasks they hardly added any time to his commute.

he went home himself.

The Karman Ghia body design was as far ahead for it's time as the VW beetle wasn't. I'll bet that body style could easily be revived today - it really was a standout. Did you have the easy open (with a knife) ragtop, the hardshell removable top or the hardtop?
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We lived in a small German town courtesy of the US Army.
Parked cars in some areas were required to have a taillight on all night. The German cars come with a low powered taillight and a separate switch. It easily works all night without draining the battery.
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This has nothing to do with lights and batteries, but it is related in terms of cars, Germany and the US Military.
I lived on the resort island of Sylt, Germany courtesy of the USCG. I totaled a VW bug and it had to be disposed of. Since there was no junkyard on the island, it had to be transported off of the island on the auto-train. The metal and other salvageable parts were worth some money, so a local handyman volunteered to take it off my hands - and off the island - for nothing. I give him the car, he makes it disappear, we call it even.
We spent a full Saturday dismantling the bug and breaking it down into parts that one person could carry, except for the engine of course. When we were done, the entire car was put in the back of his tiny euro-style pick-up truck and driven off base.
3 decades later and I still miss that car.
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wrote:

turning the signal lever to the "off side" with the key turned off - a 3 watt (more or less) lamp was lit.
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Some places up there they never turn off their engines unless they can get the vehicle/equipment inside.
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Nightcrawler;3153115 Wrote: >

I know that semi-trailers will idle their engines all night long while the driver is sleeping, but often that's because the engine is operating the heating or air conditioning system in the sleeper behind the cab. So, the truck is locked and the driver is right on site, albeit fast asleep.
But, I'd say it's kinda pushing your luck to leave heavy equipment idling and unattended all night long, even in the bush. Those big diesel engines make a lot of noise, and out in the bush where you don't have any other noise, sound carries for miles. The sound of a continuously idling diesel engine is going to attract the attention of people inclined to steal equipment like that. It might still be there in the morning, but if you make a habit of leaving it idling and unattended at night, it's not going to be there in the morning for very long.
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I imagine that the heavy equipment has some heavy duty engine heaters that require an APU to fire up. I cannot fathom trying to fire up an engine that was left overnight in sub-zero temps. I hear that any equipment left for an amount of time out there needs to be towed and heated up before they can be re-started.
Down here in the states some of the small internal combustion gen-sets have heaters in their filter housings (1.5ft dia x 4.5ft) and circulate the oil until a block temperature switch enables the start sequence. They all have a pre-lube cycle, anyway, this is just another level of protection in the event the grid kicks the plant offline for an extended period of time, or if there is a step-up transformer/re-closure problem.
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Nightcrawler;3153141 Wrote: >

I suppose that if the equipment can be moved to a warmer location, that'd be the way to go, but often the equipment can't really be moved. For example, the diesel engines in a mining drag line or oil drilling rig. You can't move the diesel engine in an oil drilling rig without moving the rig, and it takes several days to set up the rig and take it down. Having to do all that just because an engine won't start isn't economic when you have to pay the crew a daily wage even when they're not working.
In those cases, there are still ways to start cold diesel engines. I've seen one case where you can set up quick connect fittings (like the kind on compressed air lines) on the engine of a pick up truck and the engine of a bull dozer (for example). You connect the pick-up truck's engine to the bulldozer engine with hoses so that hot engine oil from the pick up truck's engine flows through the engine of the bulldozer. After a while, all of the oil in both engines is hot, and the bulldozer will be much easier to start.
On really large diesel engines, like the diesel engine in a locomotive, they will typically use an electrically powered coolant preheater. The coolant preheater is entirely electric and both heats and pumps hot coolant through the diesel engines's water jacket, thereby warming up the entire engine. If the engine can't be brought to the preheater, the preheater can be brought to the engine, but in that case you also need to take along a gasoline powered generator to provide the electrical power the preheater needs.
'Machinery-Heavy Equipment Engine Heating Products | HOTSTART' (http://tinyurl.com/o64xtkh )
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Re: How long does it take hazard lights to kill a vehicle's battery?
This made me think of "Blade Runner" where Deckard is asked by the Replicant Leon:
"How long do I live?"
Deckard replies:
"4 years" and the Replicant says
"Longer than YOU!" and proceeds to try punching his lights out.
One of the greatest lines in all Sci Fi movie history.
--
Bobby G.



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On Thursday, November 21, 2013 5:44:53 PM UTC-5, Robert Green wrote:

I like the line in Drive Angry. One of the disposable bad guys tells Nicholas Cage he's going to sacrifice the baby and live forever. Cage's line is "if by forever you mean the next 5 seconds, you're right." Then Cage kills him.
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Nah...I just wanted to climb into the cab of a Cat! It's not something this big kid gets to do very often.
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