Think they don't make them like they used to? Remember when things were made to last? If so, venerable Canadian battery charger manufacturer Vulcan Electric has a unit for you. It's the CANADIAN Model...
Think they don’t make them like they used to? Remember when things were made to last? If so, venerable Canadian battery charger manufacturer Vulcan Electric has a unit for you. It’s the CANADIAN Model 76 (officially the 602U24CA1) and it ranks as one of the most solid battery chargers ever tested by SSGM. The “76” looks like a traditional shop charger booster, but contains a massive copper wound transformer and heavy-duty full wave rectifier for hard use. As a result the unit weighs a hefty 95 pounds, making the wheels and handle a necessity. Charging, the 76 can deliver up to 60 amps at twelve volts, and can also charge 6 and 24-volt batteries, as well as offering a 300-amp boost capability. Controls are as “retro” as the basic design: an electromechanical timer and a straightforward dial controlled rate switch. Simple stuff.
Charging rate is similarly displayed by an analog meter that’s easy to read, as are polarity and charge status indicator lamps. A low battery button gets truly dead cells going, and a rocker switch selects manual/automatic charging. Hooking up the cables the wrong way around is the commonest mistake, and the “76” handles this by refusing to start unless the polarity is correct. SSGM tested the “76” with low, weak and dead batteries and found the unit powerful and flexible, which combined with simple controls, should make this charger useful in rough operating environments.
The cables and clamps are especially noteworthy, since this is an area where many manufacturers skimp, but the oil resistant #4 cables and huge clamps look built for heavy use. Complaints are few and have nothing to do with the bulletproof electrics. I’d like to see a pneumatic tire option for easier rolling on soft ground and a longer handle. Minor quibbles, but then again, it looks unlikely that an owner of a “76” will be buying another charger in their lifetime. Vulcan Electric has been around for over a hundred years and is a Canadian company, so service and warranty issues should be relatively trouble free. And if you lift it, remember to use your legs, not your back.