It’s a nightmare for truck drivers when their heavy duty vehicles just won’t start. Unless the driver is experienced or qualified to be able to re-start the truck, the truck is certainly not going to move. Jumpstarting a car is still a doable task, but jumpstarting a heavy duty vehicle is a different ball game altogether. Don’t fret, there are a few steps that can help you jumpstart your heavy duty vehicle.
Ensure You Have the Right Tools
It’s extremely essential to ensure you have the right tools for the job. Jumpstarters come in a wide variety of sizes and some are designed to perform a variety of functions. The primary function of any jumpstarter is to get your vehicle started when you need it. So make sure you use a jump-starter that is properly aligned with your specific heavy duty vehicle’s starting needs.
Vital to Take Care of Your Jump-starter
This simple logic goes for all – take care of your jump-starter and it will take care of your vehicle. Keep it charged always, especially during extreme temperatures, which are always hardest on batteries. It will perform better if you can store it at a temperature above 100 C during the winter months.
NEVER Connect a Jump-starter to a Carburetor, Fuel Lines or Sheet Metal Body Parts
The importance of finding a good vehicle ground for your negative clamp shouldn’t be underestimated. For a jump-starting success, a complete conductive circuit is an absolute must. You should look for a heavy gauge metal part of the vehicle chassis or engine block, away from the battery. And, make sure NEVER to connect your jump-starter to a carburetor, fuel lines or sheet metal body parts.
Always Refer to the Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Make sure your vehicle’s battery has proper water level as advised in the manufacturer’s guidelines, if the battery is a traditional flooded battery. Add distilled water as per the guidelines if the water level is low in the battery. Overfilling the battery could cause leakage and other problems, so NEVER overfill it. Also, NEVER attempt to jumpstart a frozen battery.
Vehicles Having Multiple Batteries
For those heavy duty vehicles that have multiple batteries, the condition and conductivity of the battery connections are particularly critical. Ensure by checking if all the battery connections are tightly secured. Visually inspect connections for signs of deterioration or other problems. For example, discolorations of the battery connection can often be the result of carbon deposits on the cabling, which will cause a voltage drop across that cabling, sapping your starting power.
Connect the Jump-starter to the Closest Battery
In case your heavy duty vehicle runs on multiple batteries, always ensure you connect the jump-starter to the battery closest to the starter. Doing so will ensure that the maximum power available for the jump-starter is transferred to the ignition system, and it will not be depleted by the battery bank, which can be quite taxing on the jump-starter, depending on the number of batteries involved.
For Over-the-road (OTR) trucks, Learn to Properly Connect the Jump-starter
For larger vehicles, such as OTR trucks, first take a few minutes to light the glow plugs. Properly connect the jump-starter, put the vehicle’s key in the accessory position and light the glow plugs, which should take about 20-40 seconds. Later, turn the vehicle’s key to the off position and allow the jump-starter to recover for 2-3 minutes. Then attempt to jumpstart the vehicle. This process will significantly increase your odds of success.
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to deciding what size of jump-starter is needed for your heavy duty jump-starting tasks. These factors include – the types of vehicles you need to start, the number of jump-starts you are required to perform on any given day, the number of batteries in the typical vehicle to be started and the temperature extremes you experience in your specific climate. Each company’s needs are different, so ensure that you choose the right tools in accordance to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
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