With cold temperatures looming and winter around the corner, your heavy duty cranking system is about to be put to the test. Temperature has a huge impact on the performance of cranking systems.  First, the starter requires much more energy from the batteries in cold weather than it does in warm weather.  Second, the increased current draw results in increased voltage drop across the cables.  Third, the batteries are much less receptive to charging during cold weather.  It takes a lot longer for batteries to recharge in cold weather than it does in warm weather.

What does this mean for fleets?  Weaknesses in the cranking system might hide during the mild weather months but as soon as the weather turns cold those weaknesses will be exposed.  This means trucks that do not start.

Fleets can prepare by following TMC’s RP-129 to ensure the cranking and charging systems are ready to handle the increased demands.

–        Test both negative and positive battery cables

–        Ensure batteries are kept at a good state of charge

–        Test alternator output. Details are outlined in RP-129