November 9, 2020

Refrigeration Unit Maintenance Tips: Part 1

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Refrigeration Unit Maintenance Tips: Part 1

Keep your fleet on the road by avoiding these common maintenance issues

With all that goes into ensuring the safe and successful transport of temperature-sensitive goods, you don’t want to worry about the reliability of your refrigeration unit. At Thermo King, we are not only committed to supplying you with a high-quality refrigeration unit but are also dedicated to keeping it on the road for as long as possible. We sat down with Scott Koch and Freddy Muñoz, Thermo King district service managers, to learn about common refrigeration unit maintenance issues. By familiarizing yourself with the following concepts, you’ll be able to avoid potential problems before they occur and keep your unit up and running. 

Starters and Alternators

  • These will be affected by the number of stops and starts a TRU makes during the day.
  • Upgrading to the new and improved Thermo King alternator on both OE and SLP products will significantly increase the life and performance of the alternator. 

Normal maintenance items

  • Don’t overlook air, oil and fuel filters, fluids, and belts.
  • Check defrost drain hoses and flapper valves for dirt and debris.
  • Check for loose, frayed or chaffing wiring.
  • Inspect doors and hardware.
  • Preform a Full PreTrip through the Microprocessor regularly. 

Getting your refrigeration unit serviced regularly will extend its life cycle and keep your business on the road. 

Batteries - Maintaining battery health is critical to reducing some of the most common out-of-service issues.

  • TRUs stop and start frequently during the day and a battery have a limited number of cycles.
  • A battery with a low charge can cause a unit to run even though the setpoint has reached to keep the battery in a healthy state.
  • With many units connected to cellular communication devices, the battery voltage is critical to maintaining. This is primarily due to the parasitic load from the telematics system and any additional loads connected to the battery. 
  • A good quality battery is required for TRU applications. AGM or FLA are both quality batteries. FLA batteries often have a life of 18-24 months. Many customers have elected to use AGM’s in TRUs and are incorporating solar to significantly increase the life of their batteries.
  • Adding ThermoLite® solar panels with an EON battery will extend the warranty of the EON battery to four years hassle-free.

Refrigeration system

  • Check for software updates to ensure the unit is running on the latest software version. This will take advantage of any enhancements due to software updates.
  • Sensor location and grades should be checked periodically to ensure proper operation.
  • Check for signs of refrigerant leaks (visual inspection).
  • Perform a “Quick Refrigerant Level Check”.

Want to learn more?

As part of the Refrigeration Unit Maintenance Tips series, check out additional tips and tricks here:
Part 3