7 tips for jumpstarting heavy-duty equipment

Updated Feb 9, 2023

How to jumpstart construction equipment

When the mercury drops, equipment can sometimes get cantankerous when starting. Clore Automotive says these tips will get your engine humming again:

  1. Make sure you use a jumpstarter that can be used on heavy equipment.
  2. Keep your jumpstarter charged, especially during extreme temperatures, which are hard on a battery. If possible, store it above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Find a good vehicle ground for your negative clamp, such as a heavy-gauge metal part of the equipment chassis or engine block that’s away from the battery. A complete conductive circuit is crucial to jumpstarting success. Never connect to a carburetor, fuel lines or sheet-metal body parts.
  4. Check the water level on a traditional flooded battery to make sure it meets manufacturer’s guidelines. If the water level is low, add distilled water as directed. Never overfill, which could cause leakage and other problems. And never attempt to jumpstart a frozen battery.
  5. On vehicles with multiple batteries, the condition and conductivity of the battery connections is critical. Check that all battery connections are tight and secure and inspect them for signs of deterioration or other problems.
  6. If the machine has multiple batteries, always connect to the battery closest to the starter. This will ensure that the maximum power available from the jumpstarter is transferred to the starting system, not depleted by the battery bank.
  7. On larger vehicles, such as off-highway haulers, first take a few minutes to light the glow plugs. Properly connect the jumpstarter, put the vehicle’s key into the accessory position and light the glow plugs, which should take 20 to 40 seconds. Then turn the vehicle’s key to the off position and allow the jumpstarter to recover for 2 to 3 minutes. Then attempt to jumpstart the vehicle.

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