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Can I Jump Start a Semi Truck?

mechanic holding jumper cables standing in front of vehicle

“Can I jump start a semi truck?” This question may have crossed your mind while behind the wheel of your used commercial truck, especially as you head on a trip to a further destination. The answer is yes. Knowing how you can jump start a semi truck is useful knowledge to have, especially on those longer trips where you are likely to run into a secondary vehicle that can help charge your battery. Read on below to learn what you should have in your cabin and the steps involved to jump start your truck.

How to Jump Start a Commercial Semi Truck

In order to successfully jump start a semi truck, you will need the proper equipment including:

  • Jumper cables that are 15 to 20 feet long with a 2-gauge thickness (minimum recommendation)
  • An assisting vehicle with a battery of equal voltage (majority of semi truck are 24-volt)
  • OR
  • Safety Glasses
  • A battery charger with the correct voltage and heavy-duty cables

Once you have all the materials you will need to jump start your semi truck, take the following steps:

  • Grab your safety glasses and turn off the electrical systems like the radio before you begin connecting cables. Ensure that your truck is turned off.
  • Next, locate the starter terminals of the truck, be sure to clean off any rust or debris before connecting a cable.
  • If you are relying on a secondary vehicle with the same voltage, attach the other positive (+) end of the cable to the second battery’s positive (+) terminal. Attach the end of the negative (-) cable to the second battery’s negative (-) terminal.
  • If you are relying on a battery charger connect the positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal of the battery.
  • Look inside the engine compartment of the truck and locate a metal plate that is unpainted and free of rust. The air conditioner’s compressor bracket, alternator bracket, or the engine manifold are solid options. Connect the other end of the negative (-) cable to the metal plate.
  • Start the engine of the assisting vehicle or the battery charger, depending on which option you are using. Let the second vehicle or battery charger run for a few minutes.
  • Start the semi truck with the dead battery. The engine should turn over. If it does not, double-check the cables and connections. Wait for a few minutes, then attempt to start the truck again.
  • Once the semi truck has started, disconnect the cables in the reverse order in which they were secured. Turn off the assisting car or charger.
  • Let your semi truck run for about 15 to 20 minutes to ensure the battery is fully charged.

Get Additional Trucking Tips from International Used Truck Centers!

Now that you know how to jump start a semi truck you can drive around with confidence. International Used Truck Centers is your best source for truck driving tips, including brake maintenance and tire maintenance! If you have additional questions about how to jump start your semi truck, contact us or visit us today!

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International Used Truck Centers 41.776180, -88.200918.