Simple maintenance tips to keep your refrigeration fleet on the road

The safe transport of temperature sensitive freight is your number one priority as a fleet owner. This means that your transport refrigeration units must be well maintained and ready to work. Thermoking’s high quality temperature control products are built to exceed industry standards, and your Thermo King Eastern Canada service technicians are dedicated to maintaining their performance. Follow these simple concepts to maintain consistent performance of your refrigeration units and fleet uptime. .


Every reefer unit is designed to make frequent starts and stops which places a load on the battery.  This results in a battery cycle which has a limit before it must be replaced.  Maintaining the amount of energy that is cycled in and out of the battery on a given load is important to battery life.  
  • A battery with a low charge will activate a reefer unit to run even though the temperature set-point has been reached.  This is done to maintain ongoing battery health.
  • Maintaining a consistent battery voltage level is critical to the operation of a reefer unit’s telematics as well as peripheral trailer equipment that are connected to the battery.
  • Every transport refrigeration unit should have a good quality battery like an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) or Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) battery.  An FLA battery offers a battery life span of 18-24 months and many AGM battery owners incorporate solar power to extend battery life.
  • Thermolite solar panels work in conjunction with EON batteries to maintain a consistent depth of charge (DOD) for lasting performance.  Using Thermolite solar panels will also extend the warranty of an EON battery for up to four years.

Starter Motors and Alternators

Similar to batteries, the starter motor and alternator of a reefer unit are directly affected by the number of starts and stops that are made throughout the day.
  • Upgrading your reefer unit with a Thermo King alternator ensures the best performance outcomes for these components. 
  • Keeping starter motor connectors, solenoid and terminals clean along with inspecting the flywheel and tightening lose mounting bolts will extend the life of the motor.

Refrigeration System

Transport refrigeration units today utilize advanced onboard computer systems and software to keep them operating efficiently and at precise temperatures.

  • Updating your reefer unit‘s computer software regularly ensures you’re running the latest version and benefiting from any performance enhancements.
  • Sensor location and grades should be checked periodically to ensure proper operation.
  • Conduct simple visual inspections for potential signs of refrigerant leaks that can result in costly downtime.
  • Perform a visual “Quick Refrigerant Level Check” to confirm refrigerant is present in the receiver tank site glass.

General maintenance items

  • Check air, oil and fuel filters including fluids levels and viscosity.  Belts and hoses should also be checked for excessive wear.
  • Clean off dirt and debris in defrost drain hoses and flapper valves.
  • Check wiring for any lose fitting, fraying or chaffing.
  • Inspect all doors, handles and hardware.
  • Preform a Full PreTrip through the Microprocessor regularly. 

In addition to these tips, schedule a preventive maintenance program with your local Thermo King Eastern Canada Service centre and have your transport refrigeration unit serviced regularly.  This will extend the life of your fleet equipment and ensure the uptime of your operations.