NEWS | Jan. 21, 2021

RTCH: Cold Weather Preventive Maintenance

Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH)
Photo by Scott Sturkol

This article initially appeared in PS 708 (Nov 11), p. 46-47. 
 
Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH) Hard to Start?

These vehicles have a fuel canister that automatically injects ether into the engine for cold weather starting. If the RTCH is hard to start, chances are the canister is empty. Have your mechanic replace it.
 
Canister empty?
Canister empty?
 
Drain Out Water
 
Water in your RTCH’s fuel will leave its engine running rough or not at all.

Water gets in the fuel when warm days and cool nights cause condensation to form in the vehicle’s fuel tank. Get rid of the water by draining the fuel/water separator each week like it says in the TM.

Open the separator—located behind the roadside engine access door—by turning its drain cock counterclockwise. Store drained fuel in an approved hazardous waste container. Never dump it down a drain or let it run on the ground.

If the fuel is clear, you’re OK. If the fuel doesn’t run clear after you’ve drained half a pint or so, close the valve and report it to your mechanic.
 
Drain fuel/water separator
Drain fuel/water separator
 
Starter Reminder

It’s a fact that many engine starters end up at sustainment maintenance for repair, especially during cold weather, because operators burn out the starter.

When you’re trying to start your container handler’s engine, never keep the starter engaged for more than 30 seconds. If the engine doesn’t start by then, stop! Give the starter at least two minutes to cool off before trying again. You’ll find this info in WP 0005 00-2 of TM 10-3930-675-10-1.

If the RTCH won’t start after three tries, call it quits. Get your mechanic to find out what’s wrong.