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Watch: Heavy-duty truck spec’ing tips to handle parasitic electrical loads

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It’s no secret that recruiting and retaining drivers is one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Experienced, high-quality drivers is a challenge, especially on the long-haul, on-highway side of things. To make up for the fact that the job demands long hours on the road, away from family, many of today’s trucks are decked out with all the latest in technology: GPS; TVs; refrigerators; entertainment systems; you name it. All to keep drivers as comfortable in their home away from home as possible. While this is certainly important in terms of driver retention, fleet managers need to consider the enormous toll this takes on the truck’s battery, and take steps to make sure the truck starts in the morning.

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There are equipment spec’ing measures you can take to fight this. First of all, with a large enough parasitic load, even the strongest batteries can be drained. That’s why it’s especially important to spec the right type of battery for your fleet’s needs, including the route the truck runs and whether it encounters any extreme temperatures regularly. Lighting is also affected, so spec’ing the proper lights is also crucial to the truck’s electrical stability.

It might be expensive to keep these electrical loads from overloading the truck with electrical demand, but with the driver shortage still ongoing, it can be a necessary evil to keep drivers comfortable in their jobs.

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