Making sure your tractor-trailer connection is safe and secure

Making sure your tractor-trailer connection is safe, secure

Air and electrical connections

When Phillips Industries announced a partnership with Innotec to offer its BOARDFREE LED lights packaged with Phillips’ STA-DRY trailer harnesses, the company noted that the TMC had issued RP-704C recommending a “whole-systems” approach to lighting when specifying new trailers to address electrical problems.

Bundling the Innotec LED lamps with its harness systems for a wide range of applications, according to Phillips, would address the TMC Recommended Practice by providing fleets with a solution designed to handle harsher weather conditions with sealed components completely protected from the environment.

For lighting maintenance needs, Phillips also offers the LITE-SENTRY, which monitors LED exterior trailer lighting for connection failures and notifies the driver by an indicator mounted at the front of the trailer. As an option, lighting and connection failure notifications can also be sent via telematics to fleet managers.

Integrated and completely sealed into a Phillips STA-DRY electrical harness, LITE-SENTRY works with all 12 volt LED trailer exterior lights that draw more than 19mA. If a significant drop in current is detected within the electrical system when power is supplied to the trailer and the driver turns on any exterior trailer lighting, the indicator light will turn on and stay on.

Phillips-industriesWhile routine preventive maintenance is not required for the completely molded Phillips STA-DRY electrical harness, the company does recommend that the plug and socket connections be cleaned every three months, or more often if needed, with a plug and socket brush and water, not soap, and that dielectric grease be applied to both the plug and socket pins after every cleaning.

Phillips maintenance recommendations for electrical systems include using heavy-duty, adhesive-lined heat shrink tubing on all connections. Additionally, after inspecting for holes, cuts or exposed conductors caused by road debris, the company says to safeguard against uneven wear by swapping plug ends from tractor to trailer every six months.

Tectran, the provider of air and electrical system components for commercial vehicles, also details air and electrical system problems and their solutions. The online resource, for example, covers a variety of issues with air and electrical line clamp hardware, hose kinking, plug corrosion and rusty gladhands.

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