As the use of inverters to reduce idling increases, Xantrex Technology is recommending the products be installed by a truck OEM or authorized dealer only.
Xantrex said it expects sales to increase at 40% in the next few years as truckers look to remain compliant with ever-stricter idling regulations.
Inverters convert standard battery (DC) power to AC household current to power electrical appliances and entertainment systems.
“For fleets aiming to retain drivers and provide them with a more comfortable experience in the cab, adding an inverter-charger will go a long way toward job satisfaction,” said Steve Carlson, OEM sales manager for Xantrex, a manufacturer of onboard power products for commercial trucks. “Plus, fleets and owner-operators will realize lower fuel costs, reduce idling that will save wear and tear on truck engines and enhance resale value.”
Xantrex said its inverter-charger powers in-cab loads such as TV and microwaves without idling by utilizing the truck’s batteries. As a safeguard, the unit will shut off automatically when battery voltage drops to a pre-set level to preserve the batteries and ensure the truck starts. When shore power is available, the external source provides power to the loads and charges the batteries.
The company said that professional installation of the devices offers several advantages.
“When you have the inverter-charger factory installed, the manufacturer uses the proper size cables, fuses and components for the system,” Carlson said. “OEM or authorized dealer installation will give the fleet operator confidence that the inverter-charger unit will function properly without harming the truck’s electrical system.”
Because of wiring complexity, Carlson recommends against self-installation.
“There is a big difference between tackling your own wiring at home and wiring a vehicle that vibrates down the road all day long,” he explained. “A common mistake people make when installing a system is using under-sized battery cable that can lead to overheating of the cable and consequent damage to the truck and property, and risk to personal safety.”