Like many a smart idea in the trucking industry, the new i-Box unveiled by Phillips Industries at a press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show came from an LTL carrier looking to vastly simplify trailer wiring and connector schematics.
“The carrier came to us with a problem: When they opened up the nose on their trailers to make wiring or connector repairs, their technicians faced what looked like a bowl of spaghetti,” Bill Phillips, director of sales for Phillips Industries, told Fleet Owner. “It took two of their technicians just to push all the wiring back into place and re-close the nose compartment.”
All that fiddling around turned simple wiring or connector replacements into jobs consuming 30 minutes or more. So they approached Phillips to find a solution to their problem, with that effort turning into the i-Box.
“Today's trailers are more complicated than ever, with tracking systems, automatic tire inflation systems, lighting and other electric systems all competing for the limited wiring and connector space in the nose,” Bill Phillips said. “The i-Box removes that problem by offering 35% more interior space with quick-connect circuits in a durable box made from noncorrosive materials mounted on the trailer's exterior for easy access.”
Installation takes about 30 minutes on a trailer following guidelines provided on the company web site, according to Phillips.
Phillips noted that the i-Box can be used on doubles, dry vans and refrigerated trailers. It is available as a factory option from some trailer makers, and Vanguard has made it a standard feature. It's also offered as an aftermarket or retrofit product.