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G. Christianson

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How to Wrap Electrical Tape

Posted by G. Christianson on Aug 14, 2018 9:15:05 AM

2 fundamental techniques explaining how to wrap electrical tape with OEM integrity

Few things beat the satisfaction of stepping back to admire a job well done – especially when it comes to pristine electrical work. These two techniques explain how to wrap electrical tape to create safe and error-free wire harnesses.

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Topics: Tesa tape, electrical tape, tape wrapping techniques

Everything You Need to Know about Terminal Blocks

Posted by G. Christianson on Mar 16, 2018 10:31:08 AM

When assembling a circuit, it's easy to forget that there's far more to it than just wires and solder. Terminal blocks are a useful, and often crucial, component for any fleet's electrical wiring needs. But what are their functions, and what do you need to know about them?

What Are Terminal Blocks?

Terminal blocks, also sometimes less accurately called "screw terminals," are essentially a form of electrical interchange that distributes power around your fleet vehicles. Just like a trucker takes a cloverleaf to get off one interstate and on to the next one, a terminal block serves as a sort of routing tool for automotive electrical purposes, both within circuits and connecting different circuits to each other.

As a rule, you connect a wire to a terminal block either by stripping it of insulation, wrapping it around a screw, and then securing the screw in the terminal, or by soldering a connector to the wire and attaching it to the terminal. Generally in automotive electric you see the latter, although screw connections may still be present in some non-essential devices. Terminal blocks are designed for quick and simple connections that can be quickly done and quickly fixed.

Generally terminal blocks have two purposes, to connect different circuits together and to provide an electrical ground for a circuit. Grounding, of course, provides a safe route for a circuit to terminate, reducing the risk of short circuits within your system or serious injury to members of your team. Connecting different circuits can be a time-consuming task that terminal blocks make easier, although for circuits that need to more strongly interact with each other, your fleet team may need to use different techniques.

Advantages And Disadvantages

The main advantage for a terminal block is cost. Compared to other types of connectors, a terminal block is relatively cheap. It's also, to some degree, relatively a time saver, as connecting wires to one isn't an elaborate process and can be easily done by any well-equipped shop. If a driver is properly trained and has the correct tools, they can even effect small repairs to in-cab equipment on the road, depending on your policy.

The main disadvantage, on the other hand, is that in the presence of vibration or jostling, wires can be knocked loose from terminal blocks -- even well secured connections. As a result, fleet teams should test a connection if possible before implementing it, to ensure that it can withstand the rigors it's being put to. Another potential drawback is space, as due to their construction, terminal blocks can only be so small. That can often make them a better option for in-cab and non-essential wiring.

When choosing terminal blocks, it's important to consult with your team about their needs and concerns. Most terminal blocks, especially for fleets, have specific purposes they're best used for, and similarly they're not the answer in all electrical situations. But, for quick, efficient connections and power distribution, terminal blocks are handy to have. For the best in terminal blocks and circuit connections, view our terminals and connectors.
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Topics: Terminals & Connectors

Four Extra Protection Measures that Extend the Life of Your Automotive Wiring

Posted by G. Christianson on Mar 16, 2018 10:21:16 AM

Automotive wiring has a tough job to do. Keeping your fleet up and running isn't easy, and often the electrical system takes the brunt of it. There's a lot you can do to keep your wiring functioning in top form, such as ...
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Topics: Wire & Cable

Everything You Need to Know about Heat Shrink Protection

Posted by G. Christianson on Mar 16, 2018 10:17:33 AM

Heat shrink protection is an excellent technique for protecting crucial electrical connections and keeping wire connections secure. However, some confusion lingers over the procedure and how it's used. Here's what every fleet needs to know about heat shrink protection.
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Topics: Wire & Cable

Four Tips for Operating a More Fuel Efficient Fleet

Posted by G. Christianson on Mar 16, 2018 9:06:28 AM

Don't let your electrical system short you on fuel.

Fleets are always thirsty for fuel. Even with the stunning advances made in fuel efficiency for industrial vehicles from tractor trailers to agricultural equipment, everybody wants to get more out of every drop in the tank. And you can always get at least a little bit more out of your fuel budget, especially from the electrical system, if you know where to look.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Fleet Management

Fleet Managers...Are Your Snowplows Ready for Winter?

Posted by G. Christianson on Sep 22, 2017 10:22:42 AM

With winter approaching, now is the perfect time to give your current snowplow, or your entire fleet, a thorough inspection. An effective maintenance plan enables your snow-removal equipment to operate as intended—and also ensures long-lasting reliability.

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Topics: snowplow,, snowplow maintenance, snowplow upgrades, winter, winter snow removal, snowplow electrical troubleshooting, snowplow warning lights, snowplow alarms

Battery Isolators vs. Separators: What's the Difference?

Posted by G. Christianson on Jan 25, 2017 2:21:10 PM

Controlling parasitic loads, aka battery drain, and properly distributing electrical power is crucial to keeping vehicles working. However, this requires balancing the needs of the battery against those of the electrical system.

The addition of electrical loads such as lights,   entertainment systems, communications equipment and other accessories, continue to draw power when the engine is off. For these applications, having a multiple battery system is essential, but simply being wired into the vehicle’s electrical system can allow auxiliary batteries to drain power from the main battery, inhibiting engine starting and other essential functions.

This is where battery isolators and separators come into play. But despite seeming very similar, their jobs are very different.


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Topics: Battery Management, Battery Isolators, Battery Separators

Spotlights vs. Floodlights - Which Work Light Is Right For You

Posted by G. Christianson on Dec 14, 2016 12:40:26 PM

When it comes to lighting patterns for vehicle work lights, we often ask customers if they prioritize breadth or depth and are sometimes met with confusion. We find that some work vehicle customers are unsure whether spotlights or floodlights will best suit their operators' needs. While these two types of lighting patterns can be confused, it's important for upfitters to understand the differences in their lighting output and what the best applications are for each. So what is the difference, and where and when should they be installed and used?

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Lighting

How to Select Heat Shrink for Your Application

Posted by G. Christianson on Nov 17, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Heat shrink is one of the most useful products in many low voltage applications. It repairs insulation, it offers protection against abrasion and moisture intrusion for wires, it provides needed support and strain relief and generally it allows for more design flexibility and capability for any automotive electrical use. But picking heat shrink can be a difficult task if you're not familiar with it. How do you select the right heat shrink for the job?

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Heat Shrink

Fuses 101: What You Need to Know

Posted by G. Christianson on Nov 8, 2016 11:30:00 AM

While circuit breakers are becoming more prominent in 12-volt system design, the fuse remains a common, and useful, technology. If you're not up on your fuses, here's an overview of where they fit into automotive circuit protection.

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Topics: Fuses


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