As you ponder how having a short fuse may be seen as useful in an industry where patience is most certainly tested regularly, allow me to flip script!  This is not the type that can land you in a fist throwing brawl, or even worse, kicked off a customer's property for good.  You see, there is another "short fuse" that can make for some unsafe conditions on the road if you are not in its possession.  You don't quite realize the importance of this type of fuse until you need one and don't have one.  This means I am of course sharing some information on those all too important "short" electrical fuses that protect our electrical components.  

It was a dark and cold morning...okay, so California is not "cold" per se, but stay with me here!  I started this morning like any other morning; hook my loaded trailer, conduct a pre-trip safety check, update my log, then off and away.  as I pulled into the receiver for my first delivery of the morning I noticed that my corner marker lights were not working, front nor rear.  I proceeded to back into the dock to unload and began troubleshooting as they began to unload me.  

Knowing it was a trailer light problem, I immediately headed for the light fuse box located on the firewall of the engine compartment on the drivers side.  This fuse box, unlike many I have had the pleasure of dealing with, makes it easier to inspect fuses quickly.  Still, being dark and cold outside, it was not a delightful task by far.  I was able to locate the blown fuse after having to pull a couple.  The culprit...a 30 amp fuse for the trailer marker lights.  This was most likely due to a short from the rain the previous night.  

Figuring it an easy fix, I headed into the tool storage under the bunk to dig into the pouch in my tool bag where I keep the spare fuses.  Rats...no 30 amp was there to be had, but I did have plenty of 15 and 20 amps!  With this 30 amp fuse blown, I was lucky to still have turn and tail lights in the rear, but knew it would not be safe to go any further without getting a new fuse in the hole.  With five other trucks unloading on the docks with me, I assumed it would be easy to find someone that could spare an extra fuse.  There's that haunting word again..."assume"!  I could not believe that out of five trucks there no one had any fuses whatsoever!  Low and behold, the only one that I was able to get one from was the guy working on the forklifts for the warehouse.  Since that fateful morning, I have bought a complete fuse repair kit, including a fuse tester/puller.

A fuse is most likely one of those things in your tool bag you will only need once in a blue moon.  Be sure to know where your fuse boxes are (engine compartment, glove box, etc.) and always have plenty of all sizes you may need.  The one thing you don't want is to be stuck somewhere, or have to contemplate unsafe operation of your truck because you were unprepared!
 

Comments (7)

Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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I get a joy out of helping others as well when have the things they don't as well. That happens a lot with these small tools and my bolt cutters. I though the teaser would work well...not often anyone sees my "crazy eyes"! I would expect this becomes a very valuable resource for Craig, as I can only imagine some of the "middle of nowhere" place he has to go. Not like a Napa or O'Reilly are right around the corner! 10-4 on the size variety as well Kurt. I have made it a habit to pick up more and more of these "small stuff's" each and every time I visit Harbor Freight Tools (if you have those where you are, if not you need one for sure. It's the best tool supplier I know).

February 06, 2014 18:12:00 PM

And now in order to have "a" spare, you need to have lots of variety. Mini, micro, and for the radios the glass tube style, and a huge one for the main system.

February 06, 2014 17:14:40 PM

I like to think I carry everything I'll need but always seem to need something I don't carry in the truck or travel trailer. I've made the travel trailer we pull behind the truck my mobile truck stop store which allows me to carry less in the truck. Usually if I don't have something there is someone else on the fire that will have it and we all help each other when possible.

February 03, 2014 13:39:19 PM

Nice teaser picture Jimmy! :)

February 03, 2014 9:03:17 AM

I keep a bag of fuses, circit breakers, light bulbs, test light, tape and many other little items in my truck. The nice thing about Murphys law is I never need what I have but it is nice to have when others are in need of a fuse.

February 03, 2014 8:24:03 AM

Being regulated as something we are supposed to have, I was very shocked to not have found anyone that morning that had them. Of course, the lack of enforcement if they are regulated could be the case too, since I never was asked about them in my last flu blown inspection. The only thing they wanted to see in my storage bin were my safety triangles and my fire suppression device. It is a must have for anyone that wants to operate safely though!

February 02, 2014 10:32:20 AM

With CSA not have spare fusses would not be wise. I know Bob has a spare fuse for everything. I was under the impression that by regulation we had to carry certain spare fusses.

February 02, 2014 5:22:01 AM