A recent “shocking” experience led me to an important realization that I am at the very best, not anything close to a professional electrician. Armed with a test-light and basic wiring diagrams, I was met with harsh opposition when trying to straighten out some mixed-up, corroded wiring on one of my trailers. Not that I’m saying a trucker can’t be an electrician in literal terms, so much as I am stating for the record that the trucker writing this article is anything but!
After a recent floor replacement on a spare 53 dry van trailer of mine and some light issues as a result, I jockeyed said trailer over to my local mechanic shop for a look-see. With turn signals tripping brake lights, markers blinking with signals, and various other bugs in the trailer light system, I decided to open up the front wiring junction box after the mechanic was unsure they could correct the issues. Once I popped it open, I saw nearly as much corrosion as I did wiring and immediately deduced the need to put in a new female plug harness.
To make things easier, I labeled all the wires as I took them off the old one and made sure they matched color to color to their fuse posts inside the circular-shaped loom. After stripping new wire ends and reconnecting the new posts inside, I began testing each post for its proper function during a connectivity test with my test-light, while plugged into the truck’s green power cord. With only a few small arcs here and there and all circuits testing to their proper function on the front end of the trailer, a day of labor wasted chasing all these problems led me to the conclusion that the problem now was somewhere under the floor between the front and back of the trailer, where all the connections split off to their individual light circuits.
Not wanting to spend another day chasing wires down the underside of the trailer, while also wanting to avoid more dangerous consequences than just a couple of arcs and sparks, I decided taking it a few blocks away to an electrical professional was in my best interest! Knowing the limits of one’s ability is a useful tool in eliminating wasted time, even if it means admitting defeat in the decision. In terms of safety and time, the wise choice for me was to hire a professional, like those that hire me to deliver their freight. A professional is a professional for a reason, if nothing else but to save those with their knowledge who are not! Quick work was made and the problems were fixed in a swift fashion, all while allowing me to tend to more pressing matters for my fleet and drivers! I am all for leaving the trucking to the truckers and the electrical to the electricians!