While at a truck stop this week, I met a driver who was having a bit of trouble as his trailer brake lights were not functioning. He came over to me and asked to borrow my "pig tail" (electrical pig tail connection between the truck and trailer.) This particular truck stop had a repair shop, however, the line was very long. He spoke with his boss by phone regarding the situation and he suggested that the driver look for someone who might have a pig tail. Mine was difficult to get out of it's looms, therefore, I suggested we try my test light and see if we would get power at the end of his pigtail.
When I retrieved my test light, it was broken in half. We then decided to walk into the truck stop and purchase another one to find they were sold out. We walked over to the truck stop across the street and they were also sold out. At this point, I'm thinking to myself... I really want to help this guy, but murphy's law is working against us. We searched until we finally found another driver whom we could borrow from. This was good as I was getting ready to get in touch with my "inner MacGyver and make my own test light.
I put the test light at the end of the recepticle and he pressed his brake pedal down and his lights didn't come on. However, we did have power into the recepticlel. I had him take the front cover off the trailer electrical recepticle to see if there was power inside. When I checked the terminal, there was power inside the appropriate terminal and the wire was properly connected, or so it appeared. I was about to tell him he was out of luck and needed to wait for the repair shop. Just then, I noticed a wire which wasn't attached to a terminal laying inside the junction box. The brake light circuit had never been attached since this trailer had been repaired. This time, we attached the brake lights properly and they worked. The driver was thrilled as he had spent 3-4 hours on this project.
I thought to myself later that this driver paid the price for someone else not doing their job. The individual who pulled this trailer prior, could not have had working brake lights. From my point of view, it appears they didn't do their proper inspections. The wire was never connected and the mechanic who installed the junction box didn't do his job.
In today's world, where we have CSA accountability, it's important that people do their job. When you don't do things properly, it affects many people and wastes valuable time and energy. I felt bad for this driver who had to make-up for others not doing their job.