Long story short, we had our yearly government inspection here at the airport. Everything passed with no problem, although we were asked the question, "Why aren't your trucks plugged in?" No one said anything before he asked again, "How do you know it'll start?" Now we plug our trucks in after our work is over (usually around 1700hrs) and they stay plugged in until the morning when the next shift comes on duty and does their daily truck check (0700hrs) I was asked to get in my truck and start it, and of course it started with no problem. Now we are all questioning when and how long to plug in our trucks. I personally think its ridiculous to plug them in 24/7, I think it could damage the battery charger. Little back ground we have 2 Oshkosh T-3000's and 1 E-One Titan 8x8.
Is there anything in the NFPA codes stating when/how long trucks should be plugged in? When do you plug your trucks in? Just trying to clear up some un-answered questions. Thanks for everyones input!
We have 110 volt 2 amp battery tenders that stayed plugged in 24/7 if not out of the house, this eliminates any question of a dead battery. Don't ask me why but even with master switches off they will drain over time, and it is just not worth the chance.
With todays new computer controlled engine systems there is constant drain on any electrical system in a unit, add to this the amount of extra equipment we install on the system i.e.- data terminals, radios, gps systems, equipment chargers, etc. (All of these need to powered up 24/7 to be useful) and it makes sense to have battery maintenance systems installed on every unit and plug it in all of the time. Notice the term "Battery Maintenance System" this is more than a battery charger, it is itself a computer chip controlled system that keeps the battery at full charge. It does not charge the battery all of the time, only when the level goes down to a certain point. We have them on all apparatus and they are plugged in whenever the unit is in quarters, even our comand car has a system on it so that the data terminals can stay booted up 24/7. In addition all units have the same connection in a common location so that all parking slots can accomodate any one of our units. While we do not have inhouse air systems I for one advocate installing a small 110v or 12v compressor on each vehicle to keep the air brake system up also, as units get older there can be very small leaks that can cost thousands of dollars to find and it is simpler to have the on board system.
Oh yes it has been done at Fort Bayou lol. We're not that bad though, most ppl yank it out before they crank the truck anyways. Had our neighbors to the norht ruin 2 stand up air compressors though. Betcha can't guess why!
Well I guess I did forget about the charging units for our handlights/spotlights. Our trucks don't have gps or onboard computers, theyre crash trucks designed to stay on the airfield or within a couple miles of it. But plugging them in allows the air compressor to keep up the airbreaks incase there is a leak(and atleast one of our trucks leaks a very little bit of air from time to time), and it also goes to the engine block heater to keep them warmed up in the winter time.
I guess it was just the inspector asking us in that butt-head tone of voice, "Well if they're not plugged in, how do you know they'll start?!" that kind of made me think it was dumb to keep the trucks plugged in when not in use. Our trucks don't kick out the plug when you start up the engine, and in my first 3 months of driving I took off when the truck plugged in, thankfully it just ripped the connection off the cord and it was easily replaced. Learned my lesson (though I was used to driving engines/tankers/brush apparatus that kicked out the cord when you started up the engine.
Thanks for the replies.