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!
After we return to the station. (We tried plugging them in before we returned, but the cords weren't long enough).
All of the extra power equipment we have to carry now, IE portable radios, hand lights, turbo flares, etc., apparatus batteries will not last very long. We are not having any problem with overcharging. Most conditioners and mid priced chargers automatically reduce the power to the batteries to prevent overcharging.
To avoid the problem of taking off with the shoreline attached, (yes I have done it too) we made "pig tails" which will break away from the rest of the shoreline.
I am an ARFF guy. We use OSHKOSH, T-1500's and 3000's. They are all plugged in 24-7. The battery onboard conditioners cycle on and off when needed. We also have on-board electrical powered air compressors that keep the brake's air pressure up for maximum pressure.
Now in my structural station: We plug them in after every call as well. Example we have an aerial ladder that the transmission will not shift properly, if you allow the onboard batteries (small ones just for the transmission) to drop below a cetain voltage.
Our trucks all use a pigtail method. Most apparatus have auto-eject shorelines. Now when they decide to not work as designed, they literally rip the shoreline from the ceiling or junction box. If a pigtail is used, it can eliminate the damage to the junction box, cord or truck. A short- 12" pigtail is essentially a short 12" extension cord plugged into the end of the house shore line cord. It will unplug easier when the auto-eject fails. This will eliminate the cord ripping the junction box/conduit down.
We have arrived many times to the scene of a call, and found the 12" cord still attached to the non-releasing auto-eject. No harm no foul...
I like the comments about driving off without unplugging the line... I've not done it myself (thankfully) but I know it used to happen! Doesn't happen with the new trucks because they are wired so that if the power cable is plugged in, then the engine simply will not start.
well our trucks stay pluged in 24/7 till we get a call and then if the truck is dirty we wash it off and then pull it back in the bay and plug them back in the battery charger aint going to over charge it thats why it has a trickel charger.....we keep ours pluged up 24/7 and it dont mess the batterys up at all.... its a good idea if you ask me about it so if the truck is pluged up u know when you unplug that truck its going to start.....