Fleet Maintenance - 20
Shining some light on supplemental solar
The panels can be mounted to the
roof of a vehicle or trailer using either
an adhesive backing or mechanical
fasteners. The panels come complete
with an industrial-grade adhesive
already applied. "The simple peeland-stick installation requires only
removing the paper backing from the
solar panels and pressing the panels
firmly to the roof of the vehicle or
trailer," says Sean O'Connor, business
development manager at Go Power!
Solar power can
charging for liftgates.
Some liftgate manufacturers say
supplemental solar is an effective
way to help maintain charged
liftgate batteries. One potential
option is offered by a company
called Go Power!, a wholly owned
subsidiary of Valterra Products.
The Go Power Dual Charging System
(No. GP-DCS-300), a dual charging
system for pallet jack and liftgate
charging, consists of the following:
* Three roof-mounted solar panels
that generate 300 watts of power
* Harnessing to get the power
from the solar panels to
the Auto Switching Unit
* The Auto Switching Unit itself
* Harnessing to send the power to the
liftgate batteries and a pallet jack
The system's solar harnessing is
either run into the back of the vehicle
through the roof, or down the back
rails of the liftgate and connecting
to the Auto Switching Unit. The Auto
Switching Unit is typically installed on
the curb-side of the vehicle or trailer
and is commonly located close to the
top corner of the sliding door track.
The system also includes a short
harness with quick connectors that
plugs into the pallet jack when it
is in the vehicle or trailer. There is
another longer harness that passes
as supplementary solar, or perhaps a DC/DC
converter system that brings a certain amount
of charge back to the batteries. This is very much
a [specifying] issue."
Walker says Anthony Liftgates likes the method
of supplementary solar. "We think this approach
will continue to grow because it offers many
advantages," Walker says. "Currently, solar panels
through the floor and connects to
the batteries on the vehicle or trailer.
Even on overcast days, O'Connor says
the Go Power Dual Charging System
uses power from the sun to charge
batteries. It charges the liftgate
batteries consistently, and switches
to charge the pallet jack when it is
connected. The key component to
the system, the Auto Switching Unit,
automatically adapts the charging
power from 12V nominal DC (used for
liftgate battery charging) to 24V nominal DC (used to charge pallet jacks).
The Go Power Dual Charging System
will charge liftgate and pallet jack
batteries any time it is light out. "The
system does not require either the
vehicle to be running or a truck to
be connected to a trailer with the
alternator running to accomplish
its charging task," O'Connor says.
"A trailer or vehicle can sit idly in
the yard and have its pallet jack
and auxiliary batteries remain fully
charged without using any fossil fuel."
do not entirely charge a liftgate. But they provide a
good supplementary charge along with the tractor.
A 100- or 200-watt panel on top of the trailer-
coupled with drive time-helps to ensure that the
batteries don't burn up so fast."
Supplementary solar aside, Walker agrees that
DC/DC converters are also a popular and effective
method of battery recharging. Simply put, electricity
for Every Application
» The Purkeys
Direct Flex liftgate
mounts on the
front of a trailer.
nosebox is an
for fleets, the
Photo courtesy of Purkeys
from the tractor batteries has to travel a long
distance (roughly 50') to reach the liftgate batteries in the back of a trailer. Voltage drop ensues,
making it harder for liftgate batteries to ever get to
a full state of charge. A battery recharging system
can help combat this.
Purkeys is a manufacturer of battery recharging systems. According to Larry Rambeaux, sales
manager, a Purkeys system consists of two main
parts. "The 'brawn' is a DC/DC converter in the
back of the trailer, which can step 11V back to
the battery pack, up to 14V," Rambeaux says. "The
'brain' resides on the front of the trailer. We do
systems for single input or multiple inputs, giving
fleets flexibility and options. We also have systems
for straight trucks, which is a growing market due
to the increase in home deliveries."
Generally speaking, battery recharging systems
leverage power from the tractor batteries. But as
Rambeaux points out, a refrigerated trailer can
also be tapped. "This can be very helpful because
of the anti-idling laws," Rambeaux says. "If a reefer
fires up, we can charge from it during a delivery,
According to Rambeaux, one of the biggest
hurdles Purkeys has to overcome is when users
convert from older systems. "These users don't
experience the battery failures like they
used to, and they forget about preventive maintenance," Rambeaux says.
"They were used to replacing batteries
fairly frequently, but now don't even
go in the battery box for two years. It's
important for a fleet to open up that
battery box once or probably twice a
year to load test the batteries just like
they would on a tractor or reefer."
Sideloaders, and Conventional models are all part of the THIEMAN line-up.
For many years THIEMAN has been customizing liftgates to meet specific needs.
If a special need arises, give us a call. From 1000 lb. to 6600 lb. lifting capacities,
THIEMAN can provide a liftgate for almost every application.
"Ra is i ng P erforma nce To New Lev els"
600 E. Wayne Street * Celina, Ohio 45822
Ph: (800) 524-5210 * 419-586-7727 * Fax: (419) 586-9724
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org * Website: www.thiemantailgates.com
20 Fleet Maintenance | May 2019
For liftgate battery recharging systems
and liftgates themselves, preventive
maintenance is essential - and it
doesn't need to be overly complicated.
Remember, the inherent electrical challenges of a liftgate can lead to problems.
"There are downsides to running on
low voltage," Walker says. "When voltage gets low, it can wear a hydraulic
power unit out quicker. It creates more
heat inside the motor. When it gets
really low, it can cause the solenoids to
chatter and wear out prematurely. When
we see liftgates fail early, they are often
being run a lot and not getting enough
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime - Are You Communicating with Employees Effectively?
Trends in Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils
Vehicles - Keys to Consistent Liftgate Performance
In the Bay - How Standardized Vehicle Communication Protocols Impact Diagnostics and Vehicle Operation
Shop Operations - Considerations for Mobile Device Usage in the Shop
Training - Where are all the Students Going?
Management - Why the Recent Airline Accidents Should be Concerning
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial - How Much Do You Spend on DPF Maintenance?
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime - Are You Communicating with Employees Effectively?
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Trends in Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles - Keys to Consistent Liftgate Performance
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay - How Standardized Vehicle Communication Protocols Impact Diagnostics and Vehicle Operation
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations - Considerations for Mobile Device Usage in the Shop
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - 30
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Training - Where are all the Students Going?
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Management - Why the Recent Airline Accidents Should be Concerning
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 38
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial - How Much Do You Spend on DPF Maintenance?
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48