The aim of the new products, according to Thermo King power management development manager Paul Kroes, is to optimize power management and maximize uptime for liftgates and electric pallet jacks.
The new products include a boost charger, which takes the input power and boosts it to a healthy level for what is being charged; an auto-start module that automatically activates when it detects liftgate power levels falling too low; and an electric pallet jack (EPJ) charger, which puts power inside the trailer the keep electric pallet jacks charged.
Kroes said the boost charger is designed with three-stage battery charging to help maximize battery life by charging at the proper level. It delivers power through the seven-way circuit and is available in 20-amp and 35-amp models.
The auto-start module pulls power from the reefer and makes sure a trailer’s liftgate and lights stay charged.
Finally, the electric pallet jack charger generates power from the liftgate battery pack and has built-in protections to preserve the liftgate’s battery. The system is installed under the trailer to keep the electronics out of the trailer to reduce the change of damage, Kroes said.
Kroes added that he has seen an increase in EPJ use among Thermo King’s fleet customers, and the charger is something requested by customers.
“When you’re out of power with an EPJ, you’re done. You can’t move those things,” Kroes said. “This charger allows for an on-board, in route charge so the pallet jack is ready to go at every stop.”
Kroes added that if a fleet installed the full suite of new options, it would only add approximately 100 pounds to the weight of the trailer.
Last year, the company introduced solar panels as part of its power management suite of products.