The Rising Challenge

Can fleets afford to live without inverters?


Power inverters are more popular than ever for drivers due to economical, health and autonomy reasons. Facing this reality, a lot of drivers have taken it upon themselves to buy and install power inverters. Today's fleets are dealing with trucks equipped with inverters which may not have been specifically designed for highway trucks, resulting in battery, alternator and electrical issues.

Can large fleets afford to keep struggling against inverters? This is a question that's been around for at least 15 years. Power inverters are among the most efficient and cost effective tools to improve drivers' performance and generate savings.

The primary reason for drivers to use power inverters is simple: saving money. We all know how much it costs eating at restaurants when on vacation or on a business trip and how comforting it is to come home! The only thing drivers are asking for is minimal comfort and autonomy. Without an inverter, life on the road can be much more difficult than most people realize. Trucks may be more comfortable than 25 years ago, but the reality today is that even with the best seat, air suspensions and cushy carpeting, being a truck driver isn't much easier than in was in the '90s.

Can large fleets still impose a widely spread "no inverter" policy, and still afford to lose good drivers to other industries or competitors? Unlike any other sector of activity, the trucking industry is spending millions per year in recruitment, cash incentives and free training. How can an industry still endure a 125 percent annual turnover rate without collateral damages and profitability losses?

Inverters are not miraculous, but are part of a solution in a long-term plan that should bring fleet managers and drivers together again. There are still carriers thinking that forbidding inverters is the way to go, but this fight for economy & autonomy by drivers could become a serious threat in placing valuable equipment like trucks at high risk, and cost them millions per year in added maintenance and related problems with unauthorized and inadequate items. You would be surprised how imaginative drivers can be in trying to upgrade their quality of life with temporary fittings such as budget inverters, propane stoves, BBQ grills and all sorts of heating devices connected to lighter plugs, and how frequent these fittings are in fleets known to have a very strict "no inverter" policy.

The advantages for drivers are obvious and easy to calculate, but inverters can also be very beneficial for fleets. Drivers will spend less time in truck stops and restaurants, so more time on the road. They will clock fewer miles and use less fuel by doing quick stops in rest areas, they will be able to eat while being unloaded and be ready to go back on the road quicker. They will benefit from longer periods of rest by losing less time during the day, which is a significant reduction of stress.

Looking at the potential wages, driving a truck for $50,000 a year is an attractive job. But let's be honest: if drivers have to spend $40/day in restaurants, they will end up earning $12,000 less per year. With an inverter, those expenditures could be reduced by 60 percent.

The bottom line is: power inverters are among the most cost efficient tools to support drivers, improve their health and make them more productive. Power inverters, unlike any other product in the market, are capable of generating tremendous savings for all parties involved, when selected and installed properly. Stepping forward with the implementation of "truck approved" power inverters can have a huge impact on the trucking industry. Inverters can help the industry keep its workforce in place for better days, and help drivers and fleets to unite again and succeed.

With his 17 years of experience in the trucking industry and a strong background in the field of power electronics, Francois Prevost is well known for his innovative approach in mobile electricity and extensive knowledge of this entire sector of activity, which has made of Tundra International a trusted name in the industry.

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