06:55 PM

Improving Reliability

One of the many technologies on Great Dane trailers that have continuously evolved are LED (Light Emitting Diode) lamps. Initially these lamps were not popular when they were first introduced to the trucking industry in 1990. Now, these longer lasting and more durable lamps are the lighting solution of choice for customers and have been specified as standard equipment on most trailer orders.

LED lamps have a number of advantages over incandescent lighting, including a much longer service life because they do not produce heat and are much less susceptible to shock and vibration. Unlike an incandescent bulb with a thin white-hot filament, LED lamps produce light when electricity passes through a silicon crystal. This helps give LED lamps an expected life of six times longer than traditional incandescent trailer light bulbs.

For Great Dane customers, longer life lamps will add up in replacement cost savings. Fewer replacements also lower maintenance expenses and reduces the potential for injury when replacing bulbs or lamps in top rails and rear frames. In addition, the recessed mounting and smaller size of today's trailer clearance/marker LED lamps— about the size of a quarter in some cases— significantly reduces the potential for damage.

LEDs also offer a safety advantage over incandescent lamps because they generate brighter light and do so more quickly. This capability can make a trailer more visible, and when used in signal and brake lamp assemblies, LEDs provide not only brighter light, but take only a fraction of a second to reach full illumination.

Using only about one tenth the power (measured in amp draw) of an incandescent lamp, the lower power consumption of LEDs may make a difference for operations that outfit trailers with specialized equipment or extra interior and exterior lighting. There is also the potential to use lighter gauge wiring in trailers equipped exclusively with LEDs, and in the process lower the cost of future wiring harnesses without sacrificing integrity or durability.

Great Dane has continuously enhanced its trailer wiring harnesses. Improvements include ground return wiring through the 7-pin connector, and bullet terminal plugs at lamps to bolster moisture and vibration resistance as well as make servicing easier if parts are damaged. The elimination of chassis grounding means that there are no contact points between terminal ends and the trailer body that could become corroded and fail over time.

LEDs have been the lighting choice for a growing number of Great Dane customers, with a high percentage of trailer orders already including the lamps. As even more trailers are equipped with LEDs, prices for the lamps continue to drop. Today, the cost difference between LED and incandescent lamps is at its lowest level; and the slightly higher cost of LEDs is easily outweighed in most applications by their longer life and maintenance expense savings.

For many good reasons, more and more Great Dane customers have been switching to LED lamps to meet trailer lighting needs. Now set to become standard on all Great Dane models, these premium lights coupled with a premium wiring harness are a perfect fit for the industry's highest quality trailers.