Stevens Transport has completed six months of field-testing of Intra Technologies' solid-state aftermarket low-voltage disconnect (LVD) on 30 of its trucks, and said it will equip its entire fleet of 1,300 with the product.

Will Watson, vp, sales and marketing for Intra Technologies, described the LVD as an automatic switch that allows truck drivers to enjoy appliances and comfort items without idling while preserving battery power needed to start the engine.

"Long-haul trucks have tremendous electrical draws," Watson added. "Even a forgotten dome light in the sleeper can draw a battery down to the point that a jumpstart is necessary. And at the very least, it will result in a deep-discharge, forcing eventual battery replacement."

"The results were excellent," Eric Smith, director of maintenance for Dallas-based Stevens said. "During those six months, none of those test vehicles required a single jumpstart because the LVD alerted our drivers before batteries reached a point of deep-discharge."

Smith calculates that when Stevens' fleet is retrofitted with Intra LVDs, the company will realize a 36% reduction in electrical system maintenance, by preventing jumpstarts and extending battery life.

"The trucking industry is very tough right now, and fleets are doing anything they can to cut costs," Smith said. "We look for functional products that are reasonable, reliable and will positively affect our bottom line, and we believe the Intra LVD is one of those products that will help us reduce our maintenance costs."