Purkeys’ New Liftgate Charging Systems Increase Charge Time
One of the biggest challenges for fleets with liftgates is keeping the liftgate batteries charged. According to Purkeys Sales and Service Engineer Charley Gipe, the reasons for this difficulty can be broken up into two categories.
First, because liftgate batteries are typically located at the back of the trailer, the truck’s charging system has to run voltage over a long distance (e.g., 20, 30 or even 50 feet). This results in the loss of voltage by the time it reaches the liftgate batteries.
Second, the charge time is limited. According to Charley, “If you don’t have either the sufficient voltage or sufficient time, you’re going to discover that your liftgate batteries are in a low state of charge and, of course, that leads to issues with poor battery life, as well as poor liftgate operation.”
Purkeys two new liftgate charging systems utilize a DC/DC converter that effectively boosts the voltage going to the batteries:
- DIRECT – Uses a single input power source to a DC/DC converter, which overcomes the issue of low voltage. Mounted in the liftgate battery box, it takes the lower voltage delivered by the tractor and steps it up to a higher voltage that is more effective for charging liftgate batteries.
- SELECT – Chooses between multiple inputs, if they are available (e.g, dual pole; reefer unit; 7-way), which increases charge time. By choosing between more than one source, the time available to charge liftgate batteries increases, thereby increasing their state of charge.
These innovations have successfully increased charge time, reduced road calls and saved fleets currently using the new systems both time and money.