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Averitt Express

Eaton's true sine wave inverters help long-haul truckers feel right at home

“We like the performance, we like the warranty, and we especially like the support that Eaton has given us. We hope this is the first of more opportunities to take advantage of everything Eaton has to offer.“

Doug Lloyd, director of fleet maintenance, Averitt Express

Background

Averitt Express, based in Cookeville, Tenn., is one of the premier truckload and less-thantruckload providers of freight transportation services in North America. The company's fleet consists of more than 3,500 trucks, all of which serve thousands of points throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Averitt also provides international transportation services to roughly 100 different countries and more than 300 foreign destinations around the world.

Doug Lloyd is the fleet's director of maintenance. His responsibilities include supervising some 235 shop associates at 35 service facilities, most of which are located throughout the southeastern United States. A Tennessee Tech University graduate with a degree in civil engineering, Doug has been with Averitt for seven years.

During that time, Doug has been a valuable resource at Averitt, not only making sure all of the trucks are running smoothly and profitably, but also in lending assistance in specifying new truck purchases, making replacement parts decisions and selecting suppliers.

Challenge

He says keeping up with the plethora of new technologies that are popping up in the trucking industry on a seemingly daily basis remains one of his top priorities.

"Managing all of the different software programs is important," says Doug, "so we can diagnose the issues and get the correct parts to our shop leaders and get the equipment back into operation as quickly as possible."

He also has to be accountable to several thousand Averitt drivers, who count on Doug to provide them with the tools they need to best perform their jobs. This is especially important for drivers who are required to spend extended time on the road and drive vehicles equipped with sleepers.

Sine wave inverters are one tool that can be especially helpful. The units convert DC power from a vehicle's battery to AC power to run microwaves, TVs, laptops and other appliances. While the inverters may not replace a cozy home kitchen or that very comfortable recliner, they can help make a trucker's life on the road a lot less stressful.

Solution

"We were experiencing a lot of failures and we did not have a good warranty," explains Doug. "After taking into account the downtime we were experiencing, and the concerns of our drivers, we decided to find a more robust inverter."

He found one – the Eaton True Sine Wave Inverter.

The Eaton True Sine Wave Inverter is designed to provide clean, reliable AC power in a commercial truck application. Featuring a True Sine Wave output, the inverter is able to power all electrical loads up to 1,800W, including all of the loads required by Averitt's units, as well as sleep apnea machines, tools, motors and other demanding electrical devices.

The old Averitt inverters were of a modified sine wave design, which are prone to damaging or shortening the life of many electrical appliances because of the non-standard type of power they provide. Conversely, true sine wave inverters can power any AC appliance just like the AC power in a home – all night long, if necessary.

Performance features with the Eaton inverters include a highly efficient design to maximize run time from a vehicle's battery. A standard low-voltage disconnect feature protects batteries from excess discharge. Safety features include DC and AC over and under voltage protection, overload protection, backup fuses and circuit breakers. Designed exclusively for commercial vehicles, the Eaton inverters are UL certified and are compliant with or exceed TMC and SAE recommended practices.

Result

"After using both inverter designs, we definitely prefer the True Sine Wave Inverter from Eaton," says Doug, "especially when you take into account the excellent support we have received from the Eaton Roadranger team."

That Roadranger support, adds Doug, has helped facilitate installation of the inverters.

Since 2014, when Averitt purchased its first Eaton inverter, some 500 units have been installed on newly arriving tractors with sleepers at the Averitt national shop location in Nashville, Tenn. The maintenance director says he had one of his shop leaders there send him information on the installations.

"He commented on how easy they were to install and how easy they were to program," adds Doug. "That's another area where we have been very pleased with the results."

All in all, Doug's experience with the Eaton inverter has been positive.

"We like the performance, we like the warranty, and we especially like the support that Eaton has given us," notes Doug. "We hope this is the first of more opportunities to take advantage of everything Eaton has to offer."