Driving away still connected makes the break

Quick releasing plugs stop vehicles driving off with power supplies still connected

Instances have occurred where controlled temperature articulated vehicles have driven off with power cables still connected to the mains supply of the refrigeration units. J R Harding & Sons (Frome) sought quick release connectors to overcome this problem and found the answer in Marechal’s self ejecting decontactors, which have now been fitted to 70 trailers.

In the self ejecting version of the decontactor the forces of the socket spring contacts are harnessed to achieve the complete ejection of the plug from the socket when tension is applied. The standard latch on the socket is replaced by a `shark fin’ latch and a cord connection made from this to the cable. When the cord is tensioned the latch is lifted, releasing the socket.

Before decontactors were installed, if a driver forgot to uncouple the leads from the refrigeration units and drove away, there was a risk of live wires being exposed after the plug had been pulled apart.

Disconnection of decontactors is made speedy by the use of butt contacts rather than pins and sleeves as in other connectors. In addition, butt contacts are safer since flashovers are avoided during disconnection.

Another feature of these decontactors is the ability of the user to configure the contacts in the plug and socket of each decontactor in 24 different positions. The decontactor can be used for connecting power at different voltages, but in a way that prevents mismatching between plug and socket.

Marechal UK Tel: 01244 324667