Truck Fires, we try not to think about them or the devastating damage they can cause an owner-operator. We recently had a very nice Peterbilt with a CAT C-15 in the shop that could have been burnt to the ground from an electrical short if the battery had not been disconnected in time. Thankfully none of the damage reached the engine, or any other part of the truck. Unfortunately, the owner will have to replace wiring and damaged batteries.
The cause if this incident were two battery cables had been rubbing together inside the battery box. Vibrations overtime caused enough friction to wear through thin insulation. Eventually the insulation wore off and caused a short, burning the wiring harness that ran through the truck.
The takeaway here is it’s a good idea to check your battery box periodically and make sure the cables and wires are properly insulated. If you’re installing accessories running off of battery power, make sure you have it done correctly using a fuse and the proper gauge wire. Check that your wires are not getting too close to moving objects, sharp objects, or objects that heat up like the exhaust or turbo. Electrical shorts are the most common cause of truck fires so keep an eye on those wires!
Many of the articles compiled here where written by Bruce Mallinson. Attribution to other contributors is given in the specific articles.