Phillips Industries, maker of wiring harnesses, control boxes and other electrical apparatus for trailers, posts a monthly Quik Tech Tips feature

Under the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) measurement system, a vehicle found operating with inoperative lamps negatively affects the carrier's safety performance data and is also one of the most common causes for a driver to be pulled over, the company points out.

Here are this month's tips, which seem like good advice to me:

- Always use the proper sized wire when replacing damaged or worn wire. Lighter gauge wire can heat to the point of fire and can also diminsh the current by choking the voltage capacity.
- Operating an incandescent lamp on an overvoltage can significantly reduce the life of the light. Operating at 5% over its designed voltage, the life is decreases by 44%, and 10% over reduces the life by 68%.
- Turn lights OFF when parked in a dock with padded frames. Heat is created from the light, reflected off the padding and back onto the light, which can cause lenses to melt and even shorten the life of the light bulb or LED.
- Avoid washing the trailer with harsh chemicals. This can cause the plastic lenses to weaken...

... and allow dirty, salty moisture to find its way in, I might add.

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