Heavy-duty commercial trucking fleets should always check their stock of replacement wire to see what type of insulation they are buying. The wrong insulated wire can overheat and ignite under certain conditions. Fleets should not risk fire when better insulated wire can be bought at the same cost as a lower-rated heat resistant insulation.

When fleets order replacement wire they must be sure to specify what kind of wire insulation they want. Fleets often end up with a stock of polyvinyl chloride (GPT/PVC) insulated wire because they do not specify a different type of wire when they order, and it’s the cheapest option. GPT/PVC insulation is rated at 85 or 105 C, and does not have very good abrasion resistance. GPT/PVC insulation can reflow and melt off the wire once it heats past its rated capacity.

For close to the same cost fleets can order general purpose crosslinked polyethylene insulated wire. The crosslinked polyethylene wire is available in various insulation thicknesses (TXL/GXL/SXL). TXL is a thin wall, SXL is a thick wall, and GXL falls between the thin and thick wall insulation spec. GXL insulation is made of cross-linked polyethylene, and includes features such as:

  • A broader temperature range: -60C to 125C
  • No reflow
  • Better abrasion resistance

Truck OEMs have used cross-linked polyethylene insulated wire for years because it will not melt off at higher temperatures. Fleets can also purchase this same type of wire, but they must insist on crosslinked polyethylene.  Fleets should not risk thermo incidents because repairs were made with a lower-rated heat and abrasion insulated wire, like GPT/PVC.

What type of insulated wire do you use? Have you experienced problems with PVC or GXL insulated wire? We welcome your comments and questions below.

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