A winter scene all too familiar. Temps are freezing, winds are howling and everyone in the bus garage is watching the forecast to figure out how long the busses will need to warm up to make the morning run. Powering up those engine block heaters usually means dragging cords all over the parking lot to plug in for power.
But for a growing number of universities and districts in cold weather climates, their job has been made much easier with the adoption of the KH Industries Cord Reel Power Station for their bus fleet.
Knowing that other options like extension cords are likely to have a shorter shelf life and higher failure rates, bus fleet managers looked for another answer. They wanted to reduce the downtime caused by lesser quality solutions and considered a more robust, high-quality option. With retractable cord reels properly positioned for their bus fleet, the durable stations helped provide power to their engine block heaters efficiently while keeping cords off the ground.
KH engineers developed the Cord Reel Power Station to provide on-site power by ensuring it could withstand the outdoor elements, provide proper cord management and meet customer specifications – a critical factor. By engineering a system that supplies power and utilizes heavy-duty cord reels listed by UL & CSA, it ensured the equipment was being produced to meet stringent requirements on quality and safety.
Craig Hefright, KH Industries’ VP of sales and business development, noted, “Every year I talk to school districts who are looking to make improvements to their systems and find better ways to do things. Creating efficiencies is really important to these bus fleets, but making sure they do it by keeping cords safely off the ground is equally important – and that’s where we can help.”
For school districts, getting their installation was a seamless process and started by interfacing with KH Industries, who helped them with every step in the process. “Usually it starts with a call from a customer who will basically outline what they’re looking for – the number of stations, cord reels, cord length and how they think they want things laid out. Then we get into more details of the project like how they want the reels positioned, and if they want one or two tiers of reels on a pole,” said Wendy Caparco, technical sales representative at KH Industries.
Because Caparco has an engineering background, she gets into the project further by helping customers design how they want their electrical configuration and junction box. “Customers can indicate how they want to feed the cord reel power station,” Caparco added. “They can look at individual circuits protected by a faceless GFCI in a junction box or a heavy gauge feed to a load center, split in the box to 20Amp GFCI circuit breakers.” And from there the project really takes off.
When the cord reel power station is complete and shipped to the customer location, installation is fairly easy for the certified electrician on site. The KH Industries team works directly with customers right up to the end, ensuring that each installation is successful and works for their unique application and specifications.