Why would a trucker need a USB adapter in his or
In the 21st century, more and more professional
drivers have cell phones and Smartphones that need to be kept charged.
Is this just a luxury?
a cell phone is not a luxury for lots of today's professional truck
Many truckers are using their phones to do their
business, including getting loads (link 1, link 2).
On this page we
will give an overview and some specifics regarding adapting a power
outlet for a USB plug.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is geared
toward electrical systems in the USA. Other countries may have
different electrical systems. Please exercise due diligence before
attempting any adaptation of power sources.
Chargers and Devices with USB Plugs
purchased our Samsung Stratosphere Smartphones,
each came with
its own AC power charger. We purchased a separate car charger (for
charging via DC power). Over time, the DC
charger and one of the AC chargers died (or otherwise stopped working).
So, we needed to replace them.
Below are photos of two chargers (courtesy of eBay
listings), both of which have a charger cord with a USB plug and
detachable AC adapter. The only difference appears to be the
configuration of the adapter.
Will "any" AC-to-USB adapter work to allow charging
through a cord with a USB plug from an AC
power source? Check all of the specifications first.
Besides phone charger cords, a number of GPS receivers
are also configured with a USB
plug or end, too.
Why This Matters to
Until commercial motor vehicles have power panels like this one (image) or this one
(image and Instructable), truckers will have to provide their
own adapters to
charge electronic devices that come with cords wired with USB plugs.
We have found this
variety of USB adapters on the market in the USA:
AC power to USB plug-in;
DC power to USB plug-in; and
DC power to both AC plug-in and
USB plug-in (as inverters).
The most common type of power outlet we've seen in
trucks is DC (direct current). We previously covered inverting DC power
to AC power with an
appropriately sized inverter.
Models of the two types of inverters we
have used in our trucks both came with USB ports.
This USB adapter operates off DC power. This adapter was on sale for
$7.99 at the truck stop.
This USB adaptor operates off AC power.
Money saving tip:
Although USB plugs and ports may be standard, adapters may vary.
If one is inverting power from a DC source using
an adapter, be sure to note whether or not the device includes a fuse
that can be replaced. (We have noted fuse failure in the cords of thermoelectric
coolers we have used as well as the device
to protect our inverter.)
Check for a warranty, if one is available. If
adapters don't even come in packages, chances are good that they won't
have a warranty. Does this say something about its quality?
Is there any disclaimer associated
with use of your USB adapter? What happens if you encounter a power
affects your electronics?
Your use of an adapter means that you will be
responsible if something happens to the device you plug into it when it
is plugged into your power source. If your cell phone costs $300,
should you use a "cheapo" adapter to power it? Or is the cost of the
adapter a moot
If you have the option to do so, research
different adapters to see which ones are truly quality products that
will last. As we describe on our goal
setting page, a more expensive but better quality product may
wind up being a better value
in the long run.
Are you planning to buy your product from a truck
stop? Note the return policy. Keep your receipt. If you need
to return it, do so before the return deadline.