Complete connection: New patented trailer-pigtail securement-assist device designed by trucker

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Vincent Archuleta has been off the road for just a few months. “I quit trucking back in February,” he says, after nearly a decade and a half hauling in food-service delivery. Archuleta’s giving full go to a new business marketing a product he invented to more effectively secure electrical connections and thus prevent flickering trailer lights. The VSA PlugSaver is essentially two custom-designed straps built for longer-term life that, installed on the trailer housing for the pigtail connection, can reduce motion in the plug and effectively prevent wear.

The straps hold the pigtail tight into the connection housing. They take “all the wiggle out of the plug,” Archuleta says, totally eliminating the chance of it ever falling out. “If you break the top of the cap off [the housing], and you have a plug saver on there, it holds the pigtail in with about 30 pounds of pressure.”

The VSA PlugSaver installed with the tractor turned at a hard angle to the right, illustrating its ability to firmly hold the pigtail against forces that could wiggle it loose or otherwise interfere with the connection.The VSA PlugSaver installed with the tractor turned at a hard angle to the right, illustrating its ability to firmly hold the pigtail against forces that could wiggle it loose or otherwise interfere with the connection. The device’s’ straps installed on a trailer-mounted housing for the electrical connection.The device’s’ straps installed on a trailer-mounted housing for the electrical connection.

The PlugSaver’s straps can be installed in very little time and then pulled “over the ears of the pigtail to pull it into” a secure connection, he adds.

“Over all the years  I drove,” Archuleta says, he experienced issues with maintaining the electrical connection to the trailer. He’d seen other drivers do all manner of things to hold the plug in place, from using bungee cords or zip-ties to stuffing toothpicks, paperclips and other materials into the housing to create pressure to keep the plug from falling out or otherwise disconnecting. He started thinking about engineering a better solution as far back as the year 2009. When he’d have issues with flickering lights, it always seemed to occur at the most inopportune moment possible, says the Rapid City, S.D., native. A particularly bad snowstorm that put him over the edge in his mind toward developing the fix. “I was hooking a set of doubles” during the storm, he adds. “I headed out of the yard, and the trailer lights started flickering. I had to get and find a bungee cord clear across the yard and the wind is blowing and it’s snowing.”

He thought, there should be something on the housing to secure the pigtail.

In September of 2011 he built his first prototype while on layover “at a motel in Casper, Wyoming. He made and used the first one for a couple years, before a friend encouraged him to inquire into whether such a product already existed.

Last October, Archuleta (pictured with the VSA PlugSaver and demo unit) received patent recognition of the product.Last October, Archuleta (pictured with the VSA PlugSaver and demo unit) received patent recognition of the product.

Following the beginning of mass production of the VSA PlugSaver at the operation of Glacial Lakes Rubber & Plastics in Watertown, S.D., Archuleta’s traveled to a few trucking shows around the country, and is hard at work filling individual orders with his team as well as working to get the PlugSaver in as many retail locations as possible.

It’s sold online today for $21.99.

Find a simple install video for the VSA PlugSaver below:

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