By Bruce W. Smith
Having the ability to quickly grab a set of jumper cables from the tool box and hook them up to a another vehicle, a piece of equipment, or provide 12-volt power to some piece of equipment from your pickup’s battery system without lifting the hood is a great convenience on and off a jobsite.
That’s why quick-disconnect (Q-D) jumper cables are popular accessories on construction professionals’ pikcups and fleet equipment.
Most kits cost in the neighborhood of $130-$200, depending on brand and length of the jumper cable.
But if you are running a lean ship and want to keep costs down, 20 minutes of shop time can drop the cost of a Q-D set to about $75 – even less if you already purchase battery cable in bulk or get a volume discount from your friendly automotive parts supplier.
How? Build your own using bulk battery cable and Anderson connectors.
If you want to shorten that process another step, purchase traditional battery jumpers cables, like those sold at the autoparts stores, and convert them into a Q-Ds by changing out one end’s cable clamps for Anderson plugs.
Here’s a shopping list to get that process started:
(2) 4/0 Battery cable end lugs / Wiring Products ($0.80 ea)
(1) Autocraft 20’ Jumper Cable set / Advance Auto Parts ($40)
(2) SB350 Anderson Powerpole Set / Powerwerx ($17 ea)
Total cost: $75.50
The process is straightforward:
( Note, only Q-D plugs of like color work together. So if you want all your vehicles and equipment to be able to share battery power, the plugs must be the same color.) – Bruce W. Smith / ProPickup