California Department of Transportation

Equipment Quality Standards


Revision Date -- July 16, 2002

3.1 General

Electrical equipment shall comply with all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and State of California Department of Motor Vehicle regulations. All electrical work and installation of equipment/devices shall be completed in a workmanlike manner, mechanically and electrically secure. All electrical components (devices, lamps, etc.) requiring periodic service shall be reasonably accessible with provision of suitable wire length for service and repair work.

3.2 Wiring Practices, Wire & Cable

All supplier installed wiring shall be the stranded copper type and shall have cross-linked polyethylene insulation. All splices shall be sealed against moisture. The ends of all stranded conductors shall be mechanically stripped and fitted with insulated type terminals. The terminals shall be mechanically crimped securely with appropriate tool(s). Appropriate tools shall be the following, or comparable, for use and purpose as applicable:

Wire Stripper: Ideal Industries, Inc., Catalog Number 45-092.

Cable Stripper: Ideal Industries, Inc., Catalog Number 45-128.

Multi-Crimp Tool: Ideal Industries, Inc., Catalog Number 30-429.

Cutting Pliers: Klein Tools, Inc., Number 7YLL (1104).

Scotch Lock wire-piercing devices shall not be used.

3.2.2 Color Codes

Refer to the drawing provided by Caltrans Engineering department (916) 227-9604.

3.2.3 Circuit Grounding

Ground terminal lugs shall be solder dipped, cadmium, tin, or zinc plated. Ground terminals shall be accessible for service. A serrated paint cutting terminal may be utilized to make proper contact on painted surfaces. Ground terminal devices shall be cadmium, tin, or zinc plated. In special cases, plating may not be required for lugs and/or attaching devices.

3.2.4 Conductor Splicing

Splices shall be insulated and mechanically secure to withstand all fabrication, installation and vehicle environment abuse.

3.2.5 Terminal and Connector Function

All connections shall be designed to maintain surety of connections while subjected to vibration, shock, and the extreme temperatures that are normal environmental conditions for motor vehicles. Surety may be accomplished by employing the use of integral-molded lock devices, terminal to terminal interferences (detents), secondary locking clips, or attaching devices.

All multiple connect-disconnect connector bodies shall be polarized to prevent incorrect assembly unless circuitry permits use of a nonpolarized connector.

Connections shall be located in clean, dry areas when possible. Connections shall be designed to maintain circuit integrity regardless of environmental conditions (such as high humidity, road splash, rain, drainage, earth particles, fuels, lubricants, high and low temperatures, and solvent).

3.2.6 Wire Assembly Construction

Wiring harness covering shall be adequate to protect the harness in the vehicle routing environment and shall furnish protection during all phases of vehicle assembly and operation.

3.2.7 Wire Assembly Installation and Protection

Wire routing shall be such that maximum protection is provided by the vehicle sheet metal and structural components. All supplier installed wiring shall be protected in vinyl plastic auto loom, or where applicable, rigid or flexible conduit. Suitable tubing or conduit for retaining cables and harnesses shall be securely attached to body or frame member and cable or harness. Clips also assist in locating and routing at assembly. The edge of all metal members which wire harness or loom pass through shall be deburred, flanged, rolled, or bushed. In addition, all metal penetrations shall be fitted with suitable grommets.

Wiring shall be located to afford protection from road splash, stones, abrasion, grease, oil, and fuel. Wiring exposed to such conditions shall be further protected by either, or a combination of, the use of heavy wall thermoplastic insulated cable, additional tape application, plastic sleeving or conduit, nonmetallic loom, or metallic or other suitable shielding or covering.

Where cables must flex between moving parts, the last supporting clip shall be securely mounted and secure the cable in a permanent manner.

Wiring fasteners shall be nonconductive unless the wiring or fastener involved is provided with extra heavy outer covering such as nonmetallic conduit, tape, or dip. Overlay or option wiring should be routed in the same fasteners with standard wiring where practical, or should be fastened to the standard wiring with plastic straps or other mechanical means.

Electrical apparatus with integral wiring shall be supplied with grommets or other suitable mechanical fasteners for strain relief.

3.2.8 Wiring Overload Protective Devices

Current to all low-tension circuits, except starting motor and ignition circuits, shall pass through short circuit protective devices connected to the battery feed side of switches. Headlight systems shall be independently protected. Circuit protection shall be accomplished by utilizing fuses, circuit breakers, or fusible links which conform to SAE Standards.

3.2.9 Wire Size

Refer to drawing provided by Caltrans Engineering department (916) 227-9604.

3.7.1 Lights

3.7.1.C Lights -- Truck with Body Installation

All lights shall be the recessed type, mounted in rubber grommets. The tail, stop and turn signal may be in combination. Reflectorized lens shall meet all requirements for Class A reflectors. Mounting holes for lights shall be the proper dimension as recommended by the manufacturer of the light. The holes shall be punched or saw cut and finished smooth; torch cut holes are unacceptable.

In addition to the mentioned lighting system, the unit shall be equipped with side and rear reflectors or reflector tape in accordance with FMVSS requirements.

3.11.2 Battery Installation

Battery installation shall comply with the requirements set forth in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations #393.30. Lead-acid batteries shall not be installed inside a passenger compartment. Batteries shall be properly secured and protected. Side terminal batteries are not acceptable.


Last updated 7/03/02