The main advantage terminal blocks offer is cost savings. Compared to other types of connectors, plug in terminal block are relatively cheap. They’re also, to some degree, a time-saver, as connecting wires to one isn’t an elaborate process and it can be easily done by any well-equipped shop. If a driver/operator is properly trained and has the correct tools, small repairs to in-cab equipment can even be made on the road, if policy allows it.
The main disadvantage, on the other hand, is that in the presence of vibration or jostling, even well-secured wires can be knocked loose from terminal blocks. Therefore, it is critical to test connections before implementing them to ensure that they can withstand the rigors they’ll face in heavy-duty operating environments. In addition, terminal blocks typically don’t come with covers and aren’t sealed against the elements, which limits their suitability to interior applications or requires them to be installed in sealed control panels or containment units (e.g., inside a locker on a work truck).
When choosing terminal blocks, it’s important to consult with your team about their application needs and concerns, as most terminal blocks are optimized for a specific purpose. They’re also not the ideal solution for all connectivity situations, but for quick, efficient connections and power distribution, pluggable terminal block arehandy to have.