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Retrofittable anti-rollover truck system recognized


November 21, 2010

Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe, this ear...

Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe, this early warning roll-over has just been awarded top prize in the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2010

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It doesn't take much analysis to reach the conclusion that truck rollovers are very dangerous. Studies have shown that over 6 percent* of the heavy truck fatalities and incapacitating injuries on U.S roads alone are a result of rollover accidents. Modern trucks fitted with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) have a greater chance of avoiding the problem, but this retrofittable early warning tanker roll-over device provides added safety for older vehicles.

Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe, the early warning roll-over has just been awarded top prize in the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2010.

The system uses a sensor unit mounted between the rear axle to measure the lateral acceleration of the trailer. Data is continuously send through a wireless link to a receiver in the cabin where the driver gets a visual and/or audible early warning if the vehicle is becoming unstable, giving them extra time to react accordingly.

The system is cheap, retrofittable and given that it provides immediate feedback to the driver on the driving decisions they make, it also makes a valuable training aid.

"This simple but effective warning device for drivers is a result of years of work by a highly skilled team'" said Jack Eggels, General Manager for Global Land Logistics at Shell Chemicals. "We are delighted that EuroTra has recognised the hard work that went into to developing this concept into a working device, which can further reduce the risk of tanker rollovers across Europe."

*Evaluation of Heavy Truck Rollover Accidents 1994-2002, Jeffrey L. Evans, Stephen A. Batzer, Stanley B. Andrews, Renfroe Engineering, Inc. [PDF]

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan

Please search DEFORMABLE KINGPIN that explains a simple to understand solution to forbid a tractor to follow into destruction during rollover events. The concept is the same as to why you have fuses or circuit breakers in electrical systems in your home, office or car -- a failsafe -- to prevent further destruction. This innovation is a simple modification of a component, the trailer%u2019s coupling kingpin, whose design has been a standard for over 70 years, which can be made to deform and not allow an extremely stable tractor to follow to destruction when the trailer, that is the dominant controlling force, is in IMMINENT peril for rollover, that includes also blown over tractor trailers. The NHTSA & FMCSA continue to turn their backs and ignore their past funded research conclusions, as the trucking industry evolves greater unstable tractor trailers on our highways that have a primary attribute for increasing payload capacity. These catastrophes will continue to occur in thousands of accidents of this type each year as they have in the past, and continue to cause infrastructure damage that will harm and kill many hundreds of tractor occupants annually. These combination vehicles are incendiary bombs when carrying flammable material in tankers, and the flash point for these fires starts with the tractor%u2019s involvement. A statement received from the FMCSA states %u201CThere are a variety of technologies for preventing rollover crashes and we believe motor carriers should have as much flexibility as possible in selecting technologies to prevent crashes.%u201D Clearly the fox is allowed to guard the hen house!!! The harm, death & destruction will continue with combination vehicle rollover accidents. Donald J. Kaleta

Dolores Kaleta
22nd November, 2010 @ 04:10 pm PST

Hmmm... the sensor just 'alerts' the driver there is a problem?

Usually, most drivers probably have a very real sense that things are going horribly wrong, and that's why the trailer is unstable (due to panic breaking, too fast in a corner, etc). Unless there is automated trailer braking to correct the situation, independent of driver action, it seems unlikely to really help the dangerous situation developing and leading to jack-knifing or roll-over.

More information and data please.

Matt Rings
22nd November, 2010 @ 06:36 pm PST
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