New ideas for truck­ers

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS - AL­WYN VILJOEN

The 36th in­stall­ment of Europe’s big­gest truck show had a lot of in­no­va­tion on dis­play. These stood out.

Or­ganic grease

Un­der nor­mal op­er­at­ing con­di­tions, a fifth wheel cou­pling re­quires about 10 kilo­grams of grease per year. Lots of it falls on the road, not only con­tam­i­nat­ing the en­vi­ron­ment but en­dan­ger­ing other road users. Now Jost Equip­ment has a biodegrad­able grease in ac­cor­dance with the OECD 301 B biodegra­da­tion test, which it ex­ceeded to re­ceive a rat­ing of “read­ily biodegrad­able”, which means it de­grades es­pe­cially quickly. One less slick spot for a biker to slide on.

Steer­ing trailer axles

BPW showed its Ac­tive Re­verse Con­trol steer­ing sys­tem to make re­vers­ing trail­ers in tight spa­ces eas­ier. The sys­tem com­prises a con­trol unit, a hy­draulic unit and a steer­ing cylin­der with an in­te­grated steer­ing an­gle sen­sor.

Work­ing only when the truck is re­vers­ing, the con­trol unit uses sen­sor tech­nol­ogy to de­tect the di­rec­tion and an­gle of steer­ing. BPW said the sys­tem does not re­quire ap­proval and is easy to in­stall or retro­fit to trail­ers.

Dy­namic traf­fic guide

Con­ti­nen­tal will un­veil the dy­namic eHori­zon, a sys­tem that uses de­tailed to­po­graphic route data and a GPS sig­nal to mon­i­tor the de­liv­ery route for kilo­me­tres ahead and au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just the ve­hi­cle’s driv­ing style and speed to avoid grid-lock sit­u­a­tions. The sys­tem up­dates ev­ery minute and uses pre­dic­tive al­go­rithms to ini­ti­ate coast­ing, brak­ing or down­shift­ing when re­quired. Con­ti­nen­tal said trucks with its static eHori­zon have saved about 830 mil­lion litres of diesel, equiv­a­lent of over one bil­lion euros, since 2012.

Ham­mer-proof tail lights

Er­max showed its Eter­nal Lights, which are LED tail lamps de­signed to with­stand ham­mer blows. The LED light sources are pro­tected inside a hous­ing made of poly­car­bon­ate ther­mo­plas­tic.

With 17 times greater im­pact re­sis­tance and an op­ti­cal qual­ity that ex­ceeds the bril­liance of glass, the Eter­nal Lights read­ily with­stand the stresses of bumpy roads and the im­pact associated with shunts when park­ing.

Nine-speed box for MCVs

Al­li­son Trans­mis­sion showed its first nine-speed gear­box for medium- and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles. A deep first gear ra­tio and the wide spread of ra­tios en­able sig­nif­i­cant fuel sav­ings as the torque con­verter locks early in first gear.

Util­ity scooter

Tai­wanese scooter com­pany Gaius Automotive showed its elec­tric util­ity scoot­ers aimed at mu­nic­i­pal work­ers and con­fig­urable for a va­ri­ety of tasks.

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