Stability control saves lives
THE big issue with roll stability in all vehicles, and particularly combination vehicles, is most drivers are never really fully aware of how close they are to rolling over, said the ATA’s chief engineer, Bob Woodward.
“Generally, and I say generally because it’s not always so, but the first vehicle in a rollover of a combination vehicle is the last one, the one at the back,” Bob said.
“So the longer you make the vehicle, the less chance the driver has of knowing that something is going wrong.”
Aside from a couple of provisos, roll stability control will be mandated in Australia on all new truck models from July 2019 and on all new trailers from November 1 next year.
“So the focus of our TMC this year is that we are going right back to grassroots,” he said.
“We have three sessions on electronic stability control planned.
“The first one is a presentation on where the Australian Design Rules, the ADRs, are taking us in the braking area specifically.
“It’s a session with the Federal Government and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator on EBS and ABS and electronic stability control.
“We’ll be following that up with a session on retrofitting electronic roll stability control, which will be chaired by an operator.
“Some of the background to this session is that the NSW EPA have mandated it on dangerous goods tanker trailers from January 1 next year, so there is quite a bit of retrofitting going on.
“It’s not just a matter of buying a kit and putting it on, as the trailer has to be suitable.
“It needs to have things like pole rings fitted on the wheels and sensor mounting blocks for the proximity sensors, otherwise it can’t gather the important bits of information the system needs.
“The session will also cover the importance of proper installation.
“Coupling a new trailer to a new truck is generally not a problem as EBS is mandatory on new trucks.
“You can hook an older prime mover up to a new trailer, but unless the truck has a 24-volt power supply, as that’s what the stability control system operates on, it will basically be a waste of time and you’ll have achieved nothing.
“What I’d say to operators is that an electronic stability control system on a trailer will cost around $5000.
“If you ‘flat-spot’ all 12 tyres on a tri-axle trailer, it’ll cost more than $5000 to replace them.
“So if you save just one set of trailer tyres from flat spotting you are in front.
“This technology will, within reason, stop vehicles from rolling over.
“The third session will be on roll stability diagnostics and fault finding and will be presented by one of the roll stability equipment suppliers.
“These systems are very smart and maintain a lot of information, and with the appropriate equipment you can plug into it and download it.
“It can tell you how many roll stability interventions there have been and it can tell you what percentage of the time it has run, for example, unladen, 20, 40 or 100 per cent laden.
“There’s a lot of data there.”
PIONEER: Bob Woodward has helped revolutionise the way freight is carried on our roads.