The trucking industry is now in the process of getting ready for intelligent trailers as a result of the upcoming mandating of stability control systems on all new trailers. Wabco has been engaging with the industry to ensure that diesel workshops and road transport fleets are familiar with the latest developments, utilising its Intelligent Trailer Program (ITP).
This proactive effort to educate the industry at all levels as the changes to Australian Design Rules (ADR) for trailers introduce the mandatory use of Electronic Braking Systems (EBS). This process is ongoing, according to Blair Rundle, Wabco Product Support Manager.
Truck workshops need to know how to perform electronic diagnostics, whereas trailer manufacturers must be familiar with the end-of-line process i.e. how to correctly fit Wabco equipment and set parameters in the interests of achieving optimal performance and component longevity.
“We have software diagnostic programs for our Trailer EBS,” says Blair. “It’s a simple process to familiarise yourself with when ‘end-of-lining’ a trailer.
“Wabco Trailer EBS-E controls intelligent brake and air suspension functions, which leads to shorter braking distances and delivers greater safety for vehicle operators as well as other road users and the wider community. This particular system processes a rich flow of data, functioning as a central platform for trailer intelligence.”
Wabco’s Trailer EBS features Rollover Stability Support (RSS) as a standard function, which helps the vehicle operator keep the truck-trailer combination under control and makes it compliant under the new ADR.
There is also a trailer-focused Internet of Things (IoT) solution known as TX-Trailerpulse which combines real-time track and trace functionality with additional remote trailer health and diagnostic information.
“Modern fleets in Australia are chasing remote diagnostics via telematics,” says Blair. “Wabco is currently testing TX-Trailerpulse in the Australian market and it is set to be a valuable addition to the ITP suite.”
SmartBoard is an integral feature of ITP as it displays key trailer information and allows the driver to operate EBS and air suspension functions.
“Users can see everything from axle load and mileage status to tyre pressure and brake pad wear via a physical display on the side of the trailer,” says Blair. “Trailer EBS and air suspension functions can also be used via SmartBoard.”
For truck drivers and fleet operators with Android smartphones, Wabco has a mobile solution known as OptiLink. This app can monitor and control trailer functions wirelessly. With just one interface, users can complete pre-ride checklists, access important trailer information and receive automated alerts. OptiLink iOS (for Apple devices) is set to launch soon.
“In forestry, vehicle operators are not authorised to leave their truck cabin while the trailer is being loaded,” says Blair. “To keep track of how much timber is being loaded, a driver with the OptiLink app can monitor the weight on the axle groups in real-time. This enables a more efficient and safer operation, especially when you consider a fleet’s adherence to compliance within the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) context.”
Another safety concern that Wabco allays with ITP is the capability to reverse safely into a loading dock.
“TailGuard supports smarter and safer reversing while also keeping a close eye on blind spots,” says Blair. “This system can automatically apply the brakes on a vehicle at a pre-set distance – anywhere from 50-200cm – from an object in the rear blind spot.
“TailGuard can also pulse the brake pedal as warning for the vehicle operator. The vehicle will stop at a loading dock, hold the brakes for about three seconds and allow the operator to position their trailer to be flush with the dock. The pulsing of the brakes is also useful for improving safety when working with blindspots.”