A visit to the Hannover Commercial Truck show in Germany last year showed just how much development has, and still is taking place in the field of braking. If you're not intimately involved, it can get quite confusing so FleetWatch asked WABCO's Mike Raath to outline what the trends in truck braking are. It makes for interesting reading and FleetWatch thanks Raath for providing us with this input.

 

Just where we are going in the world of braking has to be the most exciting development in the transport industry! Ever since the first application of air brakes to trucks in 1919, the focus of technical development in this field has gone well beyond the brakes.

For WABCO, it is about integrating intelligence into software and electronics that interface directly with mechanical controls and provide millisecond timing for precise vehicle control. It is about understanding the world of vehicle control, developing products that drive vehicle safety and then testing and re-testing these products to match the expectations of the world's finest truck and bus manufacturers and their customers. 

In South Africa, we have seen rapid changes in the transport industry over the last year, ever since ABS (Antilock Braking Systems) was legislated in February 2004. This made it mandatory for all new trailers over 3,5t GVM to have ABS systems fitted (along with automatic slack adjusters) and the ABS must be in working order. 

ABS was first introduced on heavy commercial vehicles by WABCO in 1981 - in collaboration with Mercedes Benz - and its concept, components and controllability set a worldwide standard and basis for further evolution. Originally offered as an optional fit, ABS has become mandatory standard equipment on heavy goods and passenger transport vehicles in many international markets due to its ability to control the wheel slip under braking thus preventing the wheels from locking. This control in turn has the effect of maximising adhesion, ensuring stable braking on practically all road surfaces while maintaining steerability, avoiding the risk of yaw and jack-knifing of articulated vehicles and reducing tyre flat spots.

The good news is that with trailer ABS now mandatory in South Africa, coupled with the growth in new truck sales, means there are now many new truck trailer combinations on our roads that are operating to high braking safety levels. We also anticipate that ABS will be legislated for new trucks in the near future. How soon, no one yet knows!

Having said that, however, there are still too many incompatible combinations out there due to transporters trying to marry old and new technology, either via new trucks and old trailers or vice versa, often resulting in non-optimal ABS performance.

Permanent versus stoplight power
In addition, one of the key discussions taking place right now is the ABS permanent power versus stoplight power debate. Permanent power is highly recommended over stoplight power for many reasons, most importantly is that the standard stoplight power coupling cannot handle the current and the net result is the occurrence of too many voltage drops as the electrical system deteriorates.

Also, ABS requires permanent power in order to obtain full benefit of all its system functions i.e. for it to continuously monitor the ABS diagnostics. In the case of stoplight power, the system is only powered up when you apply the brakes. Should you have a problem therefore with the ABS and the system fails, it is only at this point that it will first be detected i.e. when needed the most! When ABS is made mandatory on trucks, it is expected that trailers will be linked directly to permanent power and the combination will be more compatible thus giving maximum safety.

Most of the European OEM trucks sold into South Africa are already fitted as per standard with the dedicated 7 pin, ISO ABS permanent power and 15 pin, ISO taillight plugs. One of the alarming practices taking place in our industry is, however, to remove these plugs and the question to be asked - especially if a new trailer with ABS or EBS is matched to one of these trucks - is: "Why do the suppliers want to downgrade the system - and take away the safety feature from the end-user? 
 

EBS - a major trend
The major trend in braking today has to be the advent of EBS (electronically controlled braking system). This is the logical progression from pneumatic control to controlling the brakes electronically and is a major revision of the total brake system. It is also associated with an increase in fitment of air-operated disc brakes with more efficient braking, increased brake torque and better control of engine brakes and retarders.

When the development of EBS started, there were a few clear and common targets. The major focus was that the electronic signal transmission should be utilised to speed up the response of the brakes and to help eliminate uneven wear problems by controlling brake distribution.

The electronic measurement or calculation of key data like the driver's brake demand, load, wheel-speed, brake wear, trailer brake effect etc. and the processing of all this data in the EBS controller provide a quality of brake control far superior to existing pneumatic systems in terms of response, graduation, accuracy of adhesion utilisation and wear distribution. 

In addition, on top of the safety gains with respect to shorter stopping distances and less stress for the driver, there was the expectation that with additional sensors and intelligence, the monitoring of a brake system for faults could be much improved.

Systems for trailers
WABCO EBS for trucks has been around for some time and already we are seeing these systems fitted to many European trucks sold into South Africa. The most recent and exciting launch is the Trailer EBS D Generation system, which now comes standard with RSS (Roll Stability Support). With this system now available, WABCO continues to set standards for the development of braking systems for trailers.

Everyone knows the consequences when semi-trailers become uncontrollable; they roll over and the driver no longer has any chance to save the situation. When a driver perceives the roll-over, it is usually too late to take any counter action. Critical in such driving situations are tight bends with an underestimated radius e.g. off-ramps from highways where lateral acceleration coupled with a high centre of gravity affects the trailer and roll-over may occur.

With this latest innovation, however, WABCO has extended the capabilities of its Trailer Electronic Braking system by adding RSS as an option for drawbar trailers. The system is an industry innovation, for the first time incorporating braking application on all trailer axles to reduce the incidence of drawbar trailer rollover. 

The RSS for semi-trailers is an autonomous system which uses the active braking capability of trailer EBS. An enhanced algorithm calculates the lateral acceleration from the wheel speed information and determines, using the load information as well, a measured rollover tendency, which will then lead to activation of side-regulated trailer brakes. Stability is ensured by the load proportioning and ABS functions. 
 

 

A further enhancement to the future of the transport industry is the launch of the WABCO IVTM system (Integrated Vehicle Tyre Monitoring System). This wireless system regularly checks pressure in all tyres and sends information via radio frequency to an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) which in turn shows the values on a screen in the cab. The driver is therefore warned in good time of slow pressure losses and is able to correct the situation before damage to the tyre occurs. Tyre life is therefore extended and contributes to the overall safety effort.

In summary, we have seen an evolution in braking; from basic air brakes to ABS, EBS, Electronic Stability Control, RSS and already available, Adaptive Cruise Control and Electronically Controlled Air Suspension.

These are just a few examples of how the basic control functions of a vehicle have been developed from simple mechanics to air operated, electronically controlled systems which all serve the same purpose, namely, to increase the active and passive safety of medium and heavy commercial vehicles; to operate them in total compatibility with the environment and other traffic users; and to increase their overall economy in terms of the total cost of ownership. It's all good stuff.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

Where to with brake trends - FleetWatch …

26-08-2017

A visit to the Hannover Commercial Truck show in Germany last year showed just how much development has, and still is taking place in the field of braking. If you're...

Read more

WABCO SmartBoard unit - FleetWatch Magaz…

26-08-2017

WABCO's SmartBoard unit brings new levels of ease and precision to trailer management, making them work harder for more profit. WABCO, a world leader in the development and supply of vehicle...

Read more

WABCO brakes new ground - FOCUS Magazine

26-08-2017

WABCO brakes new ground - FOCUS Magazine

Thursday, 01 November 2012 12:00 Charleen Clarke Safety and efficiency. Those are the two items on Wabco’s wish list. That’s according to Jacques Esculier, chairman and CEO of...

Read more

Trailer software brings firsts - FleetWa…

26-08-2017

Trailer software brings firsts - FleetWatch Magazine

While some trailer buyers may cringe at the notion of spending a cent more on a vehicle that seemingly does the job with a load deck, a set of wheels...

Read more

The inexorable march of hi-tech stopping…

26-08-2017

The inexorable march of hi-tech stopping power - FleetWatch Magazine

The advances made in truck brake technology in recent years have redefined the notion of bringing a vehicle to a dead stop. It’s no longer only about discs and drums...

Read more

Technology to suit - FleetWatch Magazine

26-08-2017

Technology to suit - FleetWatch Magazine

In an era of high tech electronics, it is interesting to note Toyota South Africa Trucks' approach toward the incorporation of 'selective' electronics and other high-tech features on its new...

Read more

Running-in a new trailer? - FleetWatch M…

26-08-2017

What? Running-in a new trailer? You gotta be joking! Man, that's for grandpa's garage. In fact, truckers will tell you that providing you are using the correctly specified lubricant, you...

Read more

Necessity: the mother of invention - F…

26-08-2017

Necessity: the mother of invention   - FOCUS Magazine

Tuesday, 01 February 2011 09:00 Udo Rypstra   The concept of a multi-purpose tridem semi-trailer has been tried before, and not with much success. But this time round, the...

Read more

Leading the way with greener trailers -…

26-08-2017

Leading the way with greener trailers  - FOCUS Magazine

Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:00 FOCUS Reporter Serco Industries, a leading manufacturer of truck bodies and trailers, is excited that two of its new refrigerated trailers will be used...

Read more

Keeping it real - FOCUS Magazine

26-08-2017

Keeping it real - FOCUS Magazine

Saturday, 01 August 2009 10:00 Nadine von Moltke Plummeting new vehicle sales have led to a more buoyant second-hand market, as well as a move by operators to...

Read more

Faulty Equipment mars the day - FleetWat…

26-08-2017

Faulty Equipment mars the day - FleetWatch Magazine

The Windy City of Port Elizabeth is where our team headed towards the end of last year for our last FleetWatch Brake & Tyre Watch project for 2009. We...

Read more

Faking it - FOCUS Magazine

26-08-2017

Faking it - FOCUS Magazine

Tuesday, 01 December 2009 09:00 Nadine von Moltke When a safety critical item fails on a truck or trailer the repercussions can be extensive, from expensive down time right...

Read more

EBS gains traction in local market - The…

26-08-2017

EBS gains traction in local market - The Road Ahead

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 Electronic brake system, or ‘brake by wire’, integrates ABS technology, electronic stability control and other key vehicle control system features to deliver a whole new level of...

Read more

Copy parts are not cheap parts - Cape Bu…

26-08-2017

Copy parts are not cheap parts - Cape Business News

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 WABCO Automotive SA has issued a caution to customers against using copy parts in original WABCO systems. “Copy parts may fail more frequently than original parts and...

Read more

Braking up the industry - FOCUS Magazin…

26-08-2017

Braking up the industry  - FOCUS Magazine

Thursday, 01 March 2012 09:00 Danielle du Toit There are two types of freight operators – those who look after their brakes and those who don’t. DANIELLE DU...

Read more

Braking towards ZERO accidents - FleetWa…

26-08-2017

Braking towards ZERO accidents - FleetWatch Magazine

Reversing a trailer is one of the most dangerous truck and trailer operating procedures with statistics indicating that up to 35% of incidents involving trailer damage - colliding with pallets,...

Read more

Better Brake Tech - FleetWatch Magazine

26-08-2017

Better Brake Tech - FleetWatch Magazine

  Just when you thought you’d got a handle on the meaning and workings of ABS and EBS, the world’s leading brake system developers come to the party with a host...

Read more

Raising funds on the fairway - FOCUS ma…

26-08-2017

 Raising funds on the fairway - FOCUS magazine

Friday, 01 March 2013 12:00 Blair Burmeister Valentine’s Day had its limelight stolen this year by a very deserving cause – the annual Edutrans golf day hosted by Charmont...

Read more
Go to top
JSN Boot template designed by JoomlaShine.com