EII has been a part of many projects aiming to make us and the surrounding world safer. Reducing injury risks by providing real-time biomechanical feedback or detecting leaks in water mains with wireless sensors, being only a couple of the examples. Today we have a great reason to talk about project Truck-Safe.
It was not long ago when the prototype of this fully automatic and remotely controlled cargo securing system was on the table of our engineers. For refreshing your memory – Truck-Safe offers a secure and adaptive system that can be used with loads of different shapes and weights. It has many useful features, and more details can be found here. But one of the essential benefits is its ability to save considerable time. The cargo securing operation is done fully automatically and only in few minutes.
The system continuously supervises the lashing forces and re-tensions it when needed. In the case of sudden loss of tension, whether on move or standing, it alarms you. It also eliminates the need to open the sides of the trailer and the need to collect and store all ratchet tensioners and straps after unloading. Less hassle and more peace of mind for the truck owner and hauliers. And safer roads! Truck-Safe contribution to road safety was awarded a bronze medal in safety category of Trailer Innovation 2015 contest at the commercial vehicle show IAA in Hanover, Germany.
Now, the project coordinator NWE Network Engineering has been able to bring the first trailers using the system on the roads. As often with new technologies, they are used initially in niche applications. The current systems on the street are used to transport securely wood products on short trips, e.g. between the factory and the harbour on public roads. The systems are currently installed in trailers with openable side and roof. This requires the system to be tensioning on one side only and the opening side has fixed connections to the fabric. During 2017 two systems will be installed in combination with moving floor solutions in loading the cargo. With short distances between loading and unloading locations, the economic aspects in time savings become dominant and the payback time for a system becomes feasible.
The prototype has gone through some technical modifications to stand up for the harsh use up in the north. Instead of using winches and ropes, the latest systems use pneumatic tensioners. Allowing for a simpler and more rugged system with build in redundancies. It will be just a question of time until word of mouth will spread southwards towards central Europe and other profitable applications will be identified by clever logistics providers, allowing for great competitive advantages.
Future tends to push humans off from the driver seat. Autonomous cars should not be unfamiliar. Same developments can be seen with commercial vehicles, buses and trucks. Freightliner and Otto being just a couple of the examples in this field. Huge investments are made and sort of disruption race is happening between Europe and US trucking giants.
There are many aspects we still have to figure out before trucks can make it on their own. Safe and trustworthy cargo securing that can operate automatically is definitely one of them. How else can you make sure that the cargo load is secured, if the driver is out of the driver’s seat or even has left the truck completely? Truck-Safe system has huge potential to contribute to the safe and convenient self-driving future.
Ask for more information here.