The Australian Trucking Association has long urged government to take immediate action on mandating advanced safety technologies for new trucks, like electronic braking, to reduce truck rollovers and improve safety outcomes, because safety tech saves lives.
The ATA and government share a target of zero fatalities or serious injuries on our roads, and while we are making process, more needs to be done, writes Bob Woodward, ATA Chief Engineer. It’s an ambitious goal the we can and must achieve.
From November 1 2019, Australian Design Rule 38/05 will mandate anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and roll stability on all new trailers greater than 10 tonnes, with some minor exemptions. Additionally, a trailer roll stability function has been required on all dangerous goods road tankers in NSW since the start of the year. Typically, the ABS and roll stability trailer package is referred to as an electronic braking system (EBS).
Whilst roll stability won’t be mandated on NB and NC category vehicles until November 2020 for new models and 1 January 2022 for all models, the good news is that many new model prime movers are fitted with roll stability, and some with a full EBS system.
So… what exactly is EBS?
As well as ABS and roll stability functions, EBS controls what is going on with each individual wheel set. Trailer EBS (T-EBS) goes beyond dealing with wheels locking up, it is also predictive and has pre-programmed sensors that prevent bad situations happening in the first place.
One of the most notable predictive functions is for rollovers. EBS can predict when a rollover is about to happen and apply the brakes differentially to prevent it. On suitably equipped prime movers it can also slow down the engine speed.
To go into further detail, we can analyse the systems of three trailer suppliers: WABCO, Knorr-Bremse and Haldex.
WABCO Trailer EBS was first sold in Europe in 1997, the D version. Fast forward to 2008, the current E version offers a range of functions, including roll stability support, ABS, brake-by-wire technology to allow for faster brake application and release times to reduce stopping distances, load proportioning features and an operating data recorder that allows fleets and end users to monitor how the trailer system and driver are operating.
Building on the standard system, there is also the option to expand with add-on systems that can check on general trailer health and trailer axle weights. There are also systems available that assist with reversing and limiting rollovers when tipping from a standstill.
The Knorr-Bremse Trailer EBS system (TEBS G2) incorporates ABS, load sense control, anti-compounding and roll stability program into one control system. When active, the system protects against trailer roll-over during driving by automatic application of the trailer service brakes.
The system also has dual load sensing capability which can determine whether the prime mover is North American or European based. This is important as different types of trucks have different onset and coupling pressure characteristics, which may affect the brake balance of your combination.
The Knorr-Bremse system can power and control multiple auxiliary systems and is also supported by data logging capabilities that allow drivers and fleets to view fault, data and event reports.
Finally, Haldex offer the EB+ Gen3, their third generation EBS system. This system is able to integrate a great deal of systems into one, including tyre pressure monitoring, trailer lift axles, brake wear sensors, reset-to-ride functions and telematics systems.
Haldex also offer an additional solution called Fleet+ that assists with trailer data analysis. Once connected to the EBS system, the truck operator is able to analyse a range of information like stability events, vehicle speed, brake performance and road condition. This ensures trailer activity is transparent and can be monitored effectively.
What Does This All mean?
When using any system, it’s also important to note that the trailer EBS needs to be connected, but only where compatible connections exist. Further clarification about this is outlined in the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Vehicle Standards Guide 25.
It’s clear to see that no matter which EBS provider a company utilises, the functions and features across the market are all designed to improve safety for not only truck drivers and operators, but also the wider community.
With safer trucks on our roads, we are another step closer to reaching our towards zero target.
To help operators get a clear understanding of EBS, the ATA’s Industry Technical Council developed a Technical Advisory Procedure that provides best-practice advice and extensive technical information.