To remove one human error factor and increase safe operation of tippers, tankers and refrigeration trailers, Gough Transport Solutions recommends the Wabco trailer electronic braking system SafeStart feature.

The commercial road transport industry is investigating ways to minimise human error through innovation – particularly in the braking space, a critical safety component. To offer fleets smarter and safer trailer options, equipment specialist, Gough Transport Solutions (GTS), recommends selecting appropriate features from the suite available on WABCO’s Trailer Electronic Braking System (TEBS) (see breakout box).

Of particular interest for refrigerated trailer fleets, SafeStart is designed to automatically activate a trailer’s brakes while the vehicle is still in the loading/ unloading mode. As refrigerated vehicles are often used for multiple pick up and drop offs in a single day, the human error potential to accidently leave a door open is increased.

“When SafeStart is installed in a freezer van, there is a switch that triggers the brakes when the rear door is open,” says GTS National Key Account Manager, Nick Hope. “Also, when the trailer is moving and the door opens, a warning light in the cab’s dashboard will alert the driver that there is an issue with the trailer.

“Freezer vans and other refrigeration trailers must be sealed correctly to ensure optimal storage conditions for cargo stowed in temperature zones, so the SafeStart will ensure they are in the right position, every time.”

Nick adds that the braking technology is an effective safety measure for tipper operators, as a switch mounted on the trailer detects when a tipper is lifted, and pulses the brakes to warn the driver when the trailer starts to drive with a lifted platform at speeds above 18km/h. “The brake pulses act as an indicator to the driver that it is unsafe to keep moving. If the driver ignores the warning and reaches speeds over 28km/h, the SafeStart will automatically brake the vehicle,” Nick says. “This can help prevent damage to cargo, surrounding infrastructure and the tipper bodies themselves by stopping trucks in their tracks.”

The preventative system can remove the human error factor in the tipping operation, which is of particular concern on quarries or construction sites where the driver is not allowed out of the vehicle, and thus operates the tipper from within the cab.

“It’s a rare problem that the driver forgets to lower the tipper or doesn’t lower it far enough, but the SafeStart is there to help to protect the vehicles from damage, and the resulting downtime required to fix it,” Nick explains.

Similarly, this braking system also has benefits suitable to tanker operations, according to Nick. “For tankers, SafeStart automatically blocks the trailer wheels when the sensor detects the tool box is open or the filling dome is not properly closed. The brakes are released as soon as the monitored part has changed to the correct position,” he explains.

To help transport operators understand if SafeStart, or other optional features available through the WABCO TEBS system are appropriate to their freight task, Nick says GTS has a nationwide network of braking experts that are able to help with selection. He adds that GTS continues to offer WABCO’s technologies to its customer as it offers the commercial road transport industry the ability to operate a more intelligent vehicle that is designed to mitigate simple human mistakes.


Fast Fact

The WABCO Trailer Electronic Braking System (TEBS) features include the Operating Data Recorder (ODR), which logs distance, speed, axle load and other variables as well as the mobile application, OptiLink, which can be used to read ODR data through a smartphone. Meanwhile, the TailGuard feature is designed to detect objects near the blind spots of the trailer, displaying proximity details for the vehicle operator.


Fast Fact

WABCO’S SafeStart feature can be retrofitted with Trailer EBS-E Premium version 2.5 or higher.