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TIP opens its first safe and secure truck parking area

TIP achieves the construction of its first Safe and Secure Truck Parking Area (SSTPA) due to open in April 2019: DELTA PARK A1 / E17 – Safe & Secure Truck Parking Area. The opening ceremony will take place on April 4th.

This site, located 30 km south of Lille (France), is at the junction of the A1 / E17 and the A21, the busiest road junction in Europe with more than 25,000 trucks passing through the area daily. It will provide a practical answer to the problems of securing flow of merchandise (thefts, attacks on drivers, accidents, etc.) while limiting parking on hard shoulders.

The car park will provide 150 spaces allowing the driver to rest in the best conditions of safety and comfort:
– 24/7 security with human presence,
– Thermal camera surveillance,
– Truck and pedestrian access control,
– Rest area offering a wide range of services (showers, restaurant, wifi, laundry, etc.)

The major payment modes used in Europe will be accepted (Direct Debit, Fuel Cards, Tele Badge).

This SSTPA is part of a 7-hectare multi-service truck center, which also includes:
– a TIP branch for trailer rental and a workshop for HGV repairs (mechanical, bodywork)
– a ‘Best Of Pneu’ branch for tire maintenance
These branches are already open for service.

__________end of Press release__________________________________________

Notes to the Editor:

About TIP Trailer Services
TIP Trailer Services is one of Europe and Canada’s leading equipment service providers. TIP Trailer services specializes in trailer leasing, rental, maintenance and repair, as well as other value-added services and provide these to transportation and logistics customers across Europe and Canada. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TIP services their customers from 86 locations spread over 17 countries. TIP is part of I Squared Capital.

About I Squared Capital
I Squared Capital is an independent global infrastructure investment manager focusing on energy, utilities, telecommunications and transport in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The Firm has offices in New York, Houston, London, New Delhi, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Media Contacts for TIP Trailer services:

Charles-Henri Demoures
Marketing Director South Europe
T +33 611 141 680

charles-henri.demoures@tipeurope.com

Tessa Hoff
Marketing & Communications Manager TIP

tessa.hoff@tipeurope.com

 

 

 

Connected trucks and trailers through telematics – part 2

Connected trucks and trailers through telematics – part 2

There continue to be fascinating innovations in telematics. The “connected trailer” is no longer unusual as more trailer manufacturers fit telematics solutions to their trailers.

Innovations including video

Several recent innovations are for in-cab video cameras linked to the telematics systems. Drivers falling asleep at the wheel is a major issue.  For example, UK-based vehicle CCTV developer SmartWitness has created a dashboard-based system that utilises facial recognition software to identify when a driver’s eyes have turned away from the road for more than three seconds.  When this happens, the system emits an audible alert to the driver and an alert to the fleet manager via the fleet management system. The system can also pick up on when the driver is using his or her mobile phone or is distracted in other ways from the road. The company also supplies a solution capable of monitoring undesirable driving behaviour such as tailgating or last second braking.  This data can then be used constructively to train drivers to improve their safe driving skills. (source: HGVUK)

Tachographs

Applicable across the EU from June 2019, all new commercial vehicles will be obliged to be equipped with a new 4thgeneration smart tachograph. Among the numerous functions of the new tachographs will be the ability of police officers on the side of the road to remotely access tachograph data as trucks drive past, thereby reducing the number of roadside inspections. The smart tachograph will use GPS to automatically register the driver’s location in all countries and enable the fleet manager to track their drivers’ locations in real-time. Tachograph data on driver’s working hours can be integrated into any telematics systems which will reduce the administration time dedicated to recording and managing drivers’ hours.   (source: UKHaulier)

Transatlantic truck tracking

Keeping track of road freight moving across multiple geographies is a headache for international shippers including multinational retailers. It is difficult for them to gain visibility of their global transport capacity. A major issue is that they need to use different telematics systems for road transport companies in each geography. A solution may now be at hand. Two data sharing services, one in the US, project 44 and another in Europe, GateHouse have partnered to give their customers the opportunity to track 175,000 multimodal carriers of which approximately half are in the USA and half in Europe by giving them one single access point to the carriers’ telematics systems. (source: JOC)

Trailers and telematics

In addition to lowering their cost of trailer ownership and increasing their efficiency, connected trailers through telematics can benefit fleets in several ways:

  • Prevention of cargo theft– Information fed from sensors on the trailer via telematics to the fleet manager can provide real-time tracking of the trailer’s location and, thanks to geo-fencing technology, alerts when the trailer doors are opened or closed in an unexpected location. This enables fleet managers to respond quickly through remote access to any attempts at theft and, if necessary, bring in law enforcement officers.
  • Trailer maintenance– A connected trailer can feed information back to the fleet manager on the condition of specific mechanical components on the trailer including tyres, brakes, suspension and prompt him or her to bring the trailer back to a workshop for preventative maintenance before costly unexpected roadside breakdown occurs. This maximises trailer uptime and reduces cost of ownership.
  • Food and pharmaceuticals safe transport– Telematics plays a critical role in cold chain management. It enables the fleet manager to remotely control factors in the reefer trailer such as temperatures, humidity, the status of the doors and the condition of the items being transported to ensure the safe and regulation-compliant delivery of food and pharmaceuticals. (source:FleetOwner)
  • Administration–Telematics generate reports on trailers to help fleet managers maximise fleet utilisation, reduce detention time and empty miles. This data decreases fleet manager administration time and increases efficiency.

Trailer manufacturers and telematics

A few examples:

  • Krone has embraced telematics for the connected trailer. It offers various telematics solutions. One monitors the physical and mechanical conditions of the trailer. A space detection system views and helps manage the cargo capacity in the trailer. Another telematics solution connects the trailer to freight exchanges. (source:HGVUK)

At Solutrans 2017, several trailer manufacturers highlighted their telematics credentials:

  • Lamberet, a French reefer trailer specialist, launched a telematics pack Smart & Safe which it developed with partner Novacom for clients purchasing its Frigomatics semi-trailer reefer range. It permits the fleet manager and driver to control remotely trailer, reefer and mechanical functions in real-time using a terminal-, smartphone- or tablet-based application.
  • Schmitz Cargobull presented a telematics solution called TrailerConnect which gives similar functionality to Lamberet’s.
  • Chereau, another French reefer trailer manufacturer, has taken a different approach. It focuses on facilitating trailer connectivity. Chereau has decided not to build a proprietary telematic solution. It prefers to ensure the easy integration of telematics from different telematics providers onto its trailers. It demonstrated this ability at Solutrans 2017 using Trakopolis Chereau is also working with the major European truck manufacturers to integrate their telematics into its semi-trailers. (source: TransportInfo)

TIP trailer rental and telematics

TIP supplies trailers on a rental and lease basis in many forms as well as light commercial vehicles and trucks.  TIP Trailer Services has built up considerable expertise in supplying and fitting telematic solutions from all major telematics providers onto trailers and trucks. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services and the telematics solutions it can provide, please contact TIP using this form.

 

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Connected trucks and trailers through telematics – part 1

Connected trucks and trailers through telematics – part 1

Connected trucks and trailers through telematics are on the rise in Europe. Connected trucks are here to stay and offer myriad benefits to fleet operators.

Telematics growth

Industry analysts Technavio forecast that the commercial vehicle telematics market in Europe will show a compound annual growth rate of nearly 14% between 2018 and 2022. They say that the top emerging trend in the “connected trucks” space is the use of telematics by fleets for truck platooning.  A truck platoon is a convoy of two or more trucks, which follow one another closely behind, thanks to connectivity technology and automated driving assistance systems which requires little or no intervention from drivers.

Truck telematics benefits

According to TomTom Telematics, the industry’s perception of the power of telematics is too centred around road transport fleets using it to monitor their drivers on the road. TomTom Telematics emphasize that the advantages of telematics to fleet operators go beyond this. In addition, telematics generates significant data about drivers and vehicles which positively affect the total cost of ownership of your fleet.

These advantages include:

  • Compliance– Telematics can facilitate the provision of information for fleet managers’ compliance teams needing to demonstrate that their fleet has been complying with government compliance standards. This might include providing evidence for inspection or audit of drivers’ hours compliance.
  • Finance– Telematics can support the finance department in improving the bottom line. It can produce accurate mileage reports for tax claims and minimise vehicle maintenance costs and downtime. It can also improve driver behaviour leading to fewer accidents, better fuel consumption and longer lasting truck and trailer assets.
  • Operations– Vehicle inspections carried out through telematics can alert management to possible maintenance and repairs.
  • Sales– Telematics is a useful tool for business development and sales. Connected trucks and trailers enable you to track vehicles as they deliver to your key accounts and plan for fulfilling new business opportunities. (source: The Director)

Legal obligation to fit telematics?

The installation of telematics on a truck or trailer is voluntary. However, this could change. The UK’s Fleet Industry News published a news story about a fatal bus crash in Coventry in October 2015, in which two pedestrians died. The 80-year-old Midland Red Southbus driver had mistaken the accelerator for the brake before the accident. He had previously received eight warning letters about the poor standard of his driving after a telematics system fitted to his vehicle had highlighted his unsafe driver behaviour. He had also been a driver in four other accidents over the past three years. However, he had not attended company meetings to address issues over his driving because Midland Red South wanted him on the road instead.

Fatal bus crash ‘may prompt compulsory telematics law

In the article, Paul Loughlin, a solicitor at law firm Stephensons noted that the Traffic Commissioner, the UK government organisation responsible for licencing and regulating buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) does not oblige fleet operators to install telematics but that this situation might change.

Mr. Loughlin said, “As in this case, operators can be prosecuted for ignoring clear and indisputable issues relating to health and safety deficiencies highlighted by telematics systems.”

“Regulatory action might also come before the Traffic Commissioner as a result.”

Pleased with telematics

Elis, formerly known as Berendsen, is the largest operator of linen, textile and well-being services in Europe. By adopting telematics integrated with video surveillance systems, Elis claims to have improved its fuel efficiency by 13% and increased the safety of its 750-strong fleet of HGVs and light commercial vehicles. (source: Landmobile)

As part of an initiative to improve safety, BOC, the UK’s biggest supplier of industrial and medical gases will shortly fit telematics systems on its entire bulk tractor and trailer fleet.  Its initial six-month trial on 10 BOC assets helped enhance safety, minimised vehicle breakdowns and downtime. The telematics system provides an on-board datalink, a tyre pressure monitoring system, constant geolocation, and electronic braking system data analysis. (source: Gasworld)

TIP and telematics

In 2018, TIP Trailer Services is celebrating its 50thyear in trailer rentals and servicing. Our commitment to industry innovation and new technology has been instrumental to our success. We have been involved in telematics for trailers and trucks since the infancy of this technology. TIP Trailer Services has built up considerable expertise in supplying and fitting telematic solutions from all major telematics providers onto trailers and trucks.

TIP trailer rental options

TIP supplies trailers on a rental or lease basis in many forms including semi-trailer, flatbed, curtainsiders, box trailers, tankers, reefers, tipping powder, non-tipping, containers, moving/walking floor, waste, and chemical trailers as well as light commercial vehicles and trucks.

Trust us with your trailer maintenance and repair

As part of trailer rental contracts, TIP Trailer Services includes maintenance and repair management services. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services and the telematics solutions it can provide, please contact us using this form.

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Cargo theft update: new ways to protect your trailer

Cargo theft update: new ways to protect your trailer

Cargo theft is an issue that will not go away. Luckily, there are technology-based solutions available for fleet managers and drivers to reduce cargo theft risk.

Not on a Thursday!

According to a survey of cargo theft in EMEA in 2017, drivers should be particularly on their guard against cargo theft on Thursdays because this is when it peaks. The survey reported close to 5,000 cargo thefts in EMEA and highlighted the greater risk of theft at unsecured parking. Where it differed from other surveys was in identifying specific regions within countries that are most affected by the theft. They include the East Midlands, a location that with 754 thefts accounted for over half the UK’s.  Conversely, in Germany, cargo theft is more evenly distributed. The most at risk regions were Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, which had 19% of thefts each.

Curtains for theft?

The same survey noted that the most prevalent type of theft, at 44%, was the slashing of curtains on curtainsider trailers.  Pilferage took second place at 31%. This was followed by vehicle theft and facility theft (5% each) and fuel theft (4%), thefts of full truckloads (3%) and deceptive pickup and last-mile courier thefts each with 1%.

EU technology-based cargo theft prevention kit

The department responsible for transport at the European Commission, DG Move, has developed a new security toolkit for the European Road Freight Transport Sector. The Security Toolkit for Truck Drivers is downloadable. It has been designed to help European truck drivers, haulage companies and other road transport players to “address cargo theft, stowaway entry to trucks and terrorism on European roads”.

The toolkit proposes various technology-led cargo theft prevention solutions including:

  • Track & trace – Install vehicle and cargo unit trackers and geofencing to trigger alerts if a trailer deviates too far from a pre-set For additional security, add remote vehicle immobilisation capability.
  • Awareness & response– Equip your trucks and trailers with multi-channel telematics. Give your drivers mobile devices and applications for finding secure parking places. Have sensors alert your driver’s smartphone or watch if a truck or trailer door opens. Install a vehicle-based mist generator to make it difficult for thieves.
  • Access control – Use electronic keys and multi-factor biometric driver authentication using fingerprints, retina or other body parts for identification.
  • Locks & seals– Install automatic or slam-lock applications, remote locking and electronic seals with a remote reporting capability.

Other categories include alarms & detectors; camera surveillance for trucks & trailers and data-driven driver selection. (source: ROADSEC)

Preventive analytics

With the advent of Big Data, some logistics organisations are collecting information on cargo thefts that take place in specific areas. They are using computer analytics to analyse this data and find patterns in the thefts, which they can feed into predictive models. These models can then help fleet managers and drivers prevent cargo theft by using the information to plan the safest routes for deliveries, avoiding towns, roads and parking areas where, historically, there has been a high incidence of cargo crime. (source: Sdcexec)

Reinforced trailers

Commercial Fleet magazine has examined cargo theft prevention from a more low-tech perspective.  Kersey Freight purchased 15 box-bodied Dry Liner semi-trailers from Krone. These box trailers are fitted with door locking bars situated inside rather than outside the trailer. The hinge pins cannot be accessed from outside. In addition, the driver can lock a stainless bar across the door handles when the doors are shut.  The walls and roof of the trailer are also solid. These security features make these trailers difficult to break into.

Other variants of this semi-trailer can be side- and rear-loaded and centrally locked and unlocked from the tractor unit either from the cab or remotely from the fleet’s headquarters.

Curtainsiders

Several commentators have highlighted the vulnerability of curtainsiders to theft as their walls can be slashed relatively easily with a knife and other basic cutting tools. To counteract this potential weakness, companies such as Cunningham offer an anti-slash curtainsider which incorporates steel mesh sandwiched between two layers of fabric. These are welded onto and bolted through the curtainsider for secure attachment.

At a recent conference, John C. Tabor, senior vice president of supply chain for National Retail Systems advised fleets to wrap their curtainsiders in company logos and graphics instead of leaving them in plain white, to make any stolen trailers more distinctive and traceable by law enforcement agencies. (source: Freightwaves)

Advice on trailers and protecting them from cargo theft with TIP Trailer rental

With a fleet of over 66,000 trailers in its fleet and 50 years in the trailer rental business, TIP has the expertise and experience to advise on the best ways to protect your trailer and cargo from theft. Customers renting trailers through TIP Trailer Services benefit from this advice.

TIP rental options

We offer a range of trailers on a rental basis including semi-trailers, flatbed, curtainsider, box trailers, tankers and reefers to add to your fleet.

Outsource trailer maintenance and repair

To help our clients maximise trailer uptime and as part of trailer rental contracts, TIP Trailer Services provides maintenance and repair management services. Whilst your rental trailer is being maintained or repaired, we supply you with other trailers to ensure the smooth running of your business.

You can also depend on our Europe-wide breakdown recovery service 24/7 365 days per year. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services rental fleet, please contact us using this form.

 

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Road safety: predictive accident alert

Road safety: predictive accident alert

Bosch advanced driver assistance systems for trucks

Trailer accidents have a major negative impact on road transport fleets in terms of human and operational costs as well as damage to vehicles. We all want to prevent and minimise accidents. One way to do so is to use predictive analytics.

What are predictive analytics?

Predictive analytics use many techniques from data mining, statistics, modelling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analysing current data and make predictions about the future. (source: Predictiveanalyticstoday)

According to Lauren Domnick, senior director of analytics and modelling for Omnitracs “In trucking, the advent of big data is enabling the development and implementation of predictive analytics for a range of applications, especially safe driving and driver retention.” (source: TTNews)

Predictive analytics, familiar forms

In the road freight transport industry, we are already familiar with predictive analytics in the form of “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” (“ADAS”). They help make truck driving safer and less stressful today. These ADAS include applications such as traction control, ABS brakes, electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and telematics.

Predictive emergency braking systems, which detect obstacles through sensors and automatically activate brakes on a vehicle ahead of a possible collision, have been with us for some time. In the EU, trucks with a gross weight of more than eight metric tonnes have had to be equipped with predictive emergency braking by law since 2015. (source: Roboticsandautomationnews)

Distracted driving

It is likely that whilst driving, at some point, we have all been distracted by a smartphone, and hence put ourselves and our vehicles at risk of an accident. However, distraction may be caused by other factors such as adjusting your car infotainment, your GPS settings or it might be your mind wondering off, thinking about a work or family issue and distracting you from concentrating on the road.

For more than a decade, fleet operators have been able to use telematics to remotely identify potentially negative events in their trucks such as hard braking, excessive acceleration, poor route planning or insufficient tyre pressure. They have used this data to coach their drivers into improving their performances.

Now, predictive analytics systems from companies such as OmniTracs or SmartDrive can proactively predict situations where there is a risk of collision or when a driver is exhausted or distracted. (source: FleetOwner)

From behaviour detection to accident prevention

To prevent accidents caused by behavioural issues like distraction, fleet managers and drivers can take immediate action. For example, Cellcontrol has developed an app which can be installed along with a proximity-sensing device to automatically hold calls, texts and email while the driver and his or her smartphone are on the move. A company called Netradyne has launched a video-based commercial driver monitoring system that provides audible reminders and notifications when it senses a risky situation. (source: FleetOwner)

In addition, some companies are developing weather prediction systems which combine historic and actual data on weather and its impact on roads, which will then feedback information in near real-time to drivers to anticipate driving conditions and drive more safely. (source: Trucks.com)

Coaching and driver retention

Other positive applications of predictive analytics include the use of the data gathered to coach drivers and help retain them. Thanks to the information provided by onboard telematics, the fleet manager knows when drivers start and stop during their working days.  Predictive analytics help fleet managers to identify signs of behaviour indicating that a tired driver might need a rest or may want to leave the company. The fleet manager can take appropriate action resolve the issues underlying the behaviour. (source: TTNews)

Camera futures

In-truck cab cameras and cameras installed on the truck and trailer are also at the heart of many predictive, analytics-based accident alert systems. In some cases, the camera starts shooting when triggered by a particular type of event such as collision, a near collision, tailgating, etc. This can then be combined with historical data to help drivers enhance the safety of their driving styles. (source: TTNews)

TIP and predictive analytics

With over 50 years’ experience in the trailer rental and trailer maintenance business, TIP Trailer Services can help you install and operate predictive analytics-based solutions to help prevent accidents for trailers and trucks from a range of providers.

TIP leasing and rental

With a transport fleet of over 66,000 units, TIP is one of Europe’s largest transport equipment trailer rental and trailer leasing companies providing fleet managers with the flexibility to meet fluctuating demand for trailers. TIP can supply you with trailer maintenance and repair services through its network of over 70 workshops across 16 countries providing round the clock support, 365 days per year. It also operates a  pan-European roadside assistance programme to help you get your trailers back on the road as soon as possible in the event of a breakdown. For more information about TIP and predictive analytics, please contact us using this form. 

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New weather forecasting applications will improve driver safety 

New weather forecasting applications will improve driver safety 

Forecasts tell us what weather to expect, where and when, in impressive detail. However, with satellite technology and predictive analytics combined, weather forecasting is set to become even more sophisticated. It will give fleet managers and drivers near real time data on the weather and its influence on the road and driving conditions, so helping them deliver their cargoes more safely. 

Beyond one dimensional forecasts 

Many drivers rely on their smartphones and free mobile weather apps from forecasters such as Météo-France or Weervoorspelling. These apps are excellent but are relatively one dimensional, giving little detail on the implications of the weather on traffic and road conditions. 

To multi-dimensional

This is where organisations such as WeatherTelematics and The Weather Company are intervening. IBM-owned The Weather Company, known for its consumer-focused service www.weather.com, has already created a mobile app that delivers weather predictions especially for drivers. It is now working to bring weather and road conditions data into predicting traffic patterns along specific routes. The app is interesting because it follows and analyses the weather via six factors that specifically impact truck driving, namely fog, high winds, the build-up of pools of water on the roads, wet roads, ice and snow. It provides a picture of the road conditions for drivers a couple of hours ahead. There is also an alert service that can trigger voice notifications of weather-related risks to drivers. (source: Trucks.com)

Greater safety

These new weather forecasting applications will improve driver safety by enabling drivers to take informed decisions about safe driving. These decisions include:

  • Modifying their speed and driving approach in less favourable weather.
  • Taking alternative routes to avoid accidents on road sections that become dangerous in particular weather conditions.
  • Deciding whether or not to be on the road in the case of extreme weather conditions.

Improve ROI

Analysts Frost & Sullivan report that telematics devices are enabling fleets to reduce fuel costs by up to 25% with a 30% reduction in idling time. FleetOwner magazine reports that detailed weather forecasting and data services give fleet operators a return on investment (ROI) many times the costs of the services provided, whilst providing significant operational cost savings and improving safety.

For example, if, as a fleet manager, you find out about perilous conditions or the weather impacting traffic patterns on the roads, you can communicate this information to your drivers and help them find an alternative route thereby reducing delays, trailer downtime, fuel costs and potential damage to your reputation through delayed deliveries.

Insurance implications

Data on weather combined with other information generated by telematics and sensors on trucks and trailers can provide useful empirical evidence when fleet managers handle accident claims with insurance companies, rather than the typical reconstruction of events that rely solely on opinions and frequently unsubstantiated observations. (source: FleetOwner)

Future developments

In addition to truck specific weather forecasting applications based on weather analytics becoming more widely adopted, there will be opportunities for those businesses which have information about disruptive weather patterns and can predict their impact on supply chains For example TransFX is developing a “trading platform that will enable shippers, carriers and third-party logistics firms to lock in freight rates ahead of major weather events and other natural disasters, such as earthquakes, or social and infrastructure breakdowns.” (source: TTNews)

New trends

Among several signs that “predictive road conditions services” are going to be a major market,s Google has filed a patent application entitled “Systems and methods for predicting weather performance for a vehicle”. 

In addition, Bosch, the automotive OEM, announced in July 2018 that it will partner with Foreca’s road weather experts to develop predictive road condition services. Whilst its emphasis is on cars, it is interesting to note that Bosch believes it will take some 20 million connected cars to cover roughly 80,000 kilometres of road in Europe to obtain the appropriate levels of data to launch a fully predictive road condition service. “For this reason alone, road weather forecasts will initially [sic: at the time of the service’s planned launch in 2020] be the only reliable source of information for drawing sound conclusions about road conditions, especially in rural areas where there is less traffic.”

Weathering the storms with TIP Trailer rental

Trailer rental is a powerful and flexible solution. It gives you access to the best trailers and latest trailer technology without the high upfront purchase costs and ownership overheads. 

Customers choosing to rent trailers through TIP Trailer Services can take advantage of preferential rental terms within lease contracts to take on more trailers or reduce the number as demand fluctuates. 

A trailer for every occasion

TIP hires out trailers for every occasion including semi-trailers, curtainsiders/tilt, moving/walking floor, flat, reefer, tanker, chemical, tipping powder, powder waste and many other types of trailers as well as trucks.

To find out how TIP can help you weather the storms with TIP Trailer rental, please contact us using this form.

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New truck collision mitigation technology, at your service

“Collision mitigation technology” is a collision warning system linked to emergency braking using a camera and radar technology to monitor objects ahead.

Musician Elvis Costello performs a song called “Accidents will happen.” Acknowledging that accidents will happen, the challenge for trailer and truck manufacturers is to find ways of minimising them. Accidents, where one vehicle drives into the rear of another, are extremely common. Truck “collision mitigation” technology is one of the solutions that manufacturers are developing, helped by recent advances in technology.

What is collision mitigation technology?

“Collision mitigation technology” is a collision warning system linked to emergency braking which is available for vehicles now.  It uses a camera and radar technology to monitor objects ahead. The system issues a warning if it senses a possible, instantaneous collision. If the driver fails to respond, the collision mitigation system activates the brakes automatically. (source: Volvo)

Multiple flavours

Collision mitigation technology includes several specialist variants that provide blind spot warnings, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition and electronic stability control.

Going Urban

For example, WABCO, leading truck OEM supplier has developed “OnCity,” its urban turning assist collision avoidance system.  Using a single sensor and LiDAR (light imaging detection and ranging) technology, the system will alert a driver visually and acoustically to a potential collision, both right before and during a turning manoeuvre. It applies the brake autonomously if the driver has failed to take corrective action. This has been designed especially to protect cyclists and pedestrians in urban areas (source:New Electronics)

360-degree vision

Volvo is creating an all-round 360-degree view and scan of a truck and trailer’s surroundings that will eliminate the risk of accidents caused by a limited field of vision. This technology will analyse obstacles on and near the road and set-off automated evasive action to avoid accidents. This is in a test phase, likely to become a reality within the next 10 years. (source: FleetEquipmentMag)

Why is collision mitigation technology interesting?

“Collision mitigation technology” is a particularly hot area for trailer and truck manufacturers, technology companies, governmental organisations, and all road users for several reasons. At a basic level, this technology can contribute dramatically to reducing death and injury on our roads.

Platoon soon

In addition, this technology will be important in the adoption of platooning, in which trucks travel in convoys, linked and controlled by short range vehicle to vehicle communications.  One truck, usually with a driver on hand to manually override the self-driving system when necessary, leads the convoy, supported by technologies such as “collision mitigation technology”. This enables trucks in the convoy to accelerate or decelerate instantly in unison and remain in close proximity to gain the benefits of platooning including fuel economy, thanks to the reduced air resistance; fewer collisions and longer rest periods for the drivers.  (source: New Electronics)

Autonomous

In the longer term, collision mitigation technology will be a vital component of autonomous vehicles including autonomous trucks.

Increasingly mainstream today

The technology is starting to become mainstream. For example, in late 2017, UPS in the USA announced that it is going equip more than 60 percent of its large heavy truck, US class 8 tractor fleet or more than 11,000 vehicles with advanced collision mitigation technology. (source: UPS)

TIP and road safety

TIP can contribute to truck driver road safety by providing your fleet with preventative trailer maintenance on an outsourced basis and through rental or leasing, new trailer models.

Preventative maintenance prevents trailers breaking down, thereby maximising their time delivering orders. Most issues with trailers are maintenance related. They can be prevented in a more cost-effective way prior to travel than discovering an unexpected problem on the road.  Any undetected mechanical problems with trailers are potential road safety hazards.

Through trailer rental or leasing, TIP can give you flexible access to new trailer models and the latest safety technology including tyre pressure monitoring systems and telematics.

TIP repairs

We prefer to work with our customers on preventative safety measures for their trailers to ensure that their chances of mechanical trailer failure are minimised through smart trailer maintenance. However, we know that accidents will happen.

Through our 84 workshops and fleet of over 179 mobile service units across Europe, we provide a comprehensive repair service for entire fleets, or just one trailer, on a one-off basis or through a contracted outsourced programme.  Our specialised trailer mechanics are highly skilled and trained to repair all brands and types of trailers. To deliver their high-quality service our trailer mechanics have access to the latest workshop diagnostic equipment, tools and bodyshop repair facilities as well as a wide array of spare parts for models from the main trailer manufacturers.

As part of giving fleet managers and drivers peace of mind as they deliver across Europe, we operate a 24 hour 365 days per year European roadside assistance service. To find out more about how TIP can help you with truck driver safety and renting/leasing trailers, contact TIP using this form.

 

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Road safety and heavy goods vehicles

Road safety and heavy goods vehicles

Road safety is important for the well-being of society, economic growth, and prosperity. Unfortunately, there is still a high level of road accidents. As prominent members of the road transport industry, we can contribute through our fleets and safety-aware drivers to safer roads.

Global accident levels

On a global basis, road traffic deaths total 1.2 million annually. They are the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 29. International organisations such as the UN and EU and individual countries are actively campaigning to reduce these numbers. The UN aims to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 [source: International Road Transport Union]

EU road safety statistics

Since 2010, the EU has wanted to reduce traffic fatalities by 50% by 2020. It is struggling to reach that objective. Today there are approximately 26,000 road fatalities in the European Union each year of which 15% of these are heavy goods vehicle- (“HGV”) related.

The number of HGV-related fatalities in 2014 totalled 3,863 of which 1,898 (49%) caused fatalities to car occupants and 1,230 (32%) led to fatalities to “vulnerable road users,” namely pedestrians, cyclists, moped riders, and motorcyclists.

In 90% of accident scenarios involving HGVs, human error is a leading cause. This factor usually interacts with one or both of the following factors: the “environment” such as type of road, weather conditions, time of day and “vehicle” which might include the condition of the brakes, tyres, etc.

10-20% of the HGV-related accidents cause fatalities or severe injuries to HGV occupants, with 55-60% being “single accidents,” some form of driver error such as losing concentration and driving off-the-road. 50-55% of the HGV-related accidents cause fatalities or severe injuries to car occupants with 35-45% being “oncoming accidents” where a car will collide with a truck travelling in the opposite direction. Finally, 30-35% of HGV-related accidents cause fatalities or severe injuries to vulnerable road users with 30% being “crossing accidents” in which someone will have crossed a road. [source: Volvo Trucks Safety Report 2017]

 

Measures to improve traffic safety

In the same report, Volvo advocates several measures including:

  • The increased wearing of seat belts.
  • Improving driver awareness of other vehicles and road users and vice versa. Separately, in December 2017, a group of 18 major European cities wrote a letter to the European Commission urging it to create an EU “direct vision standard” for trucks to eliminate truck driver blind spots through technology.
  • Developing active safety systems including:
    • Advanced Emergency Brake Systems (“AEBS”) that can detect unexpected users or events at the rear of the trailers and trucks and activate the brakes automatically without driver intervention. This was also requested by the 18 European cities.
    • Systems that can detect vulnerable road users.
    • Co-operative Intelligent Traffic Systems (“C-ITS”)
  • Driver safety training

Fleet operators, their drivers, and safety – a checklist

As part of its campaign to help save lives on the road, the International Road Transport Union (“IRU”) has published The Truck Driver’s Checklist for Road Safety, which focuses on the key elements to consider in three sections:

  1. “Well-being” to ensure that you are as alert as possible for driving. The recommendations include healthy eating and drinking; regular exercise; sitting comfortably; taking regular breaks; using seat belts; respecting legal driving hours limits and not driving when feeling drowsy.
  2. “Journey mechanics”. Have you checked the key mechanical components of your truck and trailer including brakes, tyres, mirrors, and lights? Is your load well-distributed and secure? Do you have the right documents? Have you planned and checked your route?
  3. “Safe driving advice”. These “common sense” reminders include being aware of your blind spots; keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you; trying to anticipate problems; at night, dipping your headlights in good time; adapting your driving to the weather conditions and using secure parking conditions where possible.

Driver safety training

Training helps drivers meet high safety standards and makes our roads safer. There are plenty of organisations that provide truck driver safety training including:

  • The IRU Academy trains and certifies thousands of commercial drivers and transport operators every year through its network of over 65 training institutes in more than 45 countries,
  • Among the many providers of truck driver safety training across Europe aisDEKRA Akademie; Wabco Academy and BestDriver which cover Europe including Poland and Ukraine.
  • The Big Seven European truck manufacturers DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Scania, and Volvo run driver safety courses as part of their driver training programmes for clients.

 TIP and driver road safety

TIP can contribute to truck driver road safety by providing your fleet with preventative trailer maintenance on an outsourced basis and through rental or leasing new trailer models.

Preventative maintenance maximises trailers’ availability for delivering goods to customers. Most issues with trailers are maintenance related and can be prevented in a more cost-effective way prior to travelling than discovering an unexpected problem on the road.  Any undetected mechanical problems with trailers are potential road safety hazards.

Through trailer rental or leasing, TIP can ensure that you have flexible access to new trailer models and the latest safety technology including tyre pressure monitoring systems and telematics.

 

To find out more about how TIP can help you with truck driver safety and trailers, please contact us using this form.

Truck platooning: the latest developments

truck platooning

Truck platooning is a concept that has increasingly captured the imagination of governments, media, truck manufacturers and the road haulage industry over the last few years. How much closer is the concept to becoming reality on today’s roads?

What is “truck platooning”?

Truck platooning is a convoy of typically two to three semi-autonomous trucks, wirelessly-connected and all closely following one another. Acceleration, braking and steering across all trucks in the platoon is controlled by the lead vehicle. Each lorry is manned by a driver whose role is to manage the system and retake control in emergency or to drive the freight to its delivery destination, once the truck has split from the platoon. At present the practical emphasis is on semi-autonomous trucks for platooning including a driver although the media is discussing a future featuring driverless, autonomous trucks.

Platooning benefits

The benefits of platooning include:

  • Significant fuel savings and a consequent reduction in C02 emissions
  • Road safety. Braking reaction along the platoon is immediate
  • Improved traffic flow. Platooning boosts traffic flow and reduces tailbacks
  • The creation of new jobs and opportunities for further improvement in the logistics supply chain.

Early initiatives

In 2015, Daimler was given a licence by the State of Nevada, USA to test its Freightliner Inspiration semi-autonomous trucks for platooning in the state. [source: CNN] In 2016, Daimler unveiled the Highway Pilot Connect, a truck platooning system that was approved for use in a limited area in Germany.  It claimed that its platooning system offers up to 7% lower fuel consumption and correspondingly lower CO2 emissions, plus only half of the previously required traffic space. [source: TruckingInfo]  2016 also saw the Dutch EU Presidency develop the European Truck Platooning Challenge which aimed to address platooning issues at a European member state level. Among the highlights was the Challenge in which truck platoons from all the major European truck manufacturers drove successfully to Rotterdam from various cities across Europe.

Truck platooning in 2017

There have been many initiatives taking place this year. Nine states in the USA already have regulations that allow platooning and many more are expected to follow. [source: Trucks] Earlier in the year, Scania and Toyota announced that they will be trialling platooning on the public highways of Singapore. [source: automotivelogistics] In August 2017, the UK government announced that it will test a three semi-autonomous truck platoon on public roads in 2018. [source: Wired]

Truck platoons – a common sight on roads soon?

The most bullish supporters are in the USA. April Sanborn, the manager for Nevada’s autonomous vehicle programme says “I honestly see it [the deployment of autonomous-driving and platooning trucks] a lot quicker than 2025” [source: FleetOwner] Later in the article she added it will be “many years to come before we remove the driver.”

In Europe the outlook is different. French newspaper Le Monde believes that there are still many obstacles to overcome in Europe.  It notes that it will be difficult for fleet managers to plan for platooning when it is legal in some European countries and not in others.  Rules have to be harmonised. “The Dutch are ‘driving all out’ for platooning but in Belgium, the minimal distance between two vehicles is 50 metres. This renders platoons illegal.” Vincent Gaide at PwC questions how the transition between the platoons and the last mile transporter can be organised. The article also raises the spectre of the high likelihood of French truck drivers protesting against any government initiatives to introduce platooning.

Edmund King, president of the UK’s AA (Automobile Association) told The Guardian that “We have some of the busiest motorways in Europe with many more entries and exits. Platooning may work on the miles of deserted freeways in Arizona or Nevada but this is not America.” In the same article, Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association cautiously welcomes the idea of truck platooning but warns that the current focus is too much on the technology behind platooning and not enough on safety. “Safety has to come first and it cannot be compromised.”

Challenges for platoons including trucks owned by different fleets will include “Who will benefit from the fuel savings?” Only the trucks behind the lead truck will. And, relating to that “How will the different fleets split the fuel savings?”

Flexible trailer capacity, trailers equipped with the latest technology – the keys to success

Whether or not the world is ready for platoons of semi-autonomous or autonomous trucks, there will always be demand for transporters to carry large volumes of products in their trailers. Having flexible trailer capacity with trailers that are equipped with the latest trailer technology are the keys to playing a successful part in the transport industry. Why not consider trailer rental or leasing from TIP Trailer Services? Ask TIP how you can benefit from our 50.000+ trailer fleet using this form.

 

The importance of a daily trailer inspection

The importance of a daily trailer inspection

Everybody wants to keep their commercial vehicles roadworthy and safe. That’s why the driver’s “walk around check” of their truck and trailer is crucial, according to the recommendations made by several European government road safety agencies.

For example, the Irish Road Safety Authority(RSA) and the UK’s DVSA offer useful guides to keeping commercial vehicles roadworthy and safe. (sources: RSA guide and DVSA guide). Following these daily trailer inspection recommendations makes excellent commercial sense because routine safety checks will lead to fewer unexpected breakdowns.

Drivers on the frontline of “vehicle issues detection”

A driver knows his or her vehicle well, so is therefore likely to be the first to recognise any problems as they arise, or anticipate potential problems. The RSA in Ireland recommends that drivers should carry out a daily inspection of their vehicles. They need to report any faults or potential problems to the individual in their company with designated responsibility for roadworthiness and safety, which is typically the fleet manager. If there are any issues, they must be repaired and the vehicle must be declared safe before allowing the driver to set out on their journey.

Objectives

The driver’s objective is to identify easily-spotted defects through a visual check. The aim is for a daily trailer inspection not for drivers to conduct in-depth investigations of the mechanics of their vehicles, as this is clearly the job of qualified technicians. Nevertheless, there is a legal obligation in most EU countries for the driver to conduct vehicle inspections. For example, the UK’s DVSA states that “failure to comply can lead to a prohibition, a fixed penalty and penalty points on your licence”.

What to look for

There are many helpful one page checklists for a daily trailer inspection which show what drivers should be looking out for such as the DVSA’s “HGV Drivers’ Walk Around Check” which are available online.

A view from the truck

In the truck itself, there are items that can be checked from the driver’s seat including the mirrors and glass, steering, brakes, the horn, visibility through the windows, excessive engine exhaust smoke, windscreen wipers and washers, warning lamps as well as lights and indicators. Stepping outside, the driver can check the exterior of the vehicle for fuel and oil leaks, the state of the battery and coupling security amongst other items.

Around the trailer

On the trailer, drivers need to inspect the electrical connections, brake lines, number plates, markers, reflectors, tyres and wheel fixings, the security of the trailer body and wings, the suspension, electrical connections and the security of the load. (source RSA)

Wash regularly

TruckingInfo’s article entitled “9 Tips for Better Trailer Maintenance” is very helpful but the majority of their tips require more than just a visual check. That said, one of the tips “Wash your trailer regularly” seems particularly relevant, because the cleaner the trailer, the easier it is to spot any problems.

From trailer inspection to maintenance and repair

Once you and your drivers have identified any issues on your trailer(s), consider partnering with an expert such as TIP Trailer Services to whom you can outsource your maintenance and repairs. TIP is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes.

TIP’s maintenance programmes offer cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of qualified technicians, trained in all the latest technologies, operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada.

To discuss outsourcing your trailer maintenance, please contact TIP to discover more about the wide range of services they can provide.