Over the past few weeks we’ve looked at how braking technology is vital for public transport and municipal vehicles, but what about industrial vehicles? AEB and ABS both offer huge safety assurances when travelling on the road. While the former, and most sophisticated of the two, can prevent accidents altogether, the latter minimises accident-related damage, and in some cases prevents damage, should an incident occur.
Industrial vehicles and settings: The risks
In industrial work environments, such as quarries, building sites or factories, there are a wide range of vehicles that are used on a constant basis in close proximity to people working on the ground. This also goes for vehicles that transport chemicals, building materials and waste from site to site.
Vehicles frequently used in these environments include:
- Tipper trucks
- Flat bed trucks
Even when not on the roads, there are real risks of braking-related accidents. These can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Stopping on ramps and steep slopes
- Leaving the vehicle unattended to load or unload
- Attaching trailers carrying dangerous materials
- Loading from vehicle to vehicle – for example, in quarries
- Stopping on uneven surfaces
- Leaving the vehicle to sign in/ complete paperwork
Throughout 2015, a number of incidents involving braking incidents and industrial vehicles have made the news.
Earlier this year a man was badly injured when a 10-tonne digger rolled over his leg. At the time, the man was trying to unload the digging machine off the back of the trailer when the brakes failed, meaning the vehicle rolled backwards.
In a separate incident, in Bath, a tipper truck loaded with gravel went out of control on a steep hill in the city, crashing into cars and bystanders, after the vehicle’s brakes failed. Four people died and many others were injured as the lorry had no other way of stopping.
Reducing accidents with braking technology
ABS, and more recently, AEB, has come a long way in reducing accidents, but they still happen. It has been proven that low speed AEB technology will lead to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes, but will need to be installed widely across the UK for maximum benefit.
Andrew Miller, president of Euro NCAP and chief technical officer of Thatcham Research, says about braking technology:
“Crash-prevention technology is no longer a premium-brand luxury and has the potential to bring significant safety benefits to fleets large and small.”
While the most up-to-date AEB technology may not be in your vehicle yet, we have lots of safety technology that can be implemented into your industrial vehicle today. Products such as VT Ident prevent theft, unauthorised access and accidents that occur as a result of this; VT Banksman offers the ultimate reversing radar system; and our newest product, VT BrakeSafe, is a handbrake failsafe system that will prevent your vehicle from rolling away.
You can find out about all of these products online, or you can give us a call on 08455 643 337 for more information.
Have you ever experienced or witnessed a crash, due to brake failure, on an industrial site? If so, share your story with us in the comments below. Alternatively you can tweet your story to us @VisionTechnique