Trailer Magazine

The perfect couple

  • From the November 2018 issue.
The perfect couple

A dropped trailer due to incorrect fifth wheel coupling can be a costly and dangerous scenario. Designed specifically to address this risk, the ELI-te system helps drivers ensure a correct fifth wheel coupling is achieved each and every time.

ELI-te stands for Electronic Lock Indicator – Technology Enhanced. Key to the ELI-te system is a visual indicator that either assists the confirmation of a successful coupling, or provides a warning that something isn’t quite right, helping to prevent mistakes from occurring.

When the kingpin has been properly seated into the fifth wheel’s lock jaws, and the cam plate is in the closed position, the ELI-te system’s four bright white LED lights activate and directly illuminate the closed jaws around the kingpin. This assists the driver in visually confirming that the kingpin is correctly coupled to the fifth wheel.

These high-intensity white LED lights remain active for five minutes, ensuring the driver has adequate time to inspect the fifth wheel coupling by eye. The lights are strategically aimed at the king pin and lock jaws to improve visibility, making the inspection easier to perform and more accurate, without the need for a torch – particularly helpful in low light or poor weather conditions.

While the white LED lights indicate a correct coupling, flashing red LED lights, positioned at both sides of the fifth wheel and pointing outwards, warn the driver of a failed coupling attempt, and provide an unmistakable visual warning to anyone present that something may not be correct.
As the ELI-te system assists the driver to identify if the fifth wheel is correctly coupled, it is an important tool to help fleets enhance safety and efficiency.

ELI-te has been engineered to perform in real world and real road conditions, making it a perfect fit for Australia’s transport industry, which can be particularly demanding on equipment.

The ELI-te system has been cleverly designed, operating via two sensors that confirm the location of the fifth wheel’s cam plate, and the trailer’s kingpin. The position of the sensors on the fifth wheel greatly reduces the chance that their performance will be negatively impacted by grease contamination. The sensors, LEDs and control module are connected by robust components to form a sealed one-piece harness. The entire system is mounted within the fifth wheel, with only a single power cable connecting it to the trailer or prime mover, resulting in a very clean installation.

A highly versatile unit, the ELI-te system can be supplied as ‘factory fit’ on brand new FW351 and FW331 fifth wheels, and also in a ‘retrofit’ kit for those models. The retrofit kit comprises all the parts that installers require, including an instruction manual, drilling template, drill bits, and ELI-te system components.

SAF-Holland supports ELI-te by offering operator training to fleet customers, and installation/maintenance training to workshops and service centers. The ELI-te fifth wheel coupling assistant system is available through the SAF-Holland original parts distributor network Australia-wide.

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