The triple or quad road train driver already has enough on their plate without having to wonder whether the Trailer Electronic Braking System (TEBS) on the rig is working as it should.
Yet if the TEBS on just one trailer in a multi-combination has malfunctioned it could potentially spell disaster if the driver is forced to make an emergency stop or sudden evasive manoeuvre.
Put simply, the more trailers there are in tow, the more a fully functioning EBS can make the difference between a combination staying stable and upright or ending up on its side.
With this in mind, it’s not surprising that many companies stipulate, as part of due diligence, that their drivers must not drive a multi-combination vehicle if the TEBS is faulty in any way.
Fortunately, Lucidity’s TEBS Status Lamp immediately displays TEBS Status for all trailers individually after the ignition is switched on, meaning the driver can be assured of full EBS functionality during a quick walk-around as part of a pre-trip inspection.
The Lucidity system also makes the fault-finding process much easier and less time consuming because the fault can be pinpointed to a particular trailer that’s showing a red light.
If a lamp is not lit at all this signifies there is no power to the TEBS system which could be as simple as a power lead not connected or another power supply issue.
A green lamp indicates the TEBS system is operational and ready to go on that trailer while a red lamp shows there is a fault on that individual trailer.
The EBS status lamps display the individual trailer status and every trailer within the combination must have its own status lamp. Importantly, each lamp is wired independently to the others meaning one lamp’s function is not affected by another.
Due to the copious quantity of mining activity in the state, Western Australia has an extremely large number of road trains doing both on and off-highway work.
One of WA’s leading trailer builders, Bruce Rock Engineering (BRE), has come to rely on the durability and simplicity of Lucidity’s TEBS Status Lamp kit for its new trailer builds, many of which form triple or quad road trains.
According to BRE’s Keenan Verhoogt, the previous system entailing one light in the prime mover indicating an EBS fault is not a great help when pulling triple or quad road trains.
“It’s all about being able to minimise downtime by being able to diagnose faults quickly,” Keenan says. “When you’ve got four separate modulators out behind you the single light fault system becomes a bit of a problem.”
Keenan says BRE has fitted around 750 of the Lucidity systems to its trailers since March 2020.
“The feedback I’ve had from operators has been overwhelmingly positive because it’s simply a matter of a red light indicating a fault and green meaning it’s all good to go,” Keenan says.
“The product Lucidity came up with is compatible with all of the TEBS systems in the market which is a really important factor.”
Keenan elaborates that a lot of companies in WA have vast numbers of road trains in their fleets and the simple fact is if the TEBS is not easy to fault diagnose and fix then it can get put in the ‘too hard’ basket with adverse safety consequences.
“It also provides accountability, because if people see there’s a red light on they know there’s a problem and it can’t be simply ignored like a light on the dash – everybody can see it because it’s located on the outside of the trailer,” he says.
“The team at Lucidity were great in helping us out with this product that’s made a big difference to operators in terms of improving productivity through quicker fault diagnosis and repairs.”
An indication of how well-regarded Lucidity’s TEBS Status Lamp kit is in the marketplace is that it was among a select group of five innovative transport equipment systems nominated for the Heavy Vehicle Industry Association (HVIA) Safety Innovation Award last year.