Trucking direction, smart trailer trends to change the industry

October is a busy month for construction equipment, whether it’s maintenance, storage or promotion. From Equipment Exposition to bauma, the trade show season circuit is well underway. From Trucker Appreciation Week in September to pink construction equipment dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness in October, fall is a busy and engaging time.

Preparing for fall and the inevitable winter always makes me look to the future. This question takes a look at that future, both short and long term. I consider the long term implications of shows like bauma, Equip Expo and iVT, the equipment they share with the industry and the trends seen at these shows. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers recently released a white paper analysis of 10 trends it believes will have a significant impact on the construction industry over the next decade. From connected construction sites to big data to wearable devices, construction technology will undoubtedly innovate, grow and change the construction industry as we know it. Read our exclusive coverage of the analysis in this issue.

One trend that particularly caught my attention in the AEM white paper was the planned path towards autonomous machines, as well as the increase of sensors in equipment – ​​both trends expected to help improve the working environment for truck drivers. and construction equipment operators around the world.

Trucker Appreciation Week ran from September 11-17, though every day we must show our appreciation for these hard-working professionals. In this issue, readers will find several nods to our nation’s trucking workforce, a diverse group of professionals who ensure we have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, materials construction and aggregation to develop and improve infrastructure.

At a recent Mack Trucks press event in Allentown, Penn. field, I was able to experience many of the trends described in the AEM white paper – autonomous machines and sensors – while driving Mack Anthem and Granite trucks equipped with the latest Command Steer technology.

Command Steer technology includes a variable steering system that reacts to different driver situations, channeling up to 11 Nm of torque assistance into a Mack truck’s steering shaft. Command Steer takes into account road conditions, driver behavior and environmental elements, and includes sensors that receive environmental information more than 2,000 times per second. For example, in the event of a tire blowout, Command Steer can help keep the truck moving straight and forward, rather than veering sideways.

The Mack Trucks team says Command Steer can reduce driver effort by up to 85% and reduce fatigue by 30% – beneficial implications for ongoing labor challenges in the trucking industry. trucking. As I got behind the wheel of a Command Steer-equipped Mack Anthem and slowly made my way through the obstacle course set up for us at a quarry in Easton, Pennsylvania, I noticed how the steering wheel smoothed out the rough roads and observed light steering at low speeds. That day was my first time driving a heavy truck, and I appreciated the Command Steer’s ability to help in various scenarios, like maintaining stability through potholes, crowned roads and strong winds.

According to Tim Wrinkle, senior product manager at Mack, and Stuart Russoli, product manager at Mack Highway, this shared frictional stability compensates for unexpected conditions and recognizes the driver’s desire to drive the truck forward rather than turn. Command Steer’s sensors and technology also work in tandem to provide a return-to-zero feature, which automatically returns the steering wheel to neutral if the driver releases the steering wheel while the truck is in motion. This comes in handy in sudden, jarring road conditions, like uneven cracks on a hill in the quarry.

It seems that the trucking industry places sensors at the top of its priority list for future innovation. Earlier in September, Grote Industries announced the launch of its 4SEE smart trailer, another high-tech product to help drivers stay safe and reduce overwork and troubleshooting. The 4SEE smart trailer will offer mobile app integration for the truck driver. The trailer technology product itself combines cameras, light sensors, undercarriage and load sensing, tire pressure monitoring and wheel readings to improve safety, security and stability of the trailer for the driver.

According to Grote Industries engineering manager Adam Slade, the 4SEE smart trailer is configured to incorporate a wide variety of sensors and lights, including backups, strobes and beacons.

4SEE will improve driver safety by effectively connecting to data, the Grote Industries team said. The smart trailer can react to the surrounding environment and use data from other sensors, such as indicating the interior and exterior distances of the trailer from potentially dangerous objects.

Grote Industries and Mack Trucks technology products herald the future of trucking and aim to improve driver retention, a much needed effort in the trucking and construction industries. Next month’s November issue will have a particular focus on trucks and transportation, so there’s more to come on that topic.

In the meantime, enjoy the fall shows, whether it’s construction equipment or foliage. And, if you’re not going to Munich, be sure to check out our bauma product previews!

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