The addition of more and more advanced electronic controls on trucks, like roll stability, will improve truck safety and efficiency and the ability to easily diagnose maintenance issues.
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The forthcoming strengthening of government regulations has shifted the dynamics and focus of fleet managers in the trucking industry. Many fleets are currently struggling to meet the strict safety regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) guidelines affecting their equipment and drivers.
Fleets are now expecting advances in technological design and improvements in all related trucking equipment components as the total cost of fleet ownership continues to augment.
Both established and emerging companies must bring a unique competitive approach to this generation by:
- Redesigning old technologies.
- Providing cost-conscious integrated solutions.
- Improving driver/vehicle safety.
- Offering high-quality products that help reduce vehicle downtime.
Major Reshaping Forces
Government regulations have been one of the primary driving forces reshaping the trucking landscape. Although new truck prices have risen to historic highs due to the fortifying government regulations, the improvement in on-road safety and reduction in accidents are positive developments in the trucking industry.
With the severity of rollover accidents in commercial vehicles in mind, electronic stability control (ESC) and roll stability control (RSC) have been thoroughly discussed as potential government mandates for heavy duty commercial vehicles by 2019. These safety systems are expected to be autonomous, while improving the trucks handling and stability, thus helping reduce the number of rollover incidents in North America.
With the proposed 2019 stability controls mandate, advanced steering systems have been discussed as a potential addendum to these stability controls. Advanced electronic steering systems are able to provide the driver additional benefits like:
- Direct feedback to possible hazards.
- Reduction in fatigue from steering.
- The ability to improve steering angles helping enhance the safety functionality of the stability controls.
New Training Need for Technicians
In the long-term, electronic systems are expected to handle and support all functions of the truck. The shift is underway from hydraulic and mechanical systems towards semi- to even full-electronic solutions.
Electronic systems have proven to be more efficient than hydraulic and mechanical systems as they are able to function independently from the power generated by the engine.
Electronic systems offer improved truck efficiency and the ability to easily diagnose any maintenance issue affecting the truck.
As such, technicians in the trucking industry now must begin to adapt and receive training in electronic diagnostic tools for all maintenance procedures.
The growing usage of advanced technologies and electronic systems are expected to simplify the maintenance procedures of trucks in the future.