Panel discusses rollover concerns
Nov 18, 2005 9:31 AM
With concerns mounting in the tank truck industry about an increasing number of tractor/tank trailer rollovers, a panel at the National Tank Truck Carriers Cargo Tank Maintenance Seminar discussed the issue, including technical developments in vehicle stability.
Mark Melletat of Meritor WABCO, William Ganz of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Bryan Simoncic of Haldex Brake Products, and Travis McCloud of Front Line Design Technologies participated in the program conducted during the November 7-9 meeting in Louisville KY.
Melletat said that by the time a driver senses trouble, it is too late to prevent the rollover. That's why vehicle automatic stability control equipment can be effective--it reacts when the driver doesn't.
"Milleseconds make a difference," said Ganz. He also noted that the driver force has more inexperienced drivers than in previous years, reinforcing chances for accidents involving rollovers.
Simoncic said that there is a limited window of opportunity to recover when a rollover is imminent, so the prevention equipment has to sense and react quickly to slow down the vehicle.
McCloud said that an oval tank trailer, if partially loaded, appears to be slightly more susceptible to rollovers than round trailers. Lowering the trailer would stabilize the vehicle, but because of regulations and other considerations, it's not always possible to adopt such a design, he added.
"It's going to take everyone in this industry working together to combat rollovers," he said.
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