Road safety is set to be boosted by new fifth wheel technology that prevents mis-hitching of trailers to tractor units, according to Massey Wilcox MD Robert Wilcox.
Wilcox said he is encouraged by early results from the use of Fontaine’s 3 Sensor Fifth Wheel, which the Radstock-based haulier has fitted to a Mercedes-Benz Actros.
The warning system is designed for both in-cab and at fifth wheel alerts. Inside the cab there is a safety clip warning light on the windscreen pillar and a fifth wheel release lever warning light box on the dashboard.
An amber flashing light on the pillar and a buzzing sound alerts the driver that the safety clip is not in place, while a red light flashes on the dash-mounted light box.
At the fifth wheel a box will show no lights when uncoupled from the trailer and a flashing amber light when coupled correctly, but the safety clip is not in place.
“With previous systems grease would affect the sensors and give false readings. Drivers stop taking notice if that happens too often,” said Wilcox.
“The new system is triggered by the mechanics of the fifth wheel and is a great improvement. I’ll ensure they are fitted on all our new models.”
By David Craik