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With the full stability system engaged, the driver of the fully–loaded rear discharge mixer maintains control and avoids rolling his vehicle while making a sharp turn on the test track, as shown by the elevated rear safety axle.

The stability system then cross-checks with other sensors—the lateral acceleration sensor, the yaw sensor, and the wheel-speed sensors—to determine what is happening and then intervene.

This differs from a roll-only system that relies on the lateral-acceleration sensor and the wheel-speed sensors. By the time the controller receives an initial sensor input and is then able to verify, time passes. Granted, time may be only fractions of a second, but this time lag means intervention comes later, or not at all, said Andersky.

If the speed approaches the rollover threshold, it's possible that the stability system can be overwhelmed and not prevent the rollover. This is why margins for full-stability systems are typically higher than for roll-only systems, depending on the scenario.

While awareness of stability systems increases, so does the confusion surrounding roll-only systems and full-stability systems. Andersky believes that fleet managers need to understand the differences and implications of stability for commercial vehicles.

His white paper, “Road Map for the Future: Making the Case for Full-Stability,” presents information and data about both types of stability systems—roll-only systems, known as roll stability control/program (RSC/RSP), and full-stability technology, or ESP/ESC. He also tries to clarify the substantial differences in the technology used in both systems.

A matter of safety

Andersky believes this new system will dramatically affect trucking, where roll-overs are a major safety issue. More than 13,000 rollovers occur annually, and they continue to be one of the leading causes of driver deaths.

Producers should develop a strong driver awareness program when they integrate this system into their fleets. “The system is not meant to allow drivers to drive faster or to abandon good techniques," he says. “It's important to teach how to use the system correctly. It provides a safety net. Hopefully, few drivers will ever experience its benefits.”

The Bendix system is available through a number of truck manufacturers. Contact your dealer to learn if the system is available on new trucks. For the “Road Map for the Future: Making the Case for Full-Stability,” visit www.bendix.com, and click on the stability technology white paper icon.