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SAF-Holland Debuts Lighted Fifth Wheel Coupling Assistant

November 2, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Equipment, Safety, Technology
SAF-Holland Debuts Lighted Fifth Wheel Coupling Assistant

SAF-Holland, a leading global manufacturer of trailer suspension and axle systems, truck suspensions, fifth wheels, landing gear and coupling products, is introducing a new automatic lighting system to help drivers consistently ensure a proper coupling on their fifth wheel.

The Electronic Lock Indicator technology enhanced, ELI-te fifth wheel coupling assistant is available as an integrated option on the Holland FW35 Series fifth wheels.

With more than a decade of SAF- Holland experience in trailer-sensing electronic technology, the ELI-te uses state-of-the-art components to ensure robust performance in an economical product. A long-life, application-specific electronic control module is mounted directly to the fifth wheel top plate, and features electrical output capability to support connection with remote indicators.

Dropped trailers are an expensive and preventable situation. Fifth wheel performance alone cannot assure successful trailer coupling since driver habits are crucial to the effectiveness of the coupling procedure. The Holland ELI-te system supports safety needs by enhancing driver awareness during the trailer coupling procedure. Drivers working with the ELI-te receive simple, immediate and actionable feedback after each coupling.

When a trailer kingpin is properly coupled to an ELI-te equipped fifth wheel, four high-intensity white LED lights mounted within the fifth wheel automatically illuminate the lockjaws. This assists drivers with the visual safety inspection process by directing their attention to the critical connection between the lockjaws and kingpin.

If a coupling problem is detected, daytime-visible red LED lights will begin flashing from both sides of the fifth wheel to alert drivers that the vehicle is not ready for motion. By reinforcing standard inspection procedures, ELI-te encourages drivers to consistently and independently recognize and resolve serious hazards and be confident in their ability to move cargo safely.

“The lights make it easy for drivers to positively confirm that they have coupled correctly, and warn them if they have not. It’s a new generation of safety,” said Mark Molitor, vice president of engineering for the Americas. “It’s an engineered, all-in-one system that will be spec’d by on-highway fleets that are looking to empower drivers to accomplish correct coupling consistently.”

Industry-proven sensors and shatterproof lamp modules are combined with the system’s sealed, one-piece electrical harness, which is one-connector assembly that requires only a low-current connection to the vehicle electrical power.

For converter dolly applications, the electrical connection is designed to be compatible with ABS status signals. The complete system provides enhanced operation safety and efficiency for the fleet, and allows for efficient installation at the OEM or aftermarket retrofit.