PRECO’s line of new PreView Radar systems employ radar technology that detects both moving and stationary objects. These systems are based on Continuous Wave radar, a proven technology that has been around for decades. The earliest large-scale applications of continuous wave radar were for such things as weather radar and missile guidance. A newer variant of this technology, called Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW), is now becoming a mainstay in the machinery and automotive industries.
A stronger economy, lower unemployment rates, and better gas prices have put more people on U.S. roadways, causing motor vehicle fatalities to rise by 9% in the first half of 2016. The National Safety Council estimates that 19,100 people have been killed over the road since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured. What’s more, this Labor Day was predicted to be the deadliest holiday period since 2008, according to the NSC.
Other factors, including distracted driving, have contributed to the rise in over the road accidents. Side collisions with trucks from lane changes have increased on busier highways. Congested urban areas are seeing a rise in struck-by side collisions from turns and lane changes, especially with pedestrians and cyclists. The economy might look rosier, but the roadways do not, especially for the most vulnerable road users—those on foot and bikes.
Since mining companies gain efficiency by moving more tonnage with fewer but larger vehicles, the trend leads toward ever-larger dozers, trucks, draglines and shovels. But the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind zones around them; and these blind zones can lead to potentially catastrophic accidents.
Larger Vehicles Can Mean More Danger
The blind zones around mining equipment can be huge: Sean Martell, Preco’s mining and construction sales manager, says that when operating large haul trucks, drivers can lose visibility to a hazard when the person or object is as far away as 150 feet from the rear of these massive machines. That’s half a football field.
Picture this: You are flying 36,000 feet in the air, on your way to a family getaway at Disney World, and suddenly the plane experiences a critical system failure. Thanks to the multiple duplicate components and systems on the plane, a new system seamlessly takes over operation of the aircraft, and you and your family safely reach your destination, none the wiser.
The duplication of systems in this scenario is called redundancy, and it’s one of the most common fail-safe methods around. Merriam-Webster defines fail-safe as “incorporating some feature for automatically counteracting the effect of an anticipated possible source of failure.” Fail-safe is further described as “a device or practice that, in the event of a specific type of failure, responds or results in a way that will cause no harm, or at least minimize harm, to other devices or to personnel.”
Every day heavy duty equipment goes through more extremes than the average automobile does in a lifetime. That’s why anything that goes onto a piece of heavy-duty equipment needs to be more rugged than the equipment fitted on automobiles. Engine bearings must be able to withstand fatigue resistance and have significant high torque load-carrying capacity. Tires are engineered for heavy loads, to maintain solid traction, and be resistant to punctures. Even heavy-duty equipment operators need to be hardy to keep up with the physical and mental demands of these strenuous and demanding jobs. It’s these factors that keep heavy-duty equipment moving and worksites productive.
Camera/monitor systems are an extremely useful technology, but it is important to recognize their limitations as a stand-alone solution for object detection.
Back-up cameras serve to reduce blind zones in reversing cars by 90 percent, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Considering that 94% of new cars on the market today have back-up cameras, that’s a lot of backwards visibility gained.
Merriam-Webster defines a platoon as “… two or more squads usually led by one lieutenant.” Change “squads” to “trucks” and “lieutenant” to “driver” and you’ve got the definition of what is currently taking the trucking world by storm.
Platooning isn’t a new concept, but recent advances have made it a viable, cost-savings transportation option for trucking fleets in the not-so-distant future.
It comes down to simple math. Invest in workplace safety before an accident happens, and you get to take your savings to the bank.
Liberty Mutual estimates that every dollar invested in injury prevention reduces costs for employers by $2 or more. That’s a lot of savings considering the fact that a workplace injury costs employers a whopping $30,000 on average, according to The National Safety Council.
Being in and around moving vehicles, regardless of their size, has inherent dangers built in. Today’s highways and city streets are more congested than ever, with a heavy mix of traffic interacting with bicycles and pedestrians.
Add in distracted driving—which has been on the rise—and you’ve got a recipe for potential disaster. Sadly, accidents and fatalities on highways involving trucks, and those in cities involving pedestrians and bicyclists colliding with trucks, have been on the rise.