Many fleet managers like the idea of upgrading the safety technology on their fleet. The problem is they feel there is no time to install new technology. Few managers have the luxury of pulling a truck out of service to retrofit it with new gear. If you’re a big shop with a 24/7 garage, it’s less of a problem, but if you’re running an 8-hour garage schedule, it’s hard to fit in any non-essential work. With some foresight and planning though, many fleet managers may find that there is actually ample time to make these upgrades.
“Even though a fleet managers’ assets are always in use during the day,” says Matt Wood, PRECO’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales, “most vehicles are typically scheduled for routine preventive maintenance. This is an ideal time to make some dramatic safety improvements.”
Installing PRECO’s safety technology requires very little additional training. Most mechanics work with vehicle electrical systems on a daily basis. After a short training session from a PRECO technical trainer, it takes the average mechanic about four hours to install a standard safety system consisting of collision avoidance radar sensor with an in-cab warning display or an integrated camera/monitor system. Wireless systems take about half as much time.
Installation is usually made simpler because the radar sensors have been preconfigured before they ship to the customer. In special circumstances, such as when mounting the radar on off-road vehicles, PRECO works directly with fleet managers to preconfigure the radar sensors to their specific equipment type. Companies can also set their own radar coverage using one of PRECO’s service tools.
Regardless of the number of sensors or cameras, the typical installation includes just one in-cab warning display or one monitor. For most vehicles, the warning displays are mounted in a location near the direction in which most operators look to check their mirrors. Monitors are typically placed more centrally on the dashboard so operators can see the image better.
The installation of an active collision avoidance system integrated with a camera/monitor system serves two main purposes. The cameras give operators a clear visual image of object near the vehicle—but they don’t tell the operator when to look at them. Using active audible alerts and green-yellow-red visual alerts, the radar tells the operator to slow down and stop now! The sensors also give operators a better sense of how close objects are to the vehicle. Cameras let you know when something or someone is there: Radar tells you how far away they are—and how fast they are approaching. This split-second warning can sometimes mean the difference between a collision and just a close call.