Heavy Trucks, Fork Lifts and Heavy Equipment

We have experience in heavy truck under run accidents and how alternative under run barrier designs can make a big difference in catastrophic injuries. We have experience in the design and safety of Fork Lifts and heavy equipment from working with industrial companies and their fleets.

Heavy trucks are unsafe and deserve better...

  1. Heavy trucks do not provide effective protection to themselves or those they hit – the wild west of vehicle sales…minimal oversite/guidance; simple minded sales  and marketing teams focused just on their profit today, not the operators that are the lifeblood of their industry.
  2. Heavy truck vehicles are unsafe and are involved in killing 3,000-5,000 occupants of passenger vehicles annually due to the lack of compatibility requirements for these vehicles being on the same roads as passenger vehicles.

Heavy trucks are fire hazards...

The fire rates for heavy trucks in a crash are almost 10x greater than those for passenger vehicle. One has virtually no oversight and testing requirements designed over 50 years ago, while the other has had the benefit of ongoing focus, yet even the lessons learned from protecting passenger vehicles are resisted by the trucking industry cabal maximizing their profits at the expense of the public and the courageous heavy truck drivers that are the lifeblood of our overland shipping economy.

Heavy truck manufacturers cling to guidelines...

Manufacturers cling to guidelines they have created to make it easy to convince unsuspecting buyers that their trucks are safe.  With a massive media and congressional campaign to prevent any changes to their shameless bread and butter income stream born on the deaths and injuries of unsuspecting heavy truck drivers.  Time and again resistance is presented to create even the smallest semblance of reality in protecting heavy truck drivers in rollover crashes, instead opting for artificial and misleading test methods that they know are not representative of the true situations killing drivers.  And continuing to evaluate simplistic system performance with 50 year old methods completely unrelated to  the truck drivers and technology present in todays heavy trucks.

Related Papers and Presentations

Biomechanics of Head-Neck Injuries In Heavy Truck Motor Vehicle Accidents, 2011 BMES Annual Meeting

Considerable research has been conducted to better understand the biomechanics of head and neck injuries in passenger car vehicles leading to advanced safety systems [1-2]. Similar efforts are lacking in heavy truck rollover accidents. It is well known that heavy trucks are involved in rollover accidents, but existing research is limited to seated front passengers [3]. Available restraint systems in the sleeper cabs are intended to protect occupants in frontal impacts [4]. Occupants within the sleeper cab are not properly restrained in the lateral direction because the available bunker net allows the body to slide underneath. In rollover accidents, sleeper cab occupants are at higher risk of sustaining head-neck injuries while interacting with the side wall of the cab. The purpose of the study is to delineate the biomechanical occupant kinematics of sleeper cab occupants in simulated rollover accidents.

Rollover Protection for Occupants of Heavy Truck Sleeper Cabs, International Crashworthiness Conference (ICRASH)

ABSTRACT

 It  is  projected  that  over  900,000  long-haul  sleeper  cabs  will  be  on  the  road  by  the  year  2030. Approximately half of all heavy truck occupant deaths are due to rollovers. This paper considers current occupant sleeper cab rollover protection systems and reveals the results of representative crashes involving vehicles with these cabs. This paper also describes a virtual testing methodology for the evaluation of today’s designs under rollover conditions, along with restraint tests involving both test dummies and humans. Finite element models are also discussed; results of various exemplar restraint configurations are introduced. These data strongly suggest that lateral restraint is critical for the safety of sleeper cab occupants in the event of a rollover accident.

Opportunities for Improved Heavy Truck Occupant Protection in Rollover and Overhead Loading Impacts, International Crashworthiness Conference (ICRASH)

 ABSTRACT

Driver compartments on medium and heavy trucks are essentially modular units that are applied to a chassis as a location to place the driver and controls. The same cab is often utilized independent of what the rest of the truck application may be. However, the strength of the cabs has been found to be comparable to that of pickup trucks while the gross vehicle weights involved for the applications can be more than 10 times greater than their passenger vehicle counterparts. In this study the background to the problem is reviewed. An example baseline cab configuration is then examined under various rollover loading and top loading conditions utilizing virtual testing techniques. Under the same conditions alternative design approaches are considered and evaluated. The results indicate that opportunities are available to provide substantially better improved compartment strengths to maintain the survival space for medium and heavy truck drivers.

Opportunities for Heavy Truck Front End Compatibility with Passenger Vehicles, International Crashworthiness Conference (ICRASH)

ABSTRACT

 By 2030, substantial increases in the number heavy trucks are expected to be on roadways throughout the United States.  Currently, three to five thousand occupant fatalities occur in the vehicles impacted by heavy trucks.  A significant portion of these engage with the front end of the heavy truck.  The use of radar systems has been shown to significantly mitigate many of these rear end crashes.  In this study, the use of deployable front end airbags is evaluated in terms of the potential effects on the struck vehicle in front and rear end impacts with passenger vehicles.  A virtual testing methodology for evaluation of various designs under impact conditions is described. The study reports on the potential effects of radar activated heavy truck front end airbag systems on crash mitigation in front and rear end impacts.

Rollover Protection for Occupants of Heavy Truck Sleeper Cabs, International Journal of Crashworthiness

ABSTRACT

It  is  projected  that  over  900,000  long-haul  sleeper  cabs  will  be  on  the  road  by  the  year  2030. Approximately half of all heavy truck occupant deaths are due to rollovers.  This paper considers current occupant sleeper cab rollover protection systems and reveals the results of representative crashes involving vehicles with these cabs. This paper also describes a virtual testing methodology for the evaluation of today’s designs under rollover conditions, along with restraint tests involving both test dummies and humans.   Finite element models are also discussed; results of various exemplar restraint configurations are introduced.  These data strongly suggest that lateral restraint is critical for the safety of sleeper cab occupants in the event of a rollover accident.

Advanced Fuel Tank Protection Evaluation Methods, SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress

ABSTRACT

The incidence of fire in heavy trucks has been shown to be about ten times higher under crash conditions than occurs in passenger vehicles. Fuel tank protection testing defined in SAE standard 1703 was originally issued in 1954 and presently echoes federal regulations codified in 49 CFR 393. These tests do not reflect dynamic impact conditions representative of those that can be expected by heavy trucks on the road today. Advanced virtual testing of current and alternative fuel tank designs and locations under example impact conditions is reported. Virtual testing methods can model vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to fixed object impacts. These results can then be utilized to evaluate and refine fuel tank protection system design approaches.

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