The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) would like to see anti-rollover devices installed on all new Class 8 tractors as soon as possible and is asking all major North American heavy truck manufacturers to make the technology standard
equipment in their new vehicle packages.
According to CTA, there are three main manufacturers of anti-rollover devices in North America. The technology uses sensors that detect when a vehicle may be reaching a state of instability and will intervene by reducing throttle and applying the brakes on the steer, drive and trailer axles as needed to help the driver regain control.
At the present time, two heavy truck manufacturers have made one of the anti-rollover systems standard equipment on all new Class 8 trucks they sell in North America. The other six manufacturers offer an antirollover system as an option.
According to CTA's CEO, David Bradley, there are many reasons for a truck to roll over - excessive speed on corners, improper load securement, evasive maneuvers by a truck driver in response to improper lane changes by a car, etc.
"Of course, any stability system cannot prevent all situations and is in no way a replacement for good drivers and good driving practices," he says.
"However, CTA is convinced that the current anti-rollover technology performs well with all types of tractor-trailer configurations and should become part of all standard new vehicle packages."
CTA has written to all of the heavy truck manufacturers asking them to take the move voluntarily.
CTA was prompted to act following a number of truck rollovers that occurred in central Canada this summer that caused fatalities, serious injuries and/or highway shutdowns in some cases. It said its members believe antirollover devices currently available for new tractors can help prevent some of these incidents.
The Canadian government is now engaged in consultations to determine whether electronic stability control should also be mandated on light-duty vehicles in the country. While neither government has yet made a move to mandate the technology on heavy trucks, regulatory options are being investigated.