A safe way to reverse

With the introduction of the WABCO TailGuard electronic braking system to its Dynamix Concrete Mixers, Gough Industrial Solutions aims to help improve safety for Australia’s contractors and construction sector.With the introduction of the WABCO TailGuard electronic braking system to its Dynamix Concrete Mixers, Gough Industrial Solutions aims to help improve safety for Australia’s contractors and construction sector.

Faced with catering to an industry full of contractors with continuously changing needs and requirements, Gough Industrial Solutions launched its new Dynamix Concrete Mixers to Australia.

Entering the market last year, the new Gough all-purpose agitators were introduced as a response to the efficiency and safety challenges contractors face daily.

With the machines quickly gaining traction with local contractors, Gough is now doubling down on its commitment to safety in the civil construction sector by introducing WABCO TailGuard systems to the new concrete mixers.

As a WABCO distributor for the past eight years, Gough has extensive experience with the manufacturer’s braking systems. Following successful installations of the tailguard systems on rigid trucks for its clients in the transport sector, the business decided to offer them on its agitator range.

The WABCO TailGuard is a rear blind spot detection system with active braking that automatically halts a vehicle when an obstacle is detected.

Nick Hope, Product Manager for Braking at Gough, says the business has been using the WABCO TailGuard in other areas of the business for nearly four years, the experiences of which helped inform its decision to broaden its application.

“Because we already offer electronic braking systems (EBS) for trailers, we’re always looking for the best in safety and performance, so now we’re rolling that ideology through the different product ranges we have – we’re covering everything in transport, basically,” he says.

“Through the trials we’ve done and just by talking with customers, we’ve found the systems to be a great add-on for their fleets and EBS systems.”

The system uses two sensors to detect obstacles to the rear of the vehicle – an agitator in this instance – and indicates to the driver how close they are to an obstacle, while also preventing them from reversing at more than nine kilometres per hour by monitoring the wheel speed.

“It’s monitoring the rear for the driver, who will have a control unit mounted in the cab, showing the distance between any detected objects and the back of the vehicle,” Mr. Hope explains.

Much like reversing displays in cars, the WABCO TailGuard system will show the rear of the vehicle to the driver with a traffic-light-inspired colour theme that provides real-time details on where an object is in relation to the rear of the vehicle.

“As the agitator driver is backing up to a pump or where he’s going to be filling, the system is basically watching the surrounds and back of the vehicle for him,” he says. As soon as the vehicle goes over the coloured lines, the brakes automatically apply.

While the application of the WABCO TailGuards on the Dynamix range is new to the local sector, Mr. Hope explains that the feedback from users across the transport sector makes it a perfect fit for its civil construction machinery.

The business has worked with customers in the grain sector, for instance, and installed the sensor’s as a 0-type so that the angles it detects are at 0 degrees for their particular applications, which involve reversing into loading areas with multiple pillars.

“We’ve had safety-conscious companies like Veolia, Metro Trains and V/Line using it on their all their equipment that has job conditions where reversing is required. By introducing this system on Veolia’s fleet, we’ve eradicated their incidents, so it’s been a huge achievement for them,” Mr. Hope explains.

Because the concreting industry has to have access to construction sites with major variables and risks, including housing estates and jobs in the inner cities, Gough aims to make sure the vehicles it offers are safe for those different environments.

“The agitators need to be safe for the driver but also the pumping staff and those working around the vehicle, so that’s a key reason why we went down this road to fit the agitators with the WABCO technology,” Mr. Hope explains.

Gough has also trialled the use of technology on other civil construction equipment, including boom lifts. “We’ve applied the same sensors and system to a boom lift so that when it reaches up to an awning, for instance, it will alert the operator if it gets too close. It actually stops the hydraulics from making the boom go any further,” he adds.

While the act of installing the WABCO TailGuard systems onto the vehicles and agitators is a straightforward process, Mr. Hope says there is a training aspect involved that needs to be taken into account.

“We make sure we go out there and help train operators to ensure they’re aware of how the system works. Fleet managers are always really good – they’ll explain how it works to all the new drivers. From us working with them and learning effectively about the system from the get-go, it can help reduce vehicle damages dramatically,” he says.

When working with Metro Trains, for instance, Gough conducted the handover of the vehicle with the organisation’s safety officer and drivers present to demonstrate the vehicle reversing.

“We’ll put an object in the way and show how the truck will brake and that’s how we’ve been able to prove the system.”

With the addition of WABCO TailGuards to Gough’s Dynamix range of agitators, the business is looking to expand its service offerings further as new technologies enter the Australian market.

“We’re looking at the telematics side of systems for trailers, so that it picks up if there’s any potential roll or speed and can alert headquarters,” Mr. Hope says.

“We’re just waiting for the first set of units to come in, then we’ll set that up with a fleet and trial it for market.”

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