Safety innovation helps Boral drivers

Boral tipper truck drivers have received an innovative green light to improve safety operations across Queensland.

A new indicating system using green LED lights has been introduced to help drivers confirm the position of the tailgate lock before elevating their tipper bin to discharge their load.

Queensland General Manager Logistics Greg Baumgart and National Fleet Engineering Manager – Logistics Merv Rowlands approved the implementation of the LED lights to ensure driver safety and good truck operating practices.

The lights were engineered, designed and tested at Boral’s logistics hub in Wacol, Queensland, in 2016. The Boral team worked closely with automotive electricians to develop the lights that are positioned near the steel handles and triggered by a proximity sensor.

“One of the issues here is that traditional mechanical indicator way down the back of the truck can be very hard to see via the driver’s door mirror, especially in poor light conditions,” Mr Rowlands says. “This is usually just the original manual lock handle that protrudes out the side of the tipper bin. The door locks are actually pneumatically actuated from the truck cab.

“The result is that the bright LED is extremely easy to see in any light situation. It gives the driver far more confidence that he knows the actual position of the tailgate locks, and serves to remind him to open it before tipping the load. The drivers love it – one driver said it was the best thing they’ve seen in 30 years of driving tippers.”

Further trials are also being conducted with a similar red LED light that starts flashing when the tipper trailer is at more than a certain amount of cross-slope. This is to alert the driver of potential instability and the danger of tipping off in that situation.

TEST PIC ONLY A small difference goes a long way: Boral employees designed a bright green LED light indcator so drivers can clearly see when their tailgate has been automatically released before they start safely unloading their trailer. This new mechanism can avoid accidents such as upended trailers caused by locked tailgates.