Commercial fleets across North America dedicated to improving highway safety continue to turn to advanced technologies from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC. Oakley Transport Inc. is adding Bendix collision mitigation, full-stability and side object detection systems to its fleet safety efforts.
The leading carrier is equipping more than 300 new Volvo tractors with Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology. Oakley is also equipping these tractors with the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, as well as the Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System. Approximately 250 tractors are already on the road, with the majority deployed this year and the balance expected by year’s end. Volvo markets Bendix Wingman Advanced as Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC) and Bendix ESP as Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST).
Founded in 1961 and based in Lake Wales, FL, Oakley is a national leader in liquid bulk food grade transportation. The carrier counts 500 tractors and 770 trailers in its fleet, which serves the United States, Canada and Mexico from seven locations throughout the U.S.
Bendix is the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles.
“Oakley Transport places a premium on safety,” says Peter Nativo, Oakley’s Maintenance Director. “Safety is the most important of the four service standards that guide our company, and it’s ingrained in everyone here. The Bendix technologies are another integral part of our safety offerings. And they’ve already proven to be a wise investment.”
According to Nativo, the 250 trucks equipped with Bendix Wingman Advanced have been in only one rear-end collision since late 2013, when Oakley’s first trucks with the system joined the fleet. In that same time period, 250 Oakley trucks without the system recorded eight rear-end collisions.
“In one example of how well Wingman Advanced works, the system helped one of our drivers avoid running into a set of tandems that were sitting on the highway in a low-light situation,” Nativo says. “Before our driver saw the wheels ahead, the system detected the hazard and gave the driver a three-second visual and audible stationary object warning, allowing him to take evasive action. Our drivers are highly skilled, and this technology helps them to be even safer.”
Bendix Wingman Advanced, built on the foundation of Bendix ESP, delivers active cruise control with braking features, along with collision mitigation technology. Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, Wingman Advanced delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or, at least, help reduce their severity.
Whether or not cruise control is engaged, Bendix Wingman Advanced provides following-distance alerts at 5 mph and stationary object alerts at any speed greater than approximately 10 mph. The system’s collision mitigation feature provides additional braking interventions, delivering up to two-thirds of the vehicle braking power through the steer, drive and trailer brakes. Above about 15 mph, this “always available” braking feature can assist drivers through an impact alert and an automatic application of the brakes to help decelerate the vehicle when a rear-end collision may be imminent. The driver still maintains control of the vehicle and can add additional braking or steering inputs to help avoid or minimize the collision situation.
Full stability typically assesses situations quicker than roll-only stability systems – thanks to additional sensors that measure driver intent and vehicle direction – and then delivers automatic brake interventions involving the steer, drive, and trailer axles. Bendix full-stability helps slow the vehicle quickly to help mitigate rollovers faster, while slowing and redirecting can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.
Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System is a side-radar system designed to alert drivers to vehicles or objects in adjacent lanes.
Bendix emphasizes that safety technologies do not replace the need for safe drivers. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces the most important safety components of all: a skilled, alert, professional driver exercising safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.
“We applaud Oakley Transport’s commitment to safety, and we are pleased to help them meet their goals,” says Scott Burkhart, Bendix Vice President – Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. “Working in conjunction with safe driving practices and continuous driver training, Bendix advanced technologies help save lives, reduce accidents, ensure the safety of drivers and protect safety records.”
Bendix’s suite of safety technologies is part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets’ success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to help fleets and drivers lower total cost of vehicle ownership and strengthen return on investment in equipment and technology.