Meritor WABCO unveils new trailer stability enhancement system

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Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems on Dec. 11 introduced its new Roll Stability Support trailer system, RSSplus, designed specifically for the North American trailer industry to offer more advanced features and added value. RSSplus will be available in late first quarter 2008 through trailer original equipment manufacturers and as an aftermarket retrofit through trailer OEM dealers.

The new system builds upon the company’s current RSS offering, which incorporates ABS functionality with other pertinent safety features such as improved roll mitigation. The system retains Meritor WABCO’s side-by-side wheel-end control designed to provide superior stability management and help prevent tire flat spotting and abnormal tire wear. Additionally, the system offers simplified installation and advanced “intelligent” communication capabilities through onboard data recording with event broadcasting capability via Power Line Carrier (PLC) communications or telematic devices, the company says.

“As pioneers of this significant technology, we are pleased to be bringing the next echelon of trailer stability capabilities to the marketplace at a more reasonable cost,” says Jon Morrison, president and general manager of Troy, Mich.-based Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems. “With the largest population of trailer stability systems in place today, this new system is the culmination of valuable customer feedback and the work of our industry-leading engineering teams.”

RSSplus is a 2-modulator (2M) roll mitigation system that integrates several features, including ABS and PLC functionality, reducing individual component requirements. The new system also is compatible for use with spring suspensions, as well as air ride suspensions.

A new cable connector system is designed to allow for more positive connections and cable stabilization to help prevent damage and mitigate potential problems with connector corrosion. Standardized SAE diagnostics make troubleshooting much simpler and are now a conventional feature of the system, the company says; the diagnostics also have been integrated into the company’s Toolbox PC software. System diagnostics also can be performed using standard blink codes, helping to eliminate the cost of additional diagnostic tools.

By adding PLC capability to the RSSplus electronic control unit (ECU), the system can communicate between the tractor and trailer utilizing a PLC display, the company says; additional messaging also can be accommodated via telematic devices. Examples of events that can be communicated include suspension weight, tire pressure, wheel-end temperatures or other customer-specific data. Onboard data recording within the ECU allows for the retention of vehicle performance data in the ECU memory to enhance fleet management; such “intelligent” data can be utilized to help improve operating efficiencies, according to the company.

“With the new system being designed exclusively for the North American market, many of the advanced features, such as standardized SAE diagnostics, incorporate requirements identified specifically by our customers,” says Bob Sibley, director of Meritor WABCO Trailer Products. “These features provide the additional support expected from a stability system, plus offer added value for the customer’s operation.”

Configurations of the new system include 2S/2M1, 4S/2M and 4S/2M + 1 (for most 4S/3M requirements). Applications include vans, reefer units, flatbeds, tankers, hazardous material haulers, B-trains and high-center-of-gravity trailers. Design of the new system includes capabilities that are compatible with current tractor stability technologies, as well as future technologies, the company says; RSSplus also is backward-compatible with existing trailers in the marketplace.