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Development of an Automated System for Safely Securing Cargo on Haulage Trucks Using High Tensile Multi-layer Fabric

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An all-round innovative system to better secure cargo on trucks

Growth in the road freight sector has important benefits for the EU economy, but there are potential safety threats if cargo on heavy-duty vehicles isn't properly secured. An EU-funded project has developed and implemented a novel system for enhanced road safety and streamlined trade across the continent.

Transport and Mobility

The transportation of improperly secured land cargo results in numerous deaths and major financial losses each year in the EU. The project TRUCK-SAFE (Development of an automated system for safely securing cargo on haulage trucks using high tensile multi-layer fabric) developed a prototype system facilitating the circulation and monitoring of highly secure cargo trucks. The automatic, remotely controlled cargo system is secure and adaptive for different load weights and shapes, and reduces loading and unloading times. Consortium partners developed a multilayer fabric sheet system supporting optimal performance of the lashing system. They introduced an electrical tarpaulin lifting system that replaces the current bungee system in special applications. The fabric sheet is fully integrated into the trailer, and when not in use it can be moved up to trailer roof and also automatically deploy and return. TRUCK-SAFE designed and integrated a sensor system that can determine the position and forces of the fabric sheet. It also developed a self-tensioning system able to automatically apply optimal force on the load. Team members delivered an energy storage and distribution technology for automatic deployment of the fabric sheet/tarpaulin. Finally, the system boasts on-board alarms and the ability to quickly adjust load stress and alert the driver to reduced tension on the cargo or securing straps. Working prototypes have been demonstrated at fairs across Europe, including the 2014 IAA Commercial Vehicles Fair in Hannover, Germany. The TRUCK-SAFE system has attracted strong interest from consultants and advisers dealing with such product purchases, experts in the field of cargo security and trailer manufacturers. The project team targeted a 3 % market penetration rate of the 330 000 cargo trucks pegged for future circulation. Direct benefits for the European road freight sector include increased safety, more efficient operations, fewer related accidents and, thus, also reduced industry-related health insurance costs. TRUCK-SAFE's system assumes a unique place in the market of cargo securing solutions. Beyond the capabilities of the full system, the tarpaulin material can also be marketed as a separate product. Project developments promise millions of euros more in annual sales and profits for small and medium-sized enterprises.


Cargo, trucks, road freight, road safety, TRUCK-SAFE, tarpaulin

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