SAF Hollandrsquos new ELIte Fifth Wheel Coupling Assistant helps prevent dropped trailers

SAF-Holland’s new ELI-te sheds fresh light on proper fifthwheel coupling

Nov. 2, 2016

A new safety system from SAF-Holland will help drivers consistently ensure a proper coupling on the fifthwheel. The Electronic Lock Indicator technology enhanced, ELI-te Fifth Wheel Coupling Assistant is available as an integrated option on Holland’s FW35 series fifthwheels.

With over a decade of SAF-HOLLAND experience in trailer-sensing electronic technology, the ELI-te system uses state-of-the-art components to ensure robust performance in an economical product, according to Bryan Redeker, SAF-Holland product manager for fifthwheels. A long-life, application-specific electronic control module is mounted directly to the fifthwheel top plate, and features electrical output capability to support connection with remote indicators.

Dropped trailers are an expensive and preventable situation. Fifthwheel performance alone cannot assure successful trailer coupling since driver habits are crucial to the effectiveness of the coupling procedure. The Holland ELI-te system supports safety needs by enhancing driver awareness during the trailer coupling procedure. Drivers working with the ELI-te receive simple, immediate, and actionable feedback after each coupling.

When a trailer kingpin is properly coupled to an ELI-te equipped fifth wheel, four high-intensity white LED lights mounted within the fifth wheel automatically illuminate the lock jaws. This assists drivers with the visual safety inspection process by directing their attention to the critical connection between the lock jaws and kingpin.

If a coupling problem is detected, daytime-visible red LED lights will begin flashing from both sides of the fifth wheel to alert drivers that the vehicle is not ready for motion. By reinforcing standard inspection procedures, ELI-te encourages drivers to consistently and independently recognize and resolve serious hazards and be truly confident in their ability to move cargo safely.

“The lights make it easy for drivers to positively confirm that they have coupled correctly, and warn them if they have not. It’s a new generation of safety,” Redeker said during an SAF-Holland event in St Louis MO. “It’s an engineered, all-in-one system that will be spec’d by on-highway fleets that are looking to empower drivers to accomplish correct coupling consistently.”

Industry-proven sensors and shatter-proof lamp modules are combined with the system’s sealed, one-piece electrical harness, which is one-connector assembly that requires only a low-current connection to the vehicle electrical power. For converter dolly applications, the electrical connection is designed to be compatible with ABS status signals. The complete system provides enhanced operation safety and efficiency for the fleet, and allows for efficient installation at the OEM or aftermarket retrofit.