Story & photo by Patrick P. Tulfo
THE decrepit conditions of buses and trucks plying our roads have been put on the spotlight once more with the recent incidents involving both. Who could forget the Cainta incident wherein a cargo truck plowed into a crowded intersection, killing at least two people and injuring dozens of others? How about the horrific bus accident carrying students on the way to a campsite in Tanay, Rizal? The site of dead bodies of students lined up on the side of the road led to the suspension of field trips by the Department of Education and a scrutiny by the LTFRB on all buses being used for such activities.
Although incidents involving trucks and buses can be attributed to a lot factors, such as poor maintenance of the vehicles and driver’s incompetence, to a name few, most of the incidents share a common denominator based on the results of investigations, and that is brake failures due to speeding.
The spate of deadly road mishaps that involves both trucks and buses had the public clamoring to the government for solutions to address the problem. Hence, Republic Act 10916, or more popularly known as “Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016”, which requires the mandatory installation of speed limiters in public-utility vehicles and certain types of vehicles, like closed vans, hauler/cargo trailers, came out as a result. But, unfortunately, its implementation sees to have hit a snag.
One of the first companies to heed the clamor for a safer roads is Pioneer Truck Parts and Equipment Corp., which brought in Autokontrol, a UK-based company that has been manufacturing speed limiters since the 1980s.
Their device, which also bears the company’s name, limits and controls a vehicle’s top speed electronically. It does that via the Electronic Control Unit ( ECU) that is connected to a speed signal such as the electronic speedometer, ABS or a mechanical sensor. The ECU receives the frequency signals while the vehicle is in motion. At the preset speed, say, 80 kilometer per hour for example, the ECU transmits a signal to the engine-management system which then holds the vehicle’s speed. The operator or vehicle owner can preset the maximum speed of the trucks and vans as they wish, Benedict Go of Pioneer Corp. explained. He said for vehicles without an ECU, the system is operated via drive by wire or a romatic speed limiter.
The Autokontrol Romatic Speed Control System is currently used in countries, such as Europe, Middle East and Asia as a standard equipment for bus, trucks and commercial vehicle-fleet operations. It has received numerous approvals from respected truck manufacturers, like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Leyland, DAF, Mercedes Benz, General Motors. Peugeot, Renault, Fuso, Land Rover and ERF.
It also received an approval from the British Ministry of Defense for use on their Land Rovers and Pinzgauer military vehicles.
But, aside from keeping the vehicle’s speed at a safer pace, the Autokontrol speed-limiter system also offers other benefits, such as improved fuel consumption, lower vehicle emissions and, most of all, reduced maintenance costs for fleet owners, and not to mention extends the vehicles life.
For more details on how to improve your vehicle’s safety and fleet maintenance costs, visit the Pioneer Trucks showroom located along 341 G. Araneta Avenue Barangay, Santol in Quezon City.