Driver-invented device measures overhead room

Damage to trailers hitting overhead obstacles can cost fleets thousands of dollars in repairs. And sometimes that damage results in claims against businesses, cities or states that have mislabeled bridges or other obstacles that can tie up an employee’s time as they try to recoup those expenses

Damage to trailers hitting overhead obstacles can cost fleets thousands of dollars in repairs. And sometimes that damage results in claims against businesses, cities or states that have mislabeled bridges or other obstacles that can tie up an employee’s time as they try to recoup those expenses. But a tractor-trailer driver from New York has come up with a novel solution-- the GiraffeG4 Truck Protection System.

The Giraffe, created by Frank Nugent, uses sound wave technology to measure the height of overhead obstacles. The unit is mounted on a mirror and a driver simply inputs the height of his load before he sets out.

If the driver suspects a bridge might be too low to safely drive under, he simply pulls his cab under it and waits for the Giraffe to send the accurate height back to the readout in the cab. The sensor will continue to monitor the hazard as the truck passes under.

The system, which was designed by Nugent in cooperation with an engineer, was tested for 18 months, according to Nugent.

The GiraffeG4 is comprised of a driver programmable readout with LED display for the cab and a sealed sensor unit that attaches easily to an exterior mirror. The unit is waterproof.

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