Oshkosh Truck Corp. has announced that its S-series front-discharge concrete mixers can now be equipped with a Side Roll Protection (SRP) system to protect the driver in case the vehicle rolls over.
“We first installed SRP on Pierce fire trucks [an Oshkosh subsidiary] and have now applied that knowledge to benefit ready-mix drivers,” said Robert Bohn, Oshkosh’s chairman, president & CEO. “The system uses a roll sensor to detect a rollover by monitoring the vehicle’s roll angle and rate, and then triggers safety devices in a pre-programmed sequence.”
Jointly developed by Oshkosh Truck and Lifeguard Technologies, SRP automatically performs the following functions if the mixer rolls over:
- Tightens the seat belt to reduce driver motion
- Lowers the seat to its lowest position to increase survivable space
- Locks the seat down to eliminate movement
- Pre-tensions the seat belt to position the driver for contact with the side airbag
- Deploys an inflatable tubular side-curtain airbag that protects and cushions the head and neck and prevents excessive head motion.
One reason Oshkosh is bringing SRP to the mixer market is that rollovers are one of the leading causes of mixer driver fatalities and injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSA), 60% of truck occupant fatalities involve a rollover. Moreover, a 2003 survey by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Assn. (NRMCA) that analyzed 136 rollovers by 42 companies, showed that 52% of the rollover incidents reported resulted in bodily injury to the driver and 2% resulted in fatalities. In addition, NRMCA found it is estimated that each rollover accident costs a ready-mix producer as much as $200,000 in direct and indirect costs.