Vehicle Modifications

SvTech has produced its own customised software for calculating brake adhesion utilisation and tractor/trailer compatibility in accordance with prevailing legislation and it is able to accurately model the braking system of any type approved truck from 1982 to the current production.

This is arguably the most comprehensive brake program in use in Europe today, and certainly for air-braked vehicles.

Charting a Path through Regulation

We are mainly concerned with braking and the legislation governing it. The first regulation governing braking appeared in 1971 – Reg 71/320/EEC and when making modifications to trucks and vans, we had to demonstrate by calculation our compliance with this regulation. That meant producing a set of graphs for submission to DVSA (the predecessor to VOSA) demonstrating adhesion utilisation and in the case of artics and drawbars, compatibility with a trailer – all these graphs to show laden and unladen conditions. Plots had to fall within prescribed corridors on the graphs and modifications to the braking system often had to be made to achieve satisfactory graphs.

However, times and legislation wait for no one. Vehicles in current production at all vehicle manufacturers are fitted with EBS, the electronically controlled braking system – and it goes further than brakes: there are ECUs controlling the engine, gearbox and suspension, all in turn interacting with each other to provide the driver with enhanced control over all that he needs to drive safely in all conditions.

A more recent innovation on some models is ESP, the electronic stability program, ensuring even greater enhancement for ever safer vehicles. Did you ever wonder how manufacturers can produce a driverless truck?

Europe’s Leading Brake Program

SvTech’s bespoke, customised software can accurately model the braking system of any type-approved truck from 1982 onwards.

More recently, UNECE Reg 13, recognising the technical development of electronic braking, removed the need to produce brake calculations completely for all motor vehicles with the exception of artics and drawbars (and in their case, compliance to laden compatibility being the only brake calculation required by regulation).

Compatibility between a tractor unit and its trailer is absolutely essential and whilst even this feature is overseen by the electronic braking system, evidence of compliance is still a feature of Reg 13. This technical requirement was modified at a later date and with the introduction of ABS, Reg 98/12/EC removed the need for unladen adhesion utilisation graphs. It was reasoned that ABS would ensure compliance of the unladen condition without us needing to demonstrate it on paper.

Whether or not prescribed by regulation, brake calculations in all their forms are an essential tool for the truck engineer and the truck converter. So our service remains available to vehicle manufacturers and converters during their type approval process and dynamic testing applicable thereon.

In-house, and prior to physical testing, we always produce brake calculations so that we can assess in advance the likely performance of the vehicle on the test track. By this means, we can frequently eliminate potential failure conditions and make whatever modifications are indicated before attempting a dynamic test.

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