Actually, they’re already here. Modern heavy-duty trucks are loaded with sensors, and more are certainly on their way. Sure, we’d all like our rigs to be as mechanically pure and easy to maintain as possible, but these sensors and their systems do a lot of good. Here’s a look at the benefits.
Turbo Boost Sensor
Diesel engines no longer rely just on exhaust wastegates to control turbo boost. Sensors help fine-tune the boost pressure to deliver the best combination of power and fuel economy.
That diesel exhaust fluid tank needs to be monitored to keep the exhaust as clean as possible. Not only do sensors let you know when the stuff is running low, but if the fluid got contaminated, sensors will recognize the problem and light up a warning on the dash. Of course by then you’ll probably notice the engine running poorly.
Force & Position Sensors
Electronic stability and anti-rollover systems rely on force and position sensors to determine if the rig is getting out of control. Most of systems use existing ABS hardware, but require additional sensors that measure additional g-forces. Let’s hope these sensors don’t come into play too often.
Forward Collision Sensors
Most OEMs offer some type of active or adaptive cruise control. They work great to help keep a safe distance between you and the guy in front of you. But even without the cruise control on, forward radar and its accompanying sensors can sound a warning if you’re about to rear-end someone at low speeds with the cruise control off. Sure, if you’re well-rested and alert, you don’t need it. But if it saves your bacon just once, it’s well worth the extra cost.
Modern rigs are complicated, no doubt about it, but every one of these sensors is designed for a very noble purpose, including keeping you and your rig out of danger. It’s all part of modern trucking.