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Continental develops sensor-based digital load monitoring for commercial vehicles

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David Sickels is the Associate Editor of Tire Review and Fleet Equipment magazines. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

Continental has developed an On-Board Weighing System (OBWS) that records and displays the weight of commercial vehicles, including trailers and semitrailers.

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The company says further functions make it possible to increase efficiency beyond the specifications of EU Directive 2015/719, which will go into effect in May 2021.

The directive requires EU member states to measure the gross vehicle weight of commercial vehicles more frequently. In order to plan accordingly and prevent sanctions, drivers and fleet operators must already know the load condition of a vehicle before starting a trip.

Even before a truck drives off, fleet operators and drivers can check whether the weight of the vehicle is within a safe range, Continental says. Continental also has solutions for chassis with steel suspension.

For example, Continental says, it has developed a sensor for vehicles with air suspension, which uses ultrasound to measure the height and pressure of air springs in order to determine the axle’s load condition. On the same basis, a height sensor has been developed for shock absorbers for vehicles without air suspension. The suspension travel of the shock absorber provides information on the load condition of the respective axle. The strain sensor from Continental is also suitable for both steel and air-sprung axles. It measures the strain of the axle body and thus enables the load to be calculated. The sum of the axle loads results in the vehicle weight including the load.

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In all cases, the data gathered is collected, forwarded and evaluated, and the results are finally displayed via the app on the driver’s smartphone or on a display in the driver’s cab. Fleet managers can also retrieve the data. Continental says it offers all products and services as a complete system from a single source – from the air spring to the sensor through to data processing and software applications.

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