Tractors in all variants have the task of pulling the attached loads. From the locomotive in the railway area to cars to trucks, there are applications in which a tractor pulls an attached trailer, caravan or trailer.
Various legal requirements have in the past led manufacturers of towing hitches or hitch systems to ensure that the attached loads do not overload them. An overload of a trailer hitch can lead to fatigue in the material either by a constant small overload or by short strong overloads. These signs of fatigue pose a danger to other road users, e.g. The trailer on the highway makes itself independent because the clutch is broken, or the trailer of a truck jerky dissolves and loses control of his vehicle at high speeds the driver. In order to prevent these possible accidents, it is necessary to ensure during the development of these coupling systems that they are dimensioned so that a corresponding safety factor in the load capacity is planned. The information on the safety factor are important guidelines for the user which must be observed. For the user, however, it is quite difficult to determine in everyday use whether he has exceeded the requirements, since there is usually no way to control it. For police checks, it is now an impossibility to ensure an overload during a check.
For the truck sector, therefore, soon a new legal provision becomes applicable which allows the police officers to read the respective axle load through an on-board system during a check and to assess accordingly whether the system is overloaded. Controlling compliance by state bodies is one thing, giving the user a way to do it yourself is another. Some manufacturers of clutches and clutch systems have therefore for some time to bring some intelligence in their previously purely mechanical systems. An intelligence that is able to detect certain load situations of the trailer hitches or coupling systems and trigger corresponding reactions. The load situation on a trailer hitch can take different forms. For example, a pure overload of the trailer to a bending moment on the support axle of the trailer hitch. This static load is relatively easy to detect. It will be more difficult if the dynamic load may be added to the static load while driving. A car with a trailer that drives over a floor increase causes the vibrations to lead to an alternating load which exceeds the static loads several times. Also, certain constructions may e.g. with a bike carrier lead to the static load in the direction still a torsional moment comes.
The direct load detection information can be used to warn the user and alert him to operating his system at the limit of allowable or even beyond. This information can even be used to prevent the car from starting in the event of an overload or even limiting the maximum speed. In addition to the safety factors, this load or load profile measurement in freight transport can also be used to record the actual moving loads and to make it plausible what goods are currently available, or even to detect how the load of the goods has changed. As a result of the weight information, operators could design their invoices with their customers who will then pay for the weight they are moving in the future. With the possibility of an intelligent trailer coupling, the manufacturers of the clutches have completely new possibilities for contributing to safer roads.
The company Magnetic Sense has with their magnetically inductive torque and force sensors the opportunity to develop customized products which can be integrated into the existing tow bars in various forms and are therefore capable of detecting loads in various shapes and states and making this information available to their customers. In addition to the load detection, there is also the possibility with the unique angle sensor from Magnetic Sense to determine the angle of the trailer to the vehicle and to realize with this additional information a parking aid for trailers or to improve the driving dynamics of cars with a trailer. Also, with the additional angle information, a trailer that has become skid can be detected and control automatic driving maneuvers in the car to prevent the lurching.