Developing new products to promote safe trucking can be challenging. New technology is available for trucking companies to keep their drivers more alert on the road, helping them avoid common situations that result in accidents. Unfortunately drivers still face the unpredictable obstacles caused by weather. For those in the North, snow in particular can make a real mess of the roads. In addition to slick surfaces, snow and ice accumulation on the tops of trailers can pose a very real danger to other motorists.
Clearing snow from the top of their trailer is a nearly impossible task for many truck drivers, even though laws insist that it be done. Most of the products currently designed for removing snow from large trucks can damage the roof and cause leaks. One creative, life-long truck driver has developed an innovative new solution to this problem.
Henry Thissen, who has been driving trucks for more than 40 years, has designed a device that uses compressed air to clear snow and ice sheets from the tops of trucks. His creation would utilize air at 100 psi, blasted from nozzles set at a 45-degree angle, to blow snow off the roof. He has a few modified designs that use overhead piping shaped specifically for square vans or rounded tankers and buses. To clear snow from fleet trucks, motion detectors set up at yard exits would trigger the system’s diesel engine to quickly power the compressors, at which point the truck simply needs to drive under the overhead nozzles.
Thissen would like to see his devices at truck stops and bus yards all across the nation. The equipment could be mounted on skids that would allow for easy movement via forklift. Thissen would like to get the government involved so card readers could be included with the devices to accept payments. He estimates one device would cost between $22,000 and $25,000.
Innovative ideas are necessary to continue developing safety in the trucking industry. Truck drivers face numerous challenges on the road and new products and technology can help minimize those challenges.