Swedish coupling specialist Ringfeder, part of the VGB Group, has developed a new pneumatic operation system that will allow operators to open AM-type couplings by using a truck’s existing air connections.
“When disconnecting, it can be difficult to open the coupling. This can be caused by the coupling bolt being jammed in the drawbar eye when the towing vehicle and the trailer are not completely level,” VBG's Thomas Kaiser explained at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany, where the system was officially unveiled.
In the past, drivers had to move the vehicle in order to find a position that would allow the coupling bolt to slide out correctly – often forcing them to exit the vehicle a number of times to find the correct position.
“With Ringfeder new RL pneumatic operation system, this situation is a thing of the past. The system ensures a constant pressure on the coupling bolt, which means that the coupling opens as soon as the coupling bolt is in the correct position in relation to the drawbar eye,” Kaiser said.
“To open the coupling, you move the pneumatic operation system from the holder, where the system is located when not used, and connect it to the vehicle’s air connection. The air will then flow into the AM mechanism and lift the coupling bolt with a force of 3 kN (300 kg).
“Normally, this is enough to open the coupling immediately, but should the coupling not open directly, all is required it is to enter the cab and release the handbrake. The coupling bolt opens as soon as it is in the correct position,” Kaiser added.
“After the coupling opens, the driver disconnects the system from the vehicle’s air connection and puts it back in the holder as the vehicle must not be driven with it connected.”
Named ‘RL’, the pneumatic operation system is part of Ringfeder’s ‘total coupling system’ and compatible with the Duo-Matic, C-connection and Palm air connections.