The US division of global component specialist, Jost, has introduced a new fifth wheel model for the North American market.
The new JSK37USK air-release model is equipped with the latest sensor technology, according to Jost.
“The JSK37USK’s revolutionary Sensor Coupling System allows the driver to confirm that the fifth wheel is properly and safely coupled from inside the cab,” explained Rich Carroll, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Jost – pointing out that new regulations in the North American market are poised to benefit the company’s hands-off technology in the time to come.
“With the evolution of trailer design, Jost believes the automation of the coupling process is also inevitable,” he explained.
“[Sensor technology] will advance fifth wheels from reliable mechanical devices to the category of value adding ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, ed.) technologies.”
According to Carroll, the streamlining associated with a variety of aerodynamic technologies will make physically accessing the fifth wheel for uncoupling difficult for North American operators.
“Consequently, the adoption of Jost cab-actuated air-release wheels on fleet-driven OEM builds is in full swing.”
From a technology point of view, the JSK37USK’s Sensor Coupling System contains dual sensors – one that verifies that the kingpin is in the lock position and one to indicate that the fifth wheel is locked and the release handle secured.
The lock status can be shown either by a Jost-supplied dash display or communicated through the vehicle’s CAN bus.
Carroll added the current evolution in truck-trailer connections will eventually culminate in the advent of fully automated coupling systems (FACS, ed.) where all operations – mechanical, electrical, pneumatic as well as applicable auxiliary functions – are performed automatically.