Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
Digital stabilometer for fire vehicles
Published:  30 November, 2017

The Vext Inclisafe provides the driver with a visible and acoustic warning when the vehicle becomes unstable, which allows for corrective action to take place.

Fire trucks are at risk of rollover because of their increased weight and high gravity and load centres when in motion. The risk of turnover depends on the design of the vehicle and the kit that it is carrying – for instance built-in ladders appear to increase the risk – and also the terrain that is being covered.

These incidents are rare but when they do occur the impact can be considerable. Not only is there the obvious risk to all fire crew and damage to the truck itself, but the collateral damage in the immediate environment, and even more important, the failure to arrive at the fire scene in timely fashion, means that brigades in Germany, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and the Middle East are currently evaluating the technology on the road.

The Vext Inclisafe has already been implemented in Spain, in Madrid and Burgos, and in the forestry and rural firefighting sector. In total some 450 units are currently deployed around the world.

The equipment works to process the signals of a series of internal sensors, which in turn provide a series of dynamic parameters (speed, acceleration, angular velocity, and inclination, etc). By using this information, along with the inertial dimensions and properties of the vehicle, the device calculates stability at a rate of ten times per second, which is quantified as a percentage of the maximum stability the vehicle could attain.

Based on the calculated stability at each instant – where 100% stability refers to a standing horizontal vehicle and 0% implies potential risk of immediate turnover – the device emits a lighted and acoustic signal of increasing frequency which is proportional to the decrease in stability. A display consisting of two contrasting LED bars indicates the direction and magnitude of the instability of the vehicle to the driver and there are four levels of audible alarm.

Inclisafe can be configured for any fire truck and the percentages can be adjusted based on experience and knowledge. This means that not only is the risk of rollover reduced but that drivers can also use the feedback provided by the unit to improve their understanding of the vehicle’s stability.

An internal memory, with recording capacity of up to six months, stores all the data related to the vehicle. This information can be extracted and analysed using the Inclisoft software to provide analysis of driver behaviour for use both in training and, in the case of an incident, to establish what went wrong.