California:Anti Terrorism Truck Stopping Device


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Sergeant Bob
May 15, 2003, 08:08 AM
"Wattenburg Truck Stopping Device"

The CHP, in cooperation with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other members of the Governor's Task Force on Safe Delivery of Fuels, is testing the TSD. The TSD is a simple air-hose cutting device that can be mounted on the back of a tank trailer. It is connected to the air lines of a truck or trailer in such a way that any attempt to clamp or block the air line to the TSD will cause the spring brakes to lock the wheels at all times. A stolen tanker truck can be stopped simply by law enforcement activating the TSD with the patrol car's push bumper.


How It Works

A truck, tractor, or tractor-trailer vehicle combination in motion may be stopped safely with the application of firm pressure applied to a spring-loaded, metal push plate that is attached to the rear bumper of the pursued vehicle. The system may be operated remotely, also, by the transmission of a radio signal.

In practice, a pursuing police vehicle approaches the target truck from the rear, then “taps” the truck’s stopping device plate with its front bumper. The force of the pursuit vehicle’s impact triggers a mechanism on board the truck that releases the truck’s internal air brake pressure. The truck’s mechanical emergency brakes - that work independently of the air brake system - activate automatically, causing the truck to stop. The truck driver cannot override the mechanical brakes and cannot drive farther.

Most large commercial trucks are equipped with air brakes that are activated by a compressor driven by the truck’s engine. Air brake pressure is acquired after the engine is started. A certain, minimum amount of pressure, usually around 60 psi, is necessary for the air brakes to operate. If air brake pressure is released for any reason and drops below the minimum required pressure, the mechanical brakes are activated and cause the truck to stop. The mechanical braking system is used also as a parking brake that can be inactivated only when air brake pressure is sufficient.

The air brake system on most commercial trucks is installed under the vehicle frame, where it is protected from superficial collision damage. However, air line connectors, called “glad hands,” are usually attached to and extend from the rear bumper of each tractor and trailer. The “glad hands” enable drivers to connect trailer air brakes in-line with their tractors.

The truck stopping device is an extension of the air line connectors and deliver pressurized air through a shunt line attached to a pressure plate. When sufficient force is applied to the plate, the truck’s air brake pressure is exhausted, causing the emergency mechanical braking system to operate.

A valve that opens the shunt line by remote radio control is currently being evaluated, as is a system that would require the push plate to “tapped” twice by the pursuing police vehicle. The latter may reduce the possibility that a minor, rear end collision between a passenger vehicle and a truck could activate the braking system.

The device is designed so that truck drivers can repair or reset the equipment to normal operating position in the field in the event it is activated accidentally. However, the system cannot be reset from within a truck’s cab. The operator would be required to leave the cab and walk to the rear of the truck to effect repairs.

The device is vandal-proof. An anti-disabling feature is incorporated into the system that activates the truck’s mechanical emergency brakes if an effort is made to disable or bypass the device.

Versions of the truck stopping device now being tested cost approximately $200, including installation.

CHP Wattenburg Truck Stopping Device (http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html)

I wonder if they've really thought this through? Does anyone else see this idea as kinda silly?

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TarpleyG
May 15, 2003, 08:22 AM
Don't they have other crap to worry about it California besides this? I was under the impression they are having a serious $$$ crisi right now. What a load of BS.

GT

Sergeant Bob
May 15, 2003, 08:41 AM
The big problem I see right off is, what's to stop anybody (terrorists, regular hijackers, common thieves, kids raising caine) from just coming up to the back of a truck and giving it a couple taps and bringing it to a stop?
That's aside from the beating those bumpers take from backing up to docks which have "Dock Locks" (a device which locks the bumper fast to to the dock to prevent movement of the truck) which are often quite stiff and require alot of force to engage. This might also trip the brakes and if the bumper could not return to it's original position you would not be able to release the brakes.

hammer4nc
May 15, 2003, 08:42 AM
Also known as: truck hijack actuator. I think they need to add "smart technology" to identify CHP push bumpers, as opposed to push bumpers of hijackers' cars, so the system can't be used by bad guys. Probably LIvermore already has a multi-year grant to study this option...

I'm sure THR has some truck driver members...Coments? Seems like this setup would be the ideal target for robbers and hijackers to stop trucks out on some lonely highway, force the driver to the back of the truck to reset the system.

And I only thought about it for 30 seconds or so. Duh, am I missing something?

Kharn
May 15, 2003, 09:49 AM
And when Sally Soccermom rear-ends a truck that is going 65mph because she's too busy yelling at the entire Smalltown USA Soccer team in the back of her minivan, doing her makeup, eating breakfast and chatting with her law firm partners on her cellphone while doing 80mph, the truck's brakes lock up, Sally Soccermom and kiddies go *SPLAT* and some democrat senator introduces a national ban on semi-trailers saying its for the chillrun.

What a dumb :cuss: idea.

Kharn

Greg L
May 15, 2003, 10:12 AM
Darn Karn beat me to it.

My dumb idea scenario was the CHP guy roaring up behind this escaping tanker truck full of fuel/acid/chemicals/other nasty stuff and then ramming the back of the trailer which proceeds to lock up it's brakes 1 inch in front of his windshield.

You also have to wonder what will happen to the truck if the trailers brakes are suddenly locked up. Will that cause the tractor to jackknife and roll over? It seems to me that the terrorists have just had help from the CHP in causing havoc and shutting down the roadway and evacuating nearby areas due to the tanker's load now no longer being contained in the tank.

Greg

(edited due to ebonics typing :rolleyes: )

foghornl
May 15, 2003, 10:40 AM
Same effect as the "emergency stop" for freight trains.

Remember the thread a few weeks back about how theives along the US/Mex border use the emergency stop to halt trains, and then grab as much stuff as they can, scampering back accross the border?

longeyes
May 15, 2003, 12:54 PM
The real question is whether this will help or hurt the TERMINATOR film franchise. So much to ponder.:D

AZTOY
May 15, 2003, 01:25 PM
Greg LYou also have to wonder what will happen to the truck if the trailers brakes are suddenly locked up. Will that cause the tractor to jackknife and roll over?

YES, from class A CDL driver:neener:


The truck will jackknife, roll over and take out any thing it's way. :( :( . School bus , car, building, trains, and us . When a truck jackknife you can't stop it will keep sliding to it hit's something or runs out of speed:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Have you guys in CA tested the water let!!!

BOBE
May 15, 2003, 01:54 PM
This should provide for another line of work in CA. Armed truck drivers and highway marshalls.
Bob

EOD Guy
May 15, 2003, 03:42 PM
I don't know where you got this story but it is over 2 years old. The project never got past the prototype stage.

Sergeant Bob
May 15, 2003, 05:01 PM
I don't know where you got this story but it is over 2 years old.

The story is on the Californie Highway Patrol website (http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/truckstoppingdevice.html) today, and is dated 09/18/2002 14:53:57 . Project dead? Idon't know, it's there today.

You also have to wonder what will happen to the truck if the trailers brakes are suddenly locked up. Will that cause the tractor to jackknife and roll over?

Not trying to start an argument with another truck driver but,
The truck will jackknife, roll over and take out any thing it's way.
This is true, if the supply system is evacuated all at once, if the air is released slowly enough (but faster than the compresser can supply it), as the air pressure decreases the spring brake pressure will increase, bringing the truck to a stop. But (that's a big "but"), this is solely dependent on the driver knowing what's going on and having the wherewithall to hold the the buttons in (which automatically release) all of the air pressure at about 60 PSI, causing the exact scenario stated by AZTOY. But (hey, there's another one) would it work properly every time?
Yes, I am a Class A CDL driver (molten aluminum transport) and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Jim March
May 15, 2003, 07:30 PM
Y'all DO realize what triggered this interest, right?

The clown that crashed a fully loaded semi with a tanker out back into the California state capital building at about 70mph a few years back :rolleyes:.

It was after hours, so the only one killed was him.

Damage was severe, but not as bad as it could have been. The guy was definately a nut, because you know what was in the tanker?

I swear to God, it was milk! :scrutiny:

"Milk, it does the body politic GOOD!" :)

Anyways, they've all got the heebeegeebees wondering if some loon will do the same thing with few thousand gallons of 87 octane in the middle of a "heated" debate :rolleyes:.

Mark D
May 15, 2003, 08:22 PM
Excuse me for missing something...

If terrorist Bob decides to steal a truck to use for some nefarious purpose, can't he just disable the system???

"Hmmm... A TSD is installed Mo, what should we do about that?" "It's easy Ab, just stick this TSD safety pin in the maintenance port and it will be deactivated." Oh, that was simple." "Yes, these california legislators are quite a boon to our cause." "Oh well, off to our objective."

AZTOY
May 15, 2003, 08:24 PM
This is true, if the supply system is evacuated all at once, if the air is released slowly enough (but faster than the compresser can supply it), as the air pressure decreases the spring brake pressure will increase, bringing the truck to a stop.

Sir you are right if the air was released slowly it would work.




But can this thing tell if the truck is going 55 mph or 110mph and how much air pressure to released, do to the speed of the truck:confused:

Want is realy bugging me is i can't find no real tests!!

All the test i found have been for the media :banghead: :banghead:

Standing Wolf
May 15, 2003, 10:17 PM
$38,000,000,000 in the red, and this is what the People's Republic of California is worrying about? Talk about polishing the brass on the Titanic!

Azrael256
May 16, 2003, 06:04 AM
Sounds like a bad idea to me. I talked to two truck drivers (my grandparents. They drove as a team... can you imagine...), and both of them thought it was pretty dumb. The TSD is a simple air-hose cutting device that can be mounted on the back of a tank trailer. That makes it sound like the air goes all at once, and even if it is controlled, it mentions nothing about a speed-o cable hooked to the system to stop the truck properly at varied speeds. Also, if you were going to build a fuel truck bomb, ala Khobar Towers, wouldn't you have ample time to sit and fiddle with the system to disable it?

Sergeant Bob
May 16, 2003, 07:55 AM
Sir you are right if the air was released slowly it would work.

All they would have to do is make the diameter of the hose small enough that the air would escape a little faster than the compresser output. But once the pressure drops to about 60 PSI though......POP!!(unless you hold the buttons in), all the air is gone and the truck comes to a screeching halt. If the driver thinks he's being hijacked, he's probably not going to stop till he absolutely has to. If not, he'll probably pull over once he realizes he's rapidly losing air pressure.
Another thing, what if the truck is going down the Grapevine, Tehachapi, Cabbage Mountain, etc, and gets tapped? Probably smoke the brakes and hope your Jake (if so equipped) will slow you down enough to make the bottom alive.


Also, if you were going to build a fuel truck bomb, ala Khobar Towers, wouldn't you have ample time to sit and fiddle with the system to disable it?

Would likely be pretty easy to bypass. Since the air lines are all exposed under the trailer, all you'd have to do is cut off and plug the lines that go to the TSD.

EOD Guy
May 16, 2003, 11:02 AM
The story is on the Californie Highway Patrol website today, and is dated 09/18/2002 14:53:57 . Project dead? Idon't know, it's there today.

The page was last modified on 9/18/2002. I believe the article is older than that. The picture is the same one I saw in the Lawrence Livermore Lab newsline quite awhile ago. I don't know the current status of the project but I don't think anyone at the Lab is working on it now. If I'm wrong, it won't be the first time.:D

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