DIAMOND LOGIC® set to phase in next generation electrical system on vocational trucks
Published on 6 April 2010
The technology behind the Diamond Logic system is known as multiplexing, which sends and receives multiple signals over two wires and eliminates the need for specific wires between components.
Fleets often require third-party switch boxes or electrical systems to control body equipment and safety functions on vocational trucks. But on Navistar chassis with the Diamond Logic® Electrical System, a series of virtual switches and interlocks has replaced what was once a cumbersome, hard-wired collection of components.
The technology behind the Diamond Logic system is known as multiplexing, which sends and receives multiple signals over two wires and eliminates the need for specific wires between components. Self-monitoring and programmable for a multitude of functions, the factory-installed system features conveniently located switches that are controlled by the truck's onboard computer and can be fully customized.
"By disconnecting the direct, hard-wired link between the switch and a particular function, it opened up a whole new world of functions only possible with a computer-controlled electronic system," explains Bob Neitzel, vocational marketing manager, Navistar. In addition, the simplified wiring harness, solid state relays, electronic fuses, and advanced diagnostics make troubleshooting incredibly easy and the electrical system much more reliable.
One commonly-used Diamond Logic feature is the parking brake alarm. If the driver turns off the key and opens the door without setting the parking brake, the vehicle will begin honking to alert the operator that the brake has not been applied. The parking brake release can also be used as the interlock to prevent vehicle movement in an unsafe condition, such as when the out riggers are not stowed or the lift gate is down.
The parking brake can be prog rammed to only release when the customers conditions specific requirements are met. And the preset can include inputs such as vehicle speed; for example, if a gravel spreader needs to operate at an optimum speed to maintain its spread rate.
Another example is the boom storage alarm. When a bucket truck operator drives away without the boom properly stored, it can do thousands of dollars worth of damage and endanger other vehicles on the road. To combat this pro blem, Diamond Logic will not allow the parking brake to release until the customer stowage requirements are met and a signal confirms the boom is property stowed for travel.
To protect against dead batteries, the system can also utilize timers that, after a designated time, shut off interior lights that may have been left on in the back of a truck. And as idle timers become more common, this computer-based solution can set parameters to shut the idle timer off in extreme heat or cold situations that could become dangerous to the driver.
While there are multiple safety benefits, Diamond Logic also helps maximize productivity. A hugely helpful feature is the light check function. With the press of a button, it cycles all of the lights on a vehicle, allowing the driver to step out and ensure all are functioning properly. In the past, this part of the pre-trip inspection took two people; now, it requires only one.
"The degree of complexity depends on your business," says Neitzel. "A straightforward delivery company might not need a lot of Diamond Logic. But the more complex the build-up on the back of the vehicle, the more value you'll get from more advanced features."
Vehicles with a PTO (Power Take-off) could be candidates for more complex functions. For example, if a dump truck accidentally drives away with the PTO still engaged, the dump box may start lifting. This would not only wear out the PTO, but it could cause an accident. But with Diamond Logic, you can add a program to prevent the PTO from operating above a preset vehicle speed or even allow the PTO only when the parking brake is set. There might be directives such as: the transmission has to be in neutral; or the engine RPM at a specific rate, or there could be a temperature gauge on a hydraulic pump that says when it's ready to go.
"That is the one of the greatest benefits of computer control," says Neitzel. "The customer determines the best way to use the system based on the needs of their business. There is no 'one shoe fits all' solution. What we do is ask the customer: 'What keeps you up at night? How can we define that, and turn it into a Diamond Logic program rule to prevent inefficient or unsafe practices from happening? ," notes Neitzel.
"There's a common thread among all of our customers, whether it's a utility company or an owner-operator or a trash hauler. It's all about reliability and safety," he continues. "The vehicle has to function for the maximum amount of time and be safe to operate, and Diamond Logic is the lever to do that.
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