Liebherr develops brake assistant, incident map for wheel loaders

Liebherr develops brake assistant, incident map for wheel loaders

The brake assistant slows the speed of the loader if it detects personnel, and the incident map displays potential risk zones.

January 19, 2021

Liebherr offers active personnel detection as an assistance system for its L 526 and L 586 XPower range of wheel loaders. The company has announced that it has added two extra functions—the brake assistant and incident map—to its personnel detection. The brake assistant automatically slows the speed of the wheel loader to a standstill the moment the active personnel detection issues a warning signal, and the incident map displays potential risk zones on the site using GPS data in LiDAT, Liebherr’s transfer and location system.

Liebherr's brake assistant

Brake assistant

Active personnel detection visually alerts the machine operator via the display screen and sounds acoustic signals if there is danger in the wheel loader’s rear area, Liebherr states in a news release on its new personnel detection assistance systems. The assistance system, using smart sensors, provides specific warning of people in the rear area of the wheel loader at a greater distance than for obstructions such as walls, columns or other vehicles. This means the assistance system avoids unnecessary signals, thereby reducing the burden on the machine operator and causing fewer distractions, Liebherr says.

The moment the active personnel detection system identifies a source of danger, the brake assistant slows the wheel loader to a standstill. According to Liebherr, the braking process is initiated at an earlier stage and more quickly than in the case of traditional braking since, with the brake assistant, there is no delay caused by human reaction time. This means the stopping distance is reduced which, in turn, reduces the frequency and severity of accidents.

In the case of the brake assistant, the hydrostatic components of the drivetrain automatically reduce the speed. Liebherr says this means the machine operator can continue to operate the wheel loader service brake in the normal way and can do this in addition to the brake assistant.

Liebherr's incident map

Incident map

Besides the brake assistant, a second new function for the active personnel detection at the rear is the incident map. According to Liebherr, each time the assistance system detects a danger and a warning signal is issued, the system transmits a GPS signal to LiDAT, Liebherr’s in-house transfer and location system. On the basis of this signal, and for each operator of a wheel loader with active personnel detection, Liebherr provides a Google map in LiDAT showing these GPS points.

The result is an incident map displaying the risk zones and potential sources of danger on the site. According to Liebherr, the operator can use this to take measures to prevent accidents and increase safety. For example, the operator might reroute footpaths, block areas and alter dangerous work sequences. The head of operations can use the incident map to train employees and make them aware of risky situations.

Other loader assistance systems

Liebherr says it also offers several intelligent assistance systems for its mid-range and large wheel loader series. In addition to active personnel detection, these include adaptive working lighting, front space monitoring, the skyview 360-degree camera system, the tire pressure monitoring system with sensor support and the new weighing device. According to Liebherr, its goal with its assistance systems is to increase safety and comfort and to support the machine operator.