Truck-Lite develops light-out detection system

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Truck-Lite introduced a new light-out detection system that alerts drivers when a trailer light is no longer functioning.

The system is installed on the trailer as part of the nose box assembly and is integrated into the trailer’s electrical system. It simplifies the pre-trip inspection of lights by cycling through the various circuits for 30 seconds each, allowing the driver to ensure all lights are working while doing a walk-around.

If a light goes out while in transit, a small blue light positioned on the front of the trailer notifies the driver of the issue. Truck-Lite says the immediate notification allows drivers to fix the light before it is noticed by enforcement.

“As the industry continues to adapt and to improve their vehicle safety standards, fleets are looking for new ways to ensure compliance, improve CSA scores, and increase driver confidence. Failed safety products can lead to high CSA scores, driver retention problems, and excessive downtime. This is a product that was designed to help fleets across the board.” said Brad Van Riper, senior vice-president and chief technology officer at Truck-Lite.

The system was introduced and demonstrated at the spring meetings of the Technology & Maintenance Council.

Van Riper noted more than a quarter of all CSA violations in 2014 were lighting-related.

“When you have a light out on your vehicle, it’s like placing a sign that says ‘Inspect Me’ on the side of your trailer,” Van Riper said.

The Light-Out Detection System works only with LED lighting. Van Riper said it’s also helpful when doing a pre-trip on bright sunny days, when it’s not always possible to tell if all lights – especially high-mounted lights – are functioning.

The system tests the lighting every 50 milliseconds to provide an immediate notification if there’s a failure. A circuit key is engraved on the module panel, notifying the operator which light is out. Truck-Lite says it has deployed about 75 units into the field. It’s working with several trailer OEMs with the hope of making the system a factory option. For now, it’s offered as a retrofit kit.

Full production will begin in April.



James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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