It’s not brand new, but the Australian SteelSafe Truck Immobilizer is worth a mention. It’s by all accounts an effective device designed to stop the theft of trucks and trailers by immobilizing the vehicle using its own air system. Note that it’s a mechanical device and does not rely on electronics for its basic operation.
The driver parks the vehicle and takes less than 30 seconds to activate the unit. If a would-be thief tampers with the truck or with the Immobilizer, it dumps all air from the system, thus activating the brakes — and the air horn, optionally. The truck is then immobilized.
It’s designed to stop the initial theft of the vehicle. But if the additional feature of GPS is selected and the vehicle is already on the road, the combination of GPS tracking and the ability of remote immobilization will ensure that the vehicle can be brought to a standstill.
In another scenario, with the Immobilizer fitted but not activated, and the GPS feature present, a thief may attempt to deactivate GPS or ‘black out’ its signal and may well succeed in bypassing GPS system. But the Immobilizer detects this and slowly dumps air. The timing to
immobilization can be set from 60 to 90 seconds – whatever is deemed to be safe. And in another sort of case, with the Immobilizer fitted but not activated, the GPS can locate the vehicle and immobilization can be triggered remotely.
The device is installed by welding in place with special security bolts through holes in the flanges on top of the case.
The lever within the unit must be switched to activate and deactivate the device. There are three options available to achieve this:
The first is an Abloy security key-lock system that uses a secure key that’s difficult to reproduce. The key is used to open the front of the unit, the lever is manually moved and the key used to close and lock the unit.
There’s also a key pad system that lets drivers into the box to manually activate the system. It allows for multiple drivers and frequent change of key code combination for added security. And with the GPS signalling device, the unit is activated and deactivated by satellite. The vehicle can be tracked as well as remotely shut down in the case of an unauthorised driver.
Among its features: steel enclosure of all external parts; intentional use of differing bolt sizes; any attempt to pump air back into the truck diverts the air; air lines are protected with metal casing; briefcase size; maximum weight is 8 kg; liquid nitrogen resistant; climate-tested from -40°C to +200°C; and an electrical pressure sensor can be fitted to the exhaust line to trigger an alarm, GPS or other radio signaling device.
A SteelSafe video can be seem at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1133815293878492891.
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