GTM designs a fifth-wheel measurement coupling

Truck with trailer, symbolic photo

Truck with trailer, symbolic photo

Fifth-wheel measurement coupling in the laboratory

Fifth-wheel measurement coupling in the laboratory

Fifth-wheel measurement coupling in action

Fifth-wheel measurement coupling in action

GTM has designed a measurement platform for the Truck Product Engineering division of Daimler AG featuring the dimensions and functionality of a standard fifth-wheel coupling.

The upper plate with the receptacle for the trailer is fastened to four GTM multi-component transducers. Each of these transducers measures forces of approximately 37 tonnes (vertically) and 10 tonnes (horizontally). The entire platform can be directly exchanged for the standard fifth-wheel coupling without the need for any additional measures.

The measurement platform is used on designated test tracks as well as on public roads. The measurement results are of such a convincing nature that additional fifth-wheel measurement couplings have already been built and more are on the way.

Measure forces and torques directly on the component

The measurement platform is based on the notion of measuring forces and torques, which the trailers of semi-trailers initiate in the towing vehicle via the fifth-wheel coupling during normal driving, and for such forces to be measured directly on the component. The benefit: There is no need for structural changes such as the installation of discrete force and/or torque sensors. This provides considerably more accurate measurement results.

Nowadays it is becoming ever more important to make vehicles more lightweight, more efficient and, most importantly, safer. All this puts greater focus on the testing and selection of materials and components for vehicle construction. In order to reliably measure forces at critical locations during actual operation, innovative measuring methods are gaining in significance.