Device helps prevent injuries | Portable transmitters help alignment, reduce time out of cab
FARGO — If it’s a good day and everything is going just right, a semi-truck driver still needs to get out of the cab three times.
“That’s three times a guy exposes himself to risk,” said Larry Mosbrucker, inventor of the Stop Sensor device for lining up hopper gates with the exact dump point.
“If it’s a bad day, you might be up and down from that cab six or eight times before you get everything lined up just right. The Stop Sensor guarantees you get it exactly right the first time so you’re up and down just three times.”
Mosbrucker fell from a semi in 2004, smashing both his heels. When he returned to work he found the 18 hour days were not only painful but a lot more dangerous than he had previously imagined.
Talking to other drivers, he realized there were a lot of truckers in all age groups with the same kinds of leg, ankle, hip, knee and foot problems. They also worried that they might fall again getting up and down from the cab.
Mosbrucker felt there had to be technology on the market for reducing the risk by lining up the hopper the first time. A thorough search revealed nothing, so he decided to build something himself.
His Stop Sensor is based on two white reflectors on the side of the truck, one positioned exactly above each hopper gate.
The portable transmitter-receiver sensor tower is set up three metres back from the side of the truck, lined up at a right angle from the dump point. If truckers are dumping into an auger, the sensor can be mounted directly to the auger tube.
The Stop Sensor emits a light beam aimed at the side of the trailer at the same height as the reflectors. When the truck is lined up, the beam reflects back to the Stop Sensor, which then flashes red lights and sounds an audible warning.
The driver knows he is now perfectly positioned to dump the load. The Stop Sensor can also be used for loading the truck with an auger by positioning it at the correct spot for the front and back piles.
“Originally, I had thought it would mainly be for farmers, but now we’re getting all kinds of requests from the oil fields, coal mines and even a cement plant in Winnipeg,” he said.
“It addresses the safety issue, and that was my first big concern. But when you think about it, it’s also an efficiency tool.
“If you don’t have to waste time re-positioning a truck, you get more trips out of that truck and that driver every day. That makes you more productive.”
The Stop Sensor can run on 110 volt or 12 volt. It has a work light for night time operations. With one set of reflectors for a twin hopper trailer, the Stop Sensor retails for $1,500.
For more information, contact Mosbrucker at 701-425-2774 or visit www.stopsensor.com.