New Case IH Advanced Trailer Brake System improves tractor stability and safety

The new Case IH Advanced Trailer Brake System represents a major advance in tractor safety and can now be specified as an option on Puma 185, 200, 220 and 240 CVX models.

Its benefits are not confined to haulage situations on roads where conditions provide very low grip, such as snow and ice. The Advanced Trailer Brake System is also a significant advantage on wet roads and under field conditions when working on gradients, turning, or reducing speed. This is especially true when towing heavy equipment, including large trailers, balers, slurry tankers or trailed sprayers, particularly on wet grassland or soil. It will also be beneficial when hauling trailers with a pivoting front axle, where stability is reduced if the tractor slows without the brakes being applied.

In many cases where a tractor and trailer are used, the speed of the combination is reduced by the engine braking effort imparted by the tractor alone. In such situations, unbraked trailers can push on the slowing tractor, potentially causing it to become unstable and the trailer to ‘jack-knife’.

The Case IH Advanced Trailer Brake System monitors and recognises driving conditions and, when engaged, automatically stabilises the tractor using the trailer brakes. Whenever the driver requests a speed decrease, either via the Multicontroller or by releasing the drive pedal, the system estimates the deceleration force required by comparing the target vehicle speed with the actual speed. It then adjusts the braking force applied with a measurement of transmission input torque, based on the flywheel torque sensor and Engine Control Unit data. 

This information is used to calculate and apply the appropriate pressure needed to balance the deceleration force on the tractor with the momentum exerted by the trailer. Aligning the deceleration of the trailer with that of the tractor ensures that both remain stable, optimises braking performance and maximises safety.

The 35kph speed threshold allows the driver to make minor speed adjustments when travelling on the road without the trailer brakes being applied. If the system is activated excessively they will be alerted by audible and visual warnings. Additionally, to avoid overheating and fading of the brakes, the system applies pulsated braking power and adds a short break after five seconds.

Initially, this patented system will be a circa £350 option on new Puma 185 – 240 CVX models equipped with pneumatic trailer brakes, and can be retrofitted on all Puma 185 – 240 CVX tractors that are compliant with the European Tractor Mother Regulation. The Case IH Advanced Trailer Brake System will become available on other Case IH Puma, Maxxum and Optum tractors equipped with the CVXDrive transmission from the beginning of 2019.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.