New brake assistant for Liebherr wheel loaders

Active personnel detection is an innovative assistance system for the Liebherr L 526 to L 586 XPower range of wheel loaders. To ensure maximum safety, the company has incorporated two extra functions - the brake assistant and incident map.

The brake assistant automatically slows the speed of the wheel loader to a standstill the moment the active personnel detection issues a warning signal. The incident map displays potential risk zones on the site using GPS data in LiDAT - Liebherr’s in-house transfer and location system. 

The active personnel detection visually alerts the machine operator via the display screen and sound acoustic signals if there is danger in the wheel loader’s rear area. In order to provide a specific warning of imminent injury to people, the assistance system, using smart sensors, provides specific warning of people in the rear area of the wheel loader at a greater distance than for obstructions such as walls, columns or other vehicles. This means the assistance system avoids unnecessary signals, thus lessening the burden on the machine operator and causing fewer distractions. 

The moment the active personnel detection system identifies a source of danger, the brake assistant slows the wheel loader down to a standstill. The braking process is therefore initiated at an earlier stage and quicker than in the case of traditional braking since, with the brake assistant, there is no delay caused by human reaction time. This leads to a significant reduction in the stopping distance, which in turn minimises the frequency and severity of accidents. 

In the case of the brake assistant, the hydrostatic components of the drive train automatically reduce the speed. As such, the machine operator can continue to operate the wheel loader service brake as per normal and can do this in addition to the brake assistant. 

The other new function for the active personnel detection at the rear is the incident map. Each time the assistance system detects a danger and a warning signal is issued, the system transmits a GPS signal to LiDAT. On the basis of this signal, and for each operator of a wheel loader with active personnel detection, Liebherr provides a Google map in LiDAT showing these GPS points.

The result is an incident map displaying the risk zones and potential sources of danger on the site. The operator can use this to implement measures to prevent accidents. For example, the operator might reroute footpaths, cordon off areas and alter dangerous work sequences. The head of operations can also use the incident map to train employees and make them aware of risky situations. 

Liebherr offers several intelligent assistance systems for its mid-range and large wheel loader series. Besides active personnel detection, there are also adaptive working lighting, front space monitoring, the skyview 360° camera system, the tyre pressure monitoring system with sensor support and the new weighing device. All systems have been developed by Liebherr and fully integrated in the machine control.