After September 11, 2001, fears terrorists may use trucks transporting fuel in their plots, law enforcement agencies came up with ways to curb potential terrorists and disable the trucks.
California Governor Grey Davis established a task force of LLNL scientists, trucking experts and the Teamsters. The team worked together to develop a truck-stopping device.
“LLNL researchers and consultants have successfully developed a simple mechanical device that would allow law enforcement officers to stop a tractor-trailer rig on demand simply by bumping it from behind with a standard police car,” the video’s description states.
Three generations of truck-stopping devices were developed.
“The first was a simple guillotine design in which an impact to the truck’s bumper caused the brake lines to be cut, resulting in deployment of the emergency or spring brakes. In the second-generation design, two impacts were required to activate the device. When the bumper was impacted for the first time, part of the truck-stopping assembly was turned and set up the device for the second impact. Upon a second impact, the truck-stopping device opened the valves and closed off the air to the emergency side of the brakes. The emergency-side air was vented and the quick release valve was triggered causing the spring brakes to be activated. Both of these designs have been successfully field-tested,” the video states.
The third-generation of the device utilized a rotating double-gang ratchet to brake the truck’s air lines.
Video Credit: aliveleak