V.Orlandi D-Value calculator

Choosing the right component for an application and its working environment is vital for heavy vehicle fleets, particularly in today’s fast-moving and diverse road transport industry. That’s why suppliers are enhancing their digital services to help their customers select the correct product.

Italian coupling specialist V.Orlandi, for example, is aiming to assist its customers with an online service that can acquire and analyse D-Value data.

The D-Value measures the overall capacity for the horizontal forces involved in a truck and trailer combination, taking into account the weight of the truck, the weight of the trailer, the weight on board the trailer and the acceleration force due to gravity. Measured in kN, it has become a critical factor for V.Orlandi as it is the main towing indicator that shows how much weight a fleet operator can carry, factoring in the operational needs of the application.

“It is worth noting that the D-Value is not referring to the trailer’s maximum mass capacity, it is simply a parameter to assess its ‘towing resistance’ as output. We measure forces, not weights,” explains Carlo Tagliaferri, Technical Manager at V.Orlandi.

“As such, the D-Value helps fleets specify to the trailer builder what type of job a unit will be doing, as well as the environment it will be operating in.

“If the coupling or fifth wheel doesn’t have the correct D-Value rating, it puts the fleet operator at risk of wearing out components well before they reach their service life. This can impact productivity dramatically. If the correct D-Value is not determined, it has the potential to cause an accident.”

To support Australia’s diverse commercial road transport market, V.Orlandi has therefore introduced a ‘Technical Parameters Calculator’ as part of its revamped Australia and New Zealand website.

The interactive online tool – which meets Australian Standard AS 2213, a code of practice used in the design, manufacture of drawbar-type couplings or drawbar eyes used in a road train or B-double – allows V.Orlandi customers to key in weight details of their respective combination, including semi-trailers, B-doubles, rigid truck and dog configurations and road trains, and find out what kind of product would suit them.

“The Technical Parameter Calculator will help fleets or trailer builders pick the right product based on the trailer application,” says Simon Tortorici, General Manager of V.Orlandi Australia. “It is especially important for fleets using Performance-Based Standards (PBS) applications. In recent years we have seen a surge in D-Value data requests from transport businesses to ensure combinations are capable of maximising payload.”

Being part of the International Organisation for Standardisation commission, V.Orlandi’s Technical Parameter Calculator wasn’t just developed to help promote safer work practices, but also help fleet operators understand more about the company’s products and how to select the correct component based on their needs.

“V.Orlandi boasts a century and a half of Italian engineering prowess, but at the same time we understand that Australia is a very ‘customised’ commercial transport market, so the expectations are much different here compared to Europe – especially in terms of payload, composition and the road environment,” Simon says.

Every coupling V.Orlandi offers has its own unique properties and is purpose-built to the precise weight that the entire truck and trailer combination will carry. For example, it carries couplings dedicated for different purposes, such as the Hercules – a mining coupling that can reach a maximum D-Value of 500kN – or the 57mm E57 coupling that has a D-Value of 350kN for highway vehicles predominantly used in super-quad road trains. The portfolio also includes the E550 50mm coupling, which boasts a D-Value of 330kN, which is the highest standard coupling in the market and suitable for road trains and other heavy-duty combinations. “Once a customer is aware of what D-Value their combination needs, it makes it easier for us to recommend the right coupling,” Simon says.

Having successfully built a broad catalogue of trailer drawbar couplings subjected to years of technological advancements, he adds V.Orlandi’s biggest priority is helping the customer get the most value from the products purchased: “By raising awareness and educating the market on the importance of D-Values, it will lead to safer business practices and more efficient use of resources.”

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