Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oregon uses new technology to upgrade curve advisory speed signs to meet new FHWA requirements Using Rieker CARS Technology

As posted on Traffic Technology Today, May 10, 2016


Oregon uses new technology to upgrade curve advisory speed signs to meet new FHWA requirements


Over the course of the next three years, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will use new technology to update curve advisory speed signs around the state, to take into account the dynamic advances in modern vehicles.
The agency estimates that some 50-75% of all the state’s curve speed advisory signs will change over the next three to four years, with most seeing an increase in the advisory speed of 5-10mph (8-16km/h) to better match each individual curve. There are three main reasons for ODOT’s program:
• New federal requirements improve safety and create consistency, with updated Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) procedures requiring consistency of curve advisory speeds on all public roads. Consistency in curve signing means that a bend with an advisory speed of 40mph in the Willamette Valley will feel similar to a 40mph curve in Baker County or a 40mph curve in another state;
• The use of new technology allows ODOT to determine advisory speeds for curves with greater certainty; current speeds were set using the analog tools that have now been replaced with GPS-aided digital tools;
• Vehicles, road design and pavements have advanced, with newer vehicles able to corner with increased speeds, while maintaining a comfortable ride. Oregon’s roads have also benefited in the past several decades from improved design and advanced pavements, creating safer, smoother roads.

Current advisory speeds were set by investigators using the ‘ball bank’ indicator method, which involved driving curves multiple times to calculate how far to the right or left a ball suspended in liquid traveled in its arc. The variability inherent in the method, and irregularities in road surfaces, contributed to setting inconsistent and conservative advisory speeds, which is why so many drivers are comfortable going faster than the posted advisory speeds. In addition, roadway crews would sometimes reduce speeds even further on curves where other problems occurred. ODOT now employs GPS technology that allows an engineer to drive a curve fewer times and provides more consistent and reliable results. Special software processes the data after each trip, so engineers can set the correct advisory speed.

Now ODOT are using a dashboard-mounted Curve Advisory Reporting System (CARS) from Rieker Inc, which combines a software package with GPS integrated accelerometer technology to deliver a completely portable system, that meets new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines on how to determine safe curve speed. It allows the operator to drive as many miles of road in a day as needed, even stop and go rush hour traffic. They can then review and analyze individual curve data anytime on any computer. There is no need for multiple passes, constant speeds, or manual data input, making the job safer, faster, and better value. For the rest of the article click here 

For the video as posted on Youtube click here 

To learn more about Rieker CARS Service click here 

or http://riekerinc.com/CurveAdvisoryReporting.htm

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Visit Rieker Inc at the June 2016 Sensors Expo in San Jose www.sensorsexpo.com & see our latest user-configurable all-weather highly accurate tilt sensing solutions. We'll be introducing among others, solutions for hazardous locations and telemetry remote monitoring solutions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Backlit Inclinometers - When Night Visibility Must Be Maintained

Description - These highly visible backlit models were specifically developed for fire trucks that are required to have all instrumentation lighted models 1017 (±10º) and 1023 (±20º) comply with National Fire Protection Association 1901 Standards for Automotive Fire Apparatus.

However, these are well suited for any industry when instrumentation must be visible in low light or night operation.

Equipment Types - Aerial lift trucks, Bucket/utility trucks, Cranes, Construction Equipment, Conveyor and Material Handling Equipment, Emergency and Fire trucks, Government and Military Vehicles, Trailers.
Learn More

Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Drive! New Curve Advisory Reporting Service known as "CARS"

Just Drive! is an introduction to the Rieker Inc Curve Advisory Reporting Service known as "CARS"
One pass each direction, with traffic at any speed - get the job done safer, uniform to FHWA MUTCD and on-time!

Rieker Inc CARS solution reflects the operating procedures of Federal, State, and local roads and highways, based upon the “Speed Zone Theory” and “85th Percentile Speeds”, which is adapted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and as defined in the Federal and/or State Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD).

Copyright ©2014 Rieker Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

History Lesson: Importance of the Inclinometer for Flight

Orville and Wilbur Wright may have never found success if not for the inclinometer. Their original aircraft designs were missing a critical piece of innovation that was being used by foresters and other industry pioneers. This simple device is known as an inclinometer (or slip indicator).

The 1902 Flyer had problems maintaining level flight throughout a turn due to the aircraft slipping or skidding through the air, which dramatically reduced the lift generated by the wings they had designed.

While in his sleep, Orville awoke one night after a dream in which he saw the problem:  he needed to add yaw to an aircraft's turn which at the time only included roll. The Wright 1903 Flyer was the first model designed by the Wright brothers to include a rudder, which allowed the aircraft to fly balanced (coordinated) through a turn instead of sliding sideways through a turn using only roll from the ailerons located on the wings. The use of inclinometers on flying aircraft was immediately needed for the pilot to know how much input was needed from the rudders for a coordinated turn.

Early inclinometers were as simple as a pendulum hung where the pilot could see how his aircraft was moving through the air with respect to the force of gravity. The most famous early inclinometer was found in the Spirit of St. Louis piloted by Charles Lindbergh. This Rieker inclinometer used by Charles on his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean was a simple yet reliable design that is still used today.

As flight instrumentation advanced, the inclinometer became more commonly known as the slip indicator. Modern day inclinometers are sealed glass tubes curved upwards with a ball sitting at the bottom surrounded by fluid in the tube. The ball gives an indication of how coordinated the turn is, whether the aircraft is slipping (skidding) or flying coordinated throughout the turn. The forces of gravity against the aircraft precession forces cause movement of the ball within the tube.

Flight instructors will often tell their students to step on the ball meaning the inclinometers' ball is not centered at the bottom of the tube and the student pilot must add rudder to the aircraft turn to become balanced and coordinated.

The reason why coordinated turns are so important is due to how gravity is felt and applied to the opposing force (lift) generated by the aircraft wings. While an aircraft is slipping or skidding through turns gravity is felt to the side and it pulls the aircraft sideways towards the earth making the lift generated by the wings less effective. When an aircraft becomes coordinated, gravity is pulling directly through the center of the aircraft perfectly opposite of the lift being generated by the wings. This results in a more pleasant feeling for the passengers aboard the aircraft as well as a more efficient flight. In a perfectly coordinated turn many passengers will not feel the aircraft is turning at all due to the weight of gravity being applied directly perpendicular to the seat they are sitting in.

Thelma Micco is a freelance writer for Rieker Inc., a leading manufacturer of inclinometers, tilt switches and other tilt sensing devices. Interested in finding out more about Rieker Inc.? Visit our website today for more information.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Inclinometers and the New Sony Alpha 7 Camera

Inclinometers are used everywhere!

Sony Alpha 7: The World's Lightest Full-Frame Camera With Interchangeable Lens

Full Article by Mark Sparrow (Mr. Sparrow is a top notch technology writer with an emphasis on digital photography)

"...When it comes to handling I really loved the A7. It sits snugly in the hand and is light enough to use one-handed if you need to. The articulating LCD screen is great for taking candid shots from waist level and there’s also a handy on-screen spirit level and inclinometer to help you keep your pictures straight. I came to depend heavily on this handy little gizmo, especially for architectural and landscape shots. The more pictures I shot with the A7, the more I grew to like it, although I’d probably not recommend it for sports photography as the continuous shooting mode isn’t quite as fast as something like the Nikon D4..."

Just goes to show you that inclinometers are not only for construction equipment or heavy industrial applications for safety purposes, but across many industries and applications! Knowing one's angle or level condition is dependent on some type of level device such as an inclinometer.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Have a great day,

Skip Gosnell
Director of Marketing
Rieker Inc.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rieker's Boom Angle Indicator on Prime Time TV!

Rieker Inc goes Hollywood -  4120 Boom Angle Indicator appears on a fire truck during an episode of Chicago Fire...Thanks Chicago Fire!

Available in a highly visible backlit model for increased safety - complies with National Fire Protection Association 1901 Standards for Automotive Fire Apparatus.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Terex announces equipment updates

Terex announces equipment updates

Jason Cannon November 12, 2013

Terex says it has updated its Hi-Ranger TM100 aerial and General 80 digger derrick. The company says its TM100 telescoping, non-overcenter, material handling aerial is now lighter with a decreased travel height to support installation on standard factory trucks, including 6 x 6 chassis. Weight savings come from new outriggers and revised sub-frame configuration that also allows for increased payload capacity, the company adds.

The TM100 stands 13 feet tall and nearly 38-and-a-half feet long with a gross vehicle weight of rating of 52,000 pounds. The company says the unit is designed to achieve 90 degrees of lower boom articulation, 100 feet working height and 51 feet side reach with a 95-foot bottom-of-platform height. It also features an end-mounted, two-person, D-shaped, 800-pound-capacity working platform.
The General 80 digger derrick update includes a 79.9-foot sheave height, a 26,600-pound lift capacity at the 10-foot, fully retracted radius, a 1,840 pound lift capacity at 0 degrees fully extended and a 36.4-foot digging reach.

Other enhancements include boom extension rollers, a digger hanger shaft, a load moment limiter and a hydraulic, interlocking tilt pole guide.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

DOT Roadway Safety Plan

DOT Roadway Safety Plan

During the first decade of the 21st century, over 400,000 people died on America’s roadways, while millions suffered life-altering injuries. Such incidents have had a profound impact, not only on those injured, but also on their families and communities. The Nation must significantly reduce roadway crashes, deaths, injuries, and the terrible social and economic costs that are consequently borne by the American public.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) developed the Roadway Safety Plan based on the premise that significantly reducing roadway fatalities will require fresh ideas, stronger partnerships, and tremendous resolve. DOT will continue to build upon past successes, lessons learned, and current and future trends.

Senior DOT leaders initiated this Roadway Safety Plan to bring an integrated focus to roadway safety issues. A Roadway Safety Plan Working Group (Working Group) was assembled that includes a cross section of representatives from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), supported by the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST). Each member was identified for his or her subject matter expertise.

The Roadway Safety Plan leverages multiple strategic and operational plans that have been developed over the years to address roadway safety issues, both within DOT and by external stakeholder groups. The Working Group expanded these existing plans, examining new opportunities for and methods of innovation, integration, and collaboration.

Ultimately, the Roadway Safety Plan seeks to align with the safety focus of the strategic, legislative, budgetary, and performance planning processes that will be needed to advance its ideas.

Rieker Inc is currently working with State DOT administrators and engineers to provide advanced technology that significantly improves specific aspects of Roadway Safety. Based on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines on how to determine safe curve speed, our new system allows the operator to drive a select road or roads as needed, with traffic, while automatically recording relevant road telemetry (including curve radius, side friction, and super elevation) - creating a permanent record for later analysis via our Curve Advisory Reporting System (analytics and auto calculations) software. The goal coincides with the Zero Fatality initiative to create technology that not only makes it safer for DOT employees to do their job, but for the general driving public  - standardizing the country wide problem of inaccurate and often times incorrect safe curve advisory warning signs. 
Skip Gosnell
Director of Marketing 
Rieker Inc.