Staying on the right track

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is the system that sets things right when a truck is about to lose its grip on the road and either skid or rollover. ESP counteracts the forces that try to drive the truck off the road, through an interaction between the truck's Electronic Brake System, engine management system and retarder, and the trailer's braking system.

The system consists of three sensors on the tractor that measure the yaw angle, lateral acceleration and steering wheel position. A central unit continuously computes the incoming readings and when these readings do not match, the brakes are activated individually on one or more wheels, as necessary. At the same time, engine torque is reduced to lower the road speed until equilibrium is regained.

The ESP is highly effective in potentially dangerous situations like:

  • Overestimating speed limit on bends (e.g. narrowing bends, highway exits, city passages)
  • Obstacle avoidance manoeuvres with sudden steering input (e.g. steering from the shoulder back on the road and skidding)
  • Laden semi-trailer in narrow bends on slippery surface (jack-knifing on turns)