A world breakthrough in electronic brake controllers which offers greater safety for motorists towing heavy trailers and caravans will underpin a push into international markets by Australian electronics firm Redarc Electronics.
The new Tow-Pro electronic brake controller offers motorists the choice of engaging either inertia sensing or user controlled braking on trailers through the simple turn of a dial inside the towing vehicle.
It is the first time either mode can be selected through one central unit.
Redarc’s Managing Director, Mr Anthony Kittel, said Tow-Pro was currently being rolled out across Australia, where a patent was pending.
“We are currently examining major overseas markets and talking to potential agents in the USA and parts of Europe,” he said.
“We plan to begin exporting to these markets as soon as we have international patents finalised.
“Tow-Pro is the only product that offers motorists the ability to swap between inertia sensing and user controlled braking depending on road conditions by simply turning a dial.”
Mr Kittel said the product had resulted from extensive research and development activity undertaken at the company’s headquarters at Lonsdale in South Australia.
“One of our best selling items is our current model remote head electric brake controller, which only offers a user controlled mode,” he said.
“We looked at how we could improve it and the new Tow-Pro is the result.
“We are expecting it will increase sales in Australia by about 40% and believe it will give us a unique product to sell to other countries across the world.”
Inertia sensing, or automatic mode, measures the braking force applied by the towing vehicle and applies the electronic trailer brakes to a proportional degree. It is mostly used for highway towing.
The user controlled braking is more suitable for off-road towing and gives the driver full control of the brake level.
Mr Kittel said that while caravan and trailer owners were expected to be major users of the product, it was also likely to attract strong attention from people towing horse floats and boats.
Electronic brake control units are mandatory in Australia for vehicles towing trailers with a gross trailer mass of more than two tonnes.
The new Tow-Pro meets ADR21 safety standards in Australia, and is UNECER21 and FMVSS 201 in America, and is suitable for both 12 and 24 volt vehicles. It operates both electric and electric/hydraulic trailer braking.
Redarc researches, designs, develops and manufactures a range of electronic voltage converters and associated products including inverters, battery chargers, power supplies, turbo timers, glow plug timers, trailer braking products and customized electronic modules.
Its products are used by any moving vehicle that uses battery power, including cars, SUVs, boats, rail, trucks, mining equipment, bus and emergency vehicles.
Mr Kittel said Redarc currently used South Australian suppliers to provide most of the materials it used for its units and he expected this practice would continue into the future.
Redarc was established in 1979 and purchased by Mr Kittel in 1997.
It currently has 95 staff and turnover of more than $26 million.
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