Know Your Limits!
Know your limits!
Since the 1990’s commercial vehicles in the UK with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 7.5t have been obliged to have a speed limiter. These devices are commonly referred to as ‘governors’. The UK now adheres to EU legislation for speed limiters and as expected the details of this legislation have changed many times over the last 15 years. The changes outline different vehicle classes by gross vehicle weight and different registration dates where it is compulsory to have a governor fitted. For full details of the current legislation it is advisable to visit the UK ‘Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’ (VOSA) website at www.vosa.gov.uk
It may be the changes made in 2007 and 2008 that will be of interest to aftermarket repairers involved in maintaining light commercial vehicles. These changes state that from 1st January 2007 all goods vehicles between 3.5t and 7.5t and all passenger carrying vehicles with a capacity of 8 or more passengers (irrespective of weight) now fall into this speed limiter legalisation category. This now means that vehicles such as Transits and Sprinters may have to comply. To determine exactly when a speed limiter is required criteria such as registration date, engine type (Euro III for example) and whether the vehicle is to be used solely on mainland UK or within the rest of Europe is considered.
The importance of the ‘Euro III’ criteria is due to the limiting function being configurable within the engine electronic control unit (ECU). Previously speed limiters had been independent devices being either mechanically or electronically controlled; technology is as always progressing. With ‘Euro III’ it is possible for the speed limit to be set by the vehicle manufacturer and/or the supplying dealer using serial diagnostic equipment without the necessity to add additional speed limiting controllers. A simple ECU configuration is all that is needed. What is interesting though is if it can be ‘set’ with serial diagnostics it can also be ‘un-set’ with serial diagnostics.
Although this legislation only currently enforces speed limiting on vans 3.5t and over (excluding mini-buses which can be enforceable under 3.5t) it can often be configured on vehicles up to 3.5t as well. What is now being seen is large fleet operators of ‘white vans’ having speed limiting configured as standard; in fact operators such as local authorities are even opting for it to be retro fitted on older vehicles within the existing fleet for safety reasons.
As part of the ongoing software update program for the Autodiagnos Multi-Tester Pro recent improvements were made to the Ford application. Amongst the general model year updates it was decided to add the speed limiter configuration functions required for the Transit Mk7 model (2006 onwards). This was as much in response to those customers being asked to ‘set’ the speed limiting function as it was to those being asked to ‘disable’ the speed limit function from vehicles coming out of the large fleets into private operator use. The Ford speed limiter function allows the following options to be configured from within the PCM (Powertrain Control Module):
- Set 90 km/h limit
- Set 100 km/h limit
- Set 120 km/h limit
- Disable limiting
With statistics available to show how reduced average speeds can be linked to fewer road traffic accidents whilst at the same time returning lower average running costs per mile it is of course perceivable that this EU legislation will continue to spread to other vehicle sectors in the future.
For specific application coverage, upgrade offers or more details on the NEW Multi-Tester Pro diagnostic tool from Autodiagnos please visit www.autodiagnos.com or call 0870 949 3799 and ask for your free information pack.