4 Reasons Delivery Drivers Choose Ultrasonic Sonar

ultrasonic sonar is used by delivery truck drivers

By Adam Maxfield

Every day, delivery trucks travel on our public streets near schools, parks, and high traffic areas.  Many deliveries are only completed at night time when pedestrian traffic is greatly reduced.  The problem with night-time deliveries is reduced visibility, especially while reversing into parking lots and dark alleys.  Ultrasonic sonar is the best single option for safer delivery truck operations.  Below we are a few of the reasons why sonar increases safety and reduces accidents for delivery trucks.

Ultrasonic sonar systems work in the dark

With cameras and mirrors, darkness quickly reduces the effectiveness which reduces safety.  Mirrors do not have illumination and the driver must rely on the vehicle’s reverse lights.  If mirrors are dirty, or the mirrors do not have enough outside illumination, the drivers do not see hazards before it is too late.  Many backup cameras include infrared illumination, which assists in darkness but does not consistently account for sidelight or overpowering dock lights.  Ultrasonic sonar is not affected by darkness, backlighting, or other environmental factors. 

Ultrasonic sonar uses sound to “see” objects which is ideal for vehicles.  While mirrors and cameras require a driver to have perfect eyesight to understand what is on the small screen or in the shadows, ultrasonic sonar alerts the driver with sound.  Most sonar safety systems beep to alert the driver to hazards in the vehicle’s path even with our eyes don’t see through the darkness.

Ultrasonic sonar beeps help distracted drivers 

Delivery drivers are managing multiple items simultaneously: stop lights, cell phones, texting, eating, billboards, pedestrians, driving, communicating with dispatch, packages, GPS, package delivery and adverse weather conditions. 

All of these distractions add stress to the driver’s delivery schedule.  With all of these distractions or stresses, it is easy to get fatigued and make mistakes. Ultrasonic sonar does not rely on the driver to see what is behind the vehicle. On the contrary, cameras add an additional item to the driver’s list of distractions. Ultrasonic sonar beeps alerting the driver to the object behind the vehicle. Since ultrasonic sonar is a proactive system, it means a distraction or stress is removed from the driver.  When stress is removed productivity goes up! 

Malfunction Alerts

Most quality manufacturers of ultrasonic sonar systems self diagnose and alert the operator immediately upon malfunction.  Fault indication should be mandated in all safety equipment.  Can you imagine if your home battery operated fire alarms didn’t warn you that the battery was about to die?  Houses would burn without an alarm and this would be a very dangerous situation. This is equally as dangerous for sonar systems. If a driver started to reverse without hearing an alarm, accidents would be inevitable. Premier sonar products like Bat Sense alert the driver prior to reversing if the system has a fault.   

Weather Proof Systems Are Resilient

Delivery drivers are hard at work in rain, snow, or shine.  These hard-working essential workers deliver everything from shoes to life-saving medicine.  Not only do delivery drivers need to be tough and resilient, but their equipment also needs to meet the challenge too. 

All vehicle equipment needs an ingress protection rating of at least IP65, however, the standard is IP67. In an IP65-rated product, the 6 means that solid particles can not enter the product and the 5 means that water can not be sprayed into the product.  IP67 is the highest common rating which means that solid particles can not enter and the product can be submerged in water up to one meter deep for up to 30 minutes. 

Not only can water and dust be damaging, but physical abuse is also common on all industrial equipment.  There are two types of ultrasonic sonar systems, large sensor, and small sensor.  Small sensors are very common on passenger vehicles. 

Typically, you’ll see these products include four small circles in the rear bumper.  The problem is that these sensors are not as sensitive or durable as the large sensors. 

The large sensors are designed for rougher conditions and handling.  When the delivery driver is hustling in and out of the trailer, sensors may be stepped on, bumped and bruised.  Large sensors are very strong and built to take a beating.