The next generation of trailer ABS from Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems features data communications with tractors through the standard 7-pin connector, as well as new diagnostic tools, valves designed for easier servicing, and internal memory for storing free-form notes and trailer information.

Available in January for new trailers, the new Easy-Stop ABS will be offered in three configurations that meet Federal requirements for trailer stability systems capable of lighting an in-cab warning lamp if there is a malfunction.

Although federal regulations have required ABS on new trailers since March 1998, the in-cab warning lamp portion of the standard was postponed until March 1, 2001, to allow manufacturers to develop appropriate technology.

The new Easy-Stop uses PLC4TRUCKS technology to transmit data to a tractor over the trailer's "blue" power wire.

A new standard developed by tractor, trailer and component manufacturers, PLC4TRUCKS can also be expanded to provide in-cab monitoring and control for a variety of trailer applications without adding connectors or changing current connector configurations.

The Easy-Stop 2S/1M Basic provides required stability performance for dollies and trailers with 2-wheel-speed sensors and a single ABS relay valve. It has a single generic input/output connection for data communications.

The Easy-Stop 2S/2M Standard adds a second relay valve, providing increased protection against tire flat-spotting. It also has a single generic input/output.

Offering the highest level of flat-spot protection and brake control, the Easy-Stop 2M Premium can be configured with 2- or 4-wheel sensors controlling two or three modulator valves. It also features four generic input/outputs that can be used in the future for monitoring and controlling other trailer functions such as door openings, cargo temperature and tire pressures.

Other features for the next-generation Easy-Stop include control modules and modulator valves that can be serviced separately, a tamper-proof electronic odometer, a PM interval indicator and a notebook function that can store critical data about the trailer and free-form text within the control module.

To light the in-cab trailer ABS lamp, tractors must also have ABS units fitted with their own PLC4TRUCKS chip. Meritor WABCO says it will begin supplying tractor ABS with the required chip when it begins shipping the new trailer antilock systems in January.