Installing a speed limiter into any vehicle reduces fuel and operating costs, carbon emissions, enhances road safety and increases the longevity of the vehicle.
Quite simply, no other modification to a vehicle can produce such instant all-round improvements. Yet surprisingly, it is not a common device used in Australia … but all that’s about to change.
A WA company – suitably named Speed Limiter Australia – has taken the initiative and introduced such a product to Australia.
Suitable for a range of commercial vehicles passenger vehicles and, in particular, mining vehicles, the speed limiter is programmed to deliver the performance profile desired, while serving as an effective and efficient tool that will deliver an important contribution to carbon reduction objectives.
Australian Mining Review spoke to directors Jamey Tallents and Paul and Jake Passaris about how they initiated the idea of a speed limiter and refined it.
Started in 2019, Speed Limiter Australia was born from a concept widely used in Europe and commonly adapted to companies that run larger fleets of vehicles, Jamey explained.
Road speed limiters were originally developed responding to the need for increased road safety for commercial vehicles, buses and coaches.
More recently their use has been equally focused upon the reduction of vehicle emissions, particularly since the introduction of legislation that covers applicable vehicles registered from 2001.
Most vehicle makes and models manufactured after 2002 are fitted with an Engine Control Unit (ECU), a small onboard computer that controls the engine’s performance characteristics.
The program that a manufacturer installs on a vehicle’s ECU effectively defines the performance and driving experience of that vehicle.
In the manufacturer’s standard program there is a subprogram, which acts to limit the vehicle’s speed by controlling the throttle response.
This programming is used by the manufacturers of vehicles to govern the vehicle’s maximum speed. However, while it provides manufacturers with the flexibility to ensure that their vehicles can meet important safety and emissions legislation, in many different countries often this ‘one-size fits all approach’ fails to reflect the operators’ and drivers’ ‘real world’ vehicle use.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
With a combined automotive industry experience of more than 50 years, Jamey, Paul and Jake initiated the idea of a speed limiter for Australian conditions and refined it.
In 2019 they brought the device to Australia and tested it for durability, functionality, and dependability, with great success to date.
The company can now fit the unit to a range of automotive and commercial vehicles that have the “flyby wire” pedal system.
“With simply six wires and programmed onsite via laptop, we can limit the vehicle to any requirement still utilising full throttle control at any time,” Jamey said.
“Through the OBD2 connector we are also able to limit the movement of the vehicle through unplugged seat belts and open doors for added safety.
“With an added key lock system, we can also put the vehicle back to normal pedal operation for normal road use if the vehicle is mine based.”
Current customers such as Movie World Gold Coast, Movie World Madrid, and St Johns Ambulance New Zealand, are using and trialling the unit.
The company offers a full support base and can help and initiate programming online; or if clients are looking for a more personal service, it will fly/drive to them.
“Our bespoke speed limiter, designed and developed in Europe and refined for Australian conditions, is EU22 rated and approved for use in all automotive specifications that use flyby wire systems,” Jamey said.
“The system has a failsafe so it cannot “run away” if a malfunction occurs and the pedal will go back to full functionality.
“Its housing is water-resistant and can be located in any part of the vehicle if desired.”
Before coming to Australia, Jamey spent 14 years working as a motor mechanic for Audi and Volkswagen dealerships, with part of this role involving the yearly M.O.T tests to ensure vehicle safety on the roads.
“We noticed more and more vehicles were being fitted with either tracking devices or speed limiting devices for safety and insurance purposes. These devices became the normal in the motor industry,” Jamey said.
“Increasing fuel prices and vehicle repair bills plus company vehicles being classed as a place of work for many people like service vehicles and delivery vehicles, were also being considered for healthy and safety reasons.
“These devices also helped to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles, attributing to lower company tax via the green carbon tax initiative.”
Jamey came to Perth, WA, in 2014, again working for the local VW and Audi dealerships.
“I soon got wind of the massive mining industry and thought I should give it a try as a LV mechanic on site with the pay being nearly double that of the dealerships I was working in,” Jamey said.
“This opened my eyes to a completely different world, and I ending up working under ground in Kalgoorlie in a gold mine and in the 50°C heat of the Great Sandy Desert.
“I soon noticed that these vehicles were not treated well, and vehicle rollovers being a common occurrence with speed being the major issue.
“I asked at various sites why speed limiters were not fitted to these vehicles to reduce these incidents, with the main response being “where can we buy them?”.
“After a few Google searches I could not find anyone offering speed limiters in Australia, and this is where Speed Limiter Australia started!”
The company can pre-program the speed limiter prior to install, or if the client wishes to have their own techs install them and wire for plug and play, it’s as simple as connecting the earth and power wire to the OBD port and connect the CAN bus single.
Born and bred in Perth, Paul has a 35-year extensive background in the automotive industry, starting back in 1985 as an automotive apprentice.
To date he has played many roles throughout the industry, from front line service to operations manager of Perth’s largest and most successful used car warehouse in Bentley.
With a love for vehicles and motorcycles, Paul has built and commissioned various custom vehicles and motorcycles for close friends and personal pleasure.
With an astute knowledge of vehicles and intimate workings comes the drive for constant learning and perfection, which is why Paul and his son Jake have teamed up with Jamey to drive the business into the future with further development of a unique product.
“I spoke in length with Jamey about the speed limiters earlier on in the year along with the business model and thought this really does have merit,” he said.
“Not personally being involved in the mining sector but having friends and family that are, you hear all sorts of stories about vehicles being involved in rollovers due to speed, or copping hefty fines for speeding on-site.
“This device is the real deal, it is easy to install and uninstall if need be, and without compromising throttle operation, it limits how fast the vehicle can travel once set.
“The unit can also be programmed in to stop the vehicle from moving with the seat belt unclipped, or a door open. It has a lot of safety attributes we are able to apply.”
Not only is this unit suitable for the mining sector, but really anyone or any company that runs a number of vehicles which deal with multiple drivers, lease vehicles, hire cars, parts delivery vehicles. They serve to eliminate chasing a speeding fine and narrows infringements down to the particular driver, while also reducing the carbon footprint, fuel consumption, and also long distance driving.
19-year-old Jake has been around cars for the majority of his young life, more so in the past four years being involved production car racing at Wanneroo Raceway.
Understanding how a vehicle works and getting it to perform on the track, Jake applies this craft to fitting and programming of the speed limiter units, and constantly looks for ways to improve daily running of the business.
Speed Limiter Australia
P Jamey: 0400 371 740 Paul: 0431 444 798