A piece of heavy machinery in Afghanistan.While much gets made of the technological advances being made in the consumer auto industry, and rightfully so, there’s a great deal less being said about similar advances in specialty and commercial vehicles.

As advances like increased fuel efficiency, hybrid fuel cells, computer integrations, and even self-driving are creeping onto the showroom of the average auto dealership, so too are similar advances being introduced. For instance, the Freightliner SuperTruck is a hybrid big rig that uses an electric motor and solar power to save as many as 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. Other kinds of specialty vehicles like street sweepers, loaders, construction equipment, tractors, farm equipment, and others are also beginning to see similar advances.

But for every broad stroke of technological improvement, numerous details and smaller contributions are required. Float switches and other liquid level sensors, for example, can be integrated into specialty vehicles in order to improve the operation of fuel systems, cargo monitoring, coolant systems, lubrication systems, and more.

Continuous Level Sensors for Specialty Vehicles

An illustration of an 18-wheeler truck.SMD Fluid Controls offers continuous level sensing solutions such as ultrasonic level sensors and sensors that rely on hydrostatic pressure, such as the FT60. Hydrostatic pressure sensors may be of particular use in specialty vehicles due to their ability to operate in agitated or volatile conditions. Specialty vehicle applications that call for continuous level sensing could include fuel level measurement, oil level measurement, and coolant systems checks.

Point Level Sensors for Specialty Vehicles

For point level sensing in a specialty vehicle, the best option will probably be an optical level sensor. This is because they can be made in a very compact form, with high resistance to temperature, pressure, and agitated conditions. The OS950 optical level sensor from SMD Fluid Controls is a good example of such a device. Low level sensing for coolant, lubrication, and fuel are some applications where optical sensors could be used in specialty vehicles.

Custom Designs: If you aren’t certain about what kind of sensor you need or you don’t think SMD’s standard offerings are up to the task, custom designs can be created in small batch or high-volume quantities.

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