The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite is an electric trailer brake controller designed to suit most common trailer braking applications including caravans, trailers, horse floats . The unit requires minimal dash space for mounting and being simple to install and operate it is ideal for the grey nomad in particular. The unit offers selectable proportional or user controlled trailer braking modes allowing the user to choose the braking style depending on the road or terrain conditions, vehicle type or driver preference. The unit operates both electric and electric/hydraulic trailer brakes, will operate from either 12 or 24 volt vehicle systems and is compliant to UNECE R21 and ADR21 for installation into head impact zones making it export ready.
We estimated the total annual Australian brake controller market to be around 150,000 units per annum,based on SUV/LCV sales and towbar fitment rates. From our market research we learnt that from customers that our current remote head controller was great as installation locations were becoming scarce but they would also like the proportional braking functionality for smoother braking of their caravans, camper trailers, horse floats and boat trailers. We believed that, at a small premium to the current model, an electric brake controller that combined the remote head format with state-of-the-art proportional technology could yield us 75% market share in Australia. We ensured that the controls could be legally mounted in a convenient location on the dash for the driver to access the controls during an instance of trailer sway, which meant head impact zone compliance. We also wanted the installation of the main unit to be as simple as possible for our installers which meant the ability to install in any orientation without the need for a complex calibration process and great for grey nomads. Finally, our proprietary braking algorithm needed to be best in class and the unit needed to work for any common type of brake controller installation. If we could achieve the above, then the unit would be ideal for install as an OEM product and have a great following as an aftermarket accessory.
REDARC Electronics is an advanced manufacturer of Electronic products for the automotive industry. The TowPro Elite is a great example of a highly innovative Australian Designed and Manufactured product for global markets. The product features a 3-Axis accelerometer which not only allows a smarter control of the trailer brakes, it also allows flexible mounting options and provides redundancy should the installation fail. The remote head and control knob are designed in such a way as to comply with ADR21. To achieve this the control knob uses a bespoke rubber compound designed specifically for this product over-moulded on to a hard plastic base.
Our proprietary braking algorithm redefined the category adapting to specific driving conditions and offering additional safety measures, which resulted in us being awarded patents in both Australia and the US. In conjunction, our Active Calibration algorithm ensures that the unit always knows the direction of travel, without the user needed to calibrate. In order to add the features outlined above we needed to add additional components. To keep the product cost relatively similar this meant sacrificing labour time, so we needed to design the product with production efficiencies in mind. As a result the recyclable plastic main unit case snaps together and does not use any screws. The electronics are soldered using our Automated Electronics SMT line, meaning final assembly takes a matter of seconds.
The Tow-Pro Elite has achieved great results & sells in excess of 100,000 units annually and as we further grow our Export Markets we expect to exceed 350,000 units annually. The unit retails for AUD $ 295. The success of the product can be attributed initially to the complete feature set which meant our installers only needed to stock a single product. More importantly the end consumer was asking for our product by name generating a 'pull' effect in the industry. The product functions safely & flawlessly, delighting our customer long after their purchase, which results in a positive reputation in the industry. All specially designed components including housings, controls, packaging and instructions are sourced from local SA manufacturers and are manufactured using recyclable materials. In the future we expect our current export sales volumes to grow exponentially and we are planning for Twice our existing capacity as part of a major factory upgrade which is currently underway. REDARC have been granted US Patent 9,446,747 for the Tow-Pro and have taken trademark and patent protection in other countries. The product is being sold in USA and is currently under trial by an OEM in Detroit. The TowPro Elite was awarded a Global Media Award at The SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November 2016. The unit is a genuine accessory with Holden, Nissan, Mercedes, Audi & Mazda.