Volvo trucks safer

2017-10-12 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedMalcolm Gush, sales director at Volvo Group South Africa, points to the radar unit that, together with cameras, monitors the area around a Volvo truck as part of active safety systems that can stop the truck quicker than a human driver in an emergency.

PHOTO: suppliedMalcolm Gush, sales director at Volvo Group South Africa, points to the radar unit that, together with cameras, monitors the area around a Volvo truck as part of active safety systems that can stop the truck quicker than a human driver in an emergency.

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WITHOUT trucks, the economy will crash, while safer trucks will enable us to move the economy along. This was the message from Torbjörn Christensson, president of Volvo Group Southern Africa. He said safety is part of Volvo’s DNA and why Volvo can aim for a world with zero accidents.

The company recently invested almost R6 million in its assembly plant near Amanzimtoti in order to install the latest active safety systems from Europe in trucks operating locally.

The system works with a radar and cameras that watch for small moving objects like pedestrians or cyclists in blind spots and can stop the truck much quicker than a human driver can react, even around corners.

Christensson said the systems had been tested by several SA clients for past three years, and will now go into serial production.

One of these clients is Pietermaritzburg-based Colt Transport, where 65 Volvo trucks equipped with active safety systems have delivered savings and can handle even SA’s unpredictable taxi drivers.

Volvo sales director Malcolm Gush said the safety system, which is sold as a package, costs about R43 000, which is less than the typical repair cost of even a minor collision on a truck.

He predicted such systems will soon be the norm, not just an option, for fleet operators. Some 60 operators have been testing the system in SA, and one fitted Volvo’s Alcolock V3 breath analiser to ensure a zero alcohol limit.

After-market service manager Theunis Eloff said Volvo’s proactive workshops do not require the fleet manager to make booking, but use telematic service schedules that are customised per chassis to bring trucks in for service. The workshops have been testing predictive failure for six months and now boast accuracies of one hour.

“The aim is to ensure uptime,” said Eloff.

Volvo truck owners will from next year also be able to link Volvo’s Dynafleet app, which enables fleet owners to check the total health of a truck. The app will be released free to all Volvo owners in South Africa, Australia and Korea in the third quarter of next year.

This will enable their drivers to enter the Dynafleet compeittion and rank their skills worldwide — similar to Daimler’s FleetBoard competition.

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