Before VBG launches any new systems, all the products are tested in a structured manner via field tests, something which also gives a VBG field test driver the opportunity to try out new, innovative systems before they even appear on the market. This makes for a good and close collaboration between the driver and VBG for what is usually a long period of time, helping to ensure that the products maintain a high level of quality and safety.
VBG runs field tests out on the roads to test features and properties in their proper user environment over a longer period of time. Field test drivers are selected based on several criteria, different transport purposes, environments and frequency of use, but an interest in and enthusiasm for wanting to try new things are a constant requirement. They get to test new features at an early project phase, and that is why their opinions, feedback and time for testing are invaluable during development projects – it means we really can produce relevant data and obtain subjective opinions that might otherwise be difficult to acquire in a clear way. Part of this collaboration involves drivers sometimes bringing in their truck to VBG for analysis or to update the software or hardware. Obviously proximity to VBG is a plus, but since VBG is always testing its products and systems in different climates and environments, that means there are field testers active right now, even in Norway and northern Sweden, to mention just two locations.
One of VBG’s valued field test drivers is haulier Jonny Andersson of Andersson & Wernlund AB, who transports a lot of recycled material between Halmstad and Vänersborg for Stena Recycling. He’s busy all year round and drives approx. 12,000 km each month. Jonny started out as a driver and joined the industry 25 years ago. He enjoyed the job, but over time started thinking about starting up his own business, and now he owns his own truck. First and foremost, this has given him a great deal of flexibility. Being able to manage his day and at the same time combine work and family life is extremely important to Jonny, who has no regrets about his decision to strike out and start his own business.
When Jonny had VBG Driver Assist fitted in his truck two years ago, he found it a little strange at first. How does it work? When does it make a noise in the cab? How do I know if I can trust the system? But all of that quickly sorted itself out. The system provides support in the form of firstly audible alerts when there is a risk of jackknifing while reversing and secondly guiding the truck accurately while connecting to a trailer, all to eliminate the risk of damage and repairs. Jonny quickly became accustomed to having the system. He makes most use of the guiding feature, which he thinks provides good support when connecting up a trailer. The system also complements the camera, if the truck has one, because it has difficulty visualising height differences. The jackknife warning has proved effective when tilting cargo over the drawbar. “It’s worth its weight in gold,” says Jonny. He believes that it gave him extra peace of mind in his work and he can now relax a bit more and focus on everything else that requires a lot of concentration. He now says that he would not want to be without the system and if he gets a new truck then it would definitely be fitted with VBG Driver Assist right from the start.
“An excellent aid when the trailer isn’t quite straight or when the ground isn’t entirely flat, that’s when it’s hard to see in the mirrors.”
The system is based on robust radar technology; reflectors on the drawbar communicate with the electronic units along the side of the coupling and emit warnings in the form of audible alerts in the cab. Installing VBG Driver Assist requires VBG’s new electrical infrastructure as the VBG couplings with digital switching sensor – version 3 use this.
The system currently offers two different features: Jackknife Warning and guiding during trailer connection. If VBG Driver Assist is selected, both features are included although VBG Jackknife Warning does not offer Guiding.
When the product is available to buy, you will find more product and feature information at our site.
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