Being a truck bodybuilder has its challenges. In addition to knowing what the customer is asking for, you have to take into account a number of things.
You have to know what the truck chassis will look like – will there be any equipment from the truck manufacturer that will affect construction? Will you need to move things that get in the way? Axle loads, material strength, etc. How should the construction be designed in order to be adapted to the relevant task? What coupling distance is required? In addition, you must know the laws and regulations regarding different product groups on the truck, so that the truck can be checked and approved by inspection bodies.
When we at VBG initially started our project of being able to deliver our products ready assembled, it was a step in making things more rational for our bodybuilders. Things like time savings and ergonomics were something we at VBG had in focus from the beginning. The profession of bodybuilder has enjoyed strong technological development, something which is still progressing rapidly. Today, we see very advanced constructions that place new demands on how we as a supplier must constantly be responsive to how we can develop our products to streamline the work for our bodybuilders.
Electrification is becoming increasingly relevant for heavy vehicles, which means that additional expertise is required in order to adequately and successfully work with such a vehicle. The bodybuilder must constantly be involved in the development in order to make a construction that is interesting to the customer.
Sweden has a history of recognised skilled truck bodybuilders who work continuously to maintain high standards in construction.
What are the benefits that come with working with pre-assembled materials? We had a chat with Kalle Röjerås, Logistics and Development Manager at Zetterbergs, who has used VBG’s pre-assembled solutions for many years.
Zetterbergs is a bodybuilder that will soon be able to celebrate 100 years in the industry. They have gone from being a simple forge, to today investing in a high degree of production automation. This is how they ensure a continued profitable and sustainable business. Zetterbergs’ business concept is the development, production and marketing of truck and trailer bodies with an emphasis on construction vehicles for the Nordic market. Zetterbergs has a wide variety of different bodies and has in-depth expertise in chassis adaptation. It can be anything from dumper trucks, hook loaders, tipping platforms, flatbeds, automatic cassettes, etc. "Our bodies should be of the highest quality and constitute an attractive total economy for our customers," says Kalle Röjerås.
Using pre-assembled products saves time. Furthermore, it is also ensured that the right tightening torque is achieved with the correct bolted joint. In addition, VBG’s pre-assembled solutions guarantee that the right product is assembled entirely according to instructions, which are the prerequisites for an approved certificate. Another benefit of pre-assembled solutions is that all the combined type approvals and certificates mean that all the details fit together. This makes it easy and convenient to provide the inspection bodies with all the necessary documentation. "The assembly staff at Zetterbergs are very pleased with the time they save by using VBG’s complete pre-assembled towing equipment," says Röjerås.
When the towing package arrives at the bodybuilder, it goes directly on to the chassis preparation where the fitter screws in the drawbeam package. This particular step is something that the assembly staff at Zetterbergs considers to be a key advantage, as it streamlines their work. Once the towing equipment is mounted on the truck, the work continues to fit the remaining components.
Efficient and durable assembly reduces waste and unnecessary torque. Sustainability work is an important part of Zetterbergs’ strategy and a real requirement to maintain its place and remain a competitive bodybuilder in the future. A conscious reduction of waste and unnecessary materials means that climate impact can be reduced. "We are constantly working to ensure that we make as small an impression on the environment as possible," Röjerås points out.