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REPORTS | INTERVIEWS,

STORIES AND MUCH MORE…

HOW THE BLIND SPOT IN TRAFFIC IS SHRINKING

OUR APPRENTICES TEST THE ASSISTANCE SYSTEM IN OUR TRAINEE TRUCK

Daria Ruginis, intern at Nordwest-Zeitung, and Marvin Möhlmann, apprentice at L.I.T. Group, stand in the blind spot of our truck.

HOW THE BLIND SPOT IN TRAFFIC IS SHRINKING

OUR APPRENTICES TEST THE ASSISTANCE SYSTEM IN OUR TRAINEE TRUCK

HOW THE BLIND SPOT IN TRAFFIC IS SHRINKING

OUR APPRENTICES TEST THE ASSISTANCE SYSTEM IN OUR TRAINEE TRUCK

Modern technology can be a great help in our daily life. Here, for example, we are talking about the turn assistant for trucks, which is currently on everyone‘s lips. Its purpose is to prevent serious accidents between vehicles weighing several tons, and cyclists or pedestrians. Accidents that often end fatally happen when the »weaker« road user is in the truck‘s blind spot and is overlooked when it turns in traffic. Nordwest-Zeitung visited us, where we explained the technology.

Alexander Thon, being in his second year of training as a professional driver, is often out on the road in our trainee truck. The vehicle – the ultramodern Actros Edition 1 from Mercedes Benz – is wonderfully spacious and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. One thing that is immediately apparent: The truck no longer has large exterior mirrors. It does, however, have cameras that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab. »The benefit is that the blind spot is almost completely eliminated,« Thon explains. »The camera captures both cyclists and pedestrians. When someone is captured in this space, a warning triangle appears on the screen.« When the space gets tight, an acoustic signal is set off, with a sound that cannot be overheard. Tracking trailers is also important. »The camera shows me the end of the trailer in a curve, thereby making sure I always have a good overview,« he says.

However this is not all: Our trainee also knows that technology is no substitute for an attentive driver. As a driver, you can never rely fully on a warning signal sound being provided by the turn assistant. Robert Hennemann, who is responsible for the operative business of L.I.T. Cargo, also points out: »A turn assistant provides no guarantee.« Drivers and all other road users need to bear this in mind, so caution is always important in traffic. Camera-supported turn assistants have been available on the market as retrofit packages for trucks for quite some time now. Standardised, preinstalled systems have only been in existence for a short time. »These are newer versions, which can also intervene in the braking system and thus do more than merely emitting a warning signal. The system then brakes as well. It‘s like a lane departure warning system for cars,« Hennemann reports.

By 2020, all new registrations will be equipped with such a system, Hennemann knows. From 2022, for new vehicle types, turn assistants for buses and trucks will be mandatory throughout the EU. From 2024, all new vehicles will have to be equipped with this system. We do not want to retrofit older vehicles, as Hennemann explains: »We‘ve looked into this, but the technology didn‘t really convince us, and the number of kilometres driven on the motorway is very high, at 97/98 per cent. The cases in which a turn-assistance system would currently make sense are thus still extremely limited in our company«. At present, only the trainee truck is equipped accordingly. Our prospective professional driver is looking forward to learning his trade with such a state-of-the-art truck. The most striking feature of the state-of-the-art equipment is that the trainee truck no longer has large exterior mirrors, but cameras that that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab. Alexander Thon’s enthusiasm was increased further by the fact that we called on our trainees to select their favourite design for the vehicle and to contribute their ideas. Thanks to their creative input, the trainee truck is a real eye-catcher: Not only is our tile pattern in the typical L.I.T. colours prominently displayed on it, but also our training motto: »Bist du lit?« (Are you lit?)

»The truck no longer has large exterior mirrors. It does, however, have cameras that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab.«

Alexander Thon,
Trainee as a professional driver

The new trainee truck was finally pickedup, in person, by six of our junior employees at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth, where they were instructed extensively in the technology. They themselves, are now fully responsible for taking care of the vehicle, the transports it is used for and the scheduling. That Thon is thus directly responsible is a great advantage for him during his training. Being a professional driver is his dream job. »I applied, took a close look at everything, and I can tell you, there are ultra-modern vehicles here,« he says. »The work is never dull at L.I.T. I‘ve compared the different forwarding companies and this is the best training company for me.«

Alexander Thon, being in his second year of training as a professional driver, is often out on the road in our trainee truck. The vehicle – the ultramodern Actros Edition 1 from Mercedes Benz – is wonderfully spacious and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. One thing that is immediately apparent: The truck no longer has large exterior mirrors. It does, however, have cameras that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab. »The benefit is that the blind spot is almost completely eliminated,« Thon explains. »The camera captures both cyclists and pedestrians. When someone is captured in this space, a warning triangle appears on the screen.« When the space gets tight, an acoustic signal is set off, with a sound that cannot be overheard. Tracking trailers is also important. »The camera shows me the end of the trailer in a curve, thereby making sure I always have a good overview,« he says.

However this is not all: Our trainee also knows that technology is no substitute for an attentive driver. As a driver, you can never rely fully on a warning signal sound being provided by the turn assistant. Robert Hennemann, who is responsible for the operative business of L.I.T. Cargo, also points out: »A turn assistant provides no guarantee.« Drivers and all other road users need to bear this in mind, so caution is always important in traffic. Camera-supported turn assistants have been available on the market as retrofit packages for trucks for quite some time now. Standardised, preinstalled systems have only been in existence for a short time. »These are newer versions, which can also intervene in the braking system and thus do more than merely emitting a warning signal. The system then brakes as well. It‘s like a lane departure warning system for cars,« Hennemann reports.

»The truck no longer has large exterior mirrors. It does, however, have cameras that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab.«

Alexander Thon,
Trainee as a professional driver

At present, only the trainee truck is equipped accordingly. Our prospective professional driver is looking forward to learning his trade with such a state-of-the-art truck. The most striking feature of the state-of-the-art equipment is that the trainee truck no longer has large exterior mirrors, but cameras that that show both the side of the vehicle and the road space on a screen in the driver‘s cab. Alexander Thon’s enthusiasm was increased further by the fact that we called on our trainees to select their favourite design for the vehicle and to contribute their ideas. Thanks to their creative input, the trainee truck is a real eye-catcher: Not only is our tile pattern in the typical L.I.T. colours prominently displayed on it, but also our training motto: »Bist du lit?« (Are you lit?)

The new trainee truck was finally pickedup, in person, by six of our junior employees at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth, where they were instructed extensively in the technology.
They themselves, are now fully responsible for taking care of the vehicle, the transports it is used for and the scheduling. That Thon is thus directly responsible is a great advantage for him during his training. Being a professional driver is his dream job. »I applied, took a close look at everything, and I can tell you, there are ultra-modern vehicles here,« he says. »The work is never dull at L.I.T. I‘ve compared the different forwarding companies and this is the best training company for me.«

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