Remember what it was like to get up and walk to the TV to change channels? It sounds old-fashioned but this is reality for a truck driver when loading. Until now. With wireless remote control a lot of unnecessary climbing in and out of the cab can be avoided.
Press a button and the vehicle adjusts itself to the height of the loading bay. Down goes the tail lift and loading begins – the display confirms it’s being distributed evenly without exceeding maximum axle weight. Once loaded, close the tailgate, jump in and drive.
“You can back up closer to low objects”
Let your fingers do the loading
The remote control saves time regardless if it’s the driver or somebody else doing the loading. Since the display shows a range of data from the load indicator, it’s easy to avoid overloading and uneven loading without having to run in and out of the cab to check the indicator all the time.
“A few years ago we let drivers begin testing the first remote control. Reactions to the prototype were very positive, so we continued to develop the real thing,” says Markus Olsson, component specialist working with the remote control at Volvo. Assisted by the remote it’s possible to raise and lower the suspension, roll the truck to one side, operate the rear tail lift, control loading lighting, start, stop and rev the engine – and lock the vehicle.
“Just imagine, by raising and lowering the suspension on each side of the truck the trailer can be rolled to one side – so it can come in close even when the loading bay isn’t straight,” explains Markus Olsson. “Together with the possibility of raising and lowering front or rear suspension, this makes the trailer highly versatile.’’
Freedom and efficiency
The remote has three different modes: loading, equipment and swap body. The functions available in each mode are largely decided by the driver.
There’s even a fixed setting for loading. The driver can save four different heights so the truck automatically adjusts to the preset height at the press of a button: a shortcut for drivers who often return to the same or similar loading bays.
Changeover between swap bodies is now also simpler. The two fixed positions have become three, which can all be saved. This means the driver can save the three standard heights for swap bodies and adjust the vehicle height with the press of a button, instead of gauging the height manually every time.
“Being able to stand outside the truck and see it from the side makes the work much simpler. I’m convinced this little gadget is going to help in countless ways,” says Markus Olsson.
Better, faster and smoother
Another improvement when loading is the increased stroke of the rear suspension. This helps when changing trailers, allowing the driver to lower the vehicle enough to reverse under the trailer. And the suspension has a reverse-mounted antiroll bar so you can back up closer to low objects, such as loading docks and asphalt pavers.
Saving workshop time and costs, the load indicator can now be calibrated by the driver or operator wherever scales are available. Calibration is carried out from the cabin with the load indicator – where data can be saved for up to 20 different trailers.