The safety of trucks driver is never actually given as much importance as it should be. Finally, the revolution has begun with manufacturers shifting their focus on the driver’s comfort, cabin, and most importantly, safety.
In India, the freight industry is growing at an exponential rate. With the growing industry comes competition, leading to increased commercial vehicle manufacturing. However, with everyone focusing on manufacturing more vehicles, the driver’s comfort is usually brushed under the rug.
It’s always the load-carrying capacities and fuel consumption that are taken into consideration in the traditional USPs of commercial vehicles.
Even though the manufacturers have begun to consider the drivers’ safety and comfort, there is still a long way to go for manufacturers to improve. On scrolling down further, you will find the 5 most critical improvements that require features that manufacturers may need to focus upon.
In India, it’s common to see a driver accompanied by a partner who usually assists the driver in making turns or reversing the vehicle, etc. This is because the driver’s vision is extremely limited, and it is essential that he has a partner to assist him in the same.
The limited vision and potential miscommunication can lead to life-threatening accidents. For example, in 2014, a tractor driver loaded with bricks rammed into another car solely because of miscommunication and limited visibility he has.
Therefore, ensuring the truck driver has 360° visibility around his vehicle (if not all the time, at least when needed) is an essential feature a future truck should have. This feature may be enabled by installing cameras and sensors around the vehicle. For example, when the truck is put in reverse gear or may be negotiating with sharper turns, these cameras automatically begin to display the view behind the truck and on the rear left and right sides of the truck.
And with parking sensors installed, the parking sensors will alert the driver if and whenever the truck comes dangerously close to anything. Adding additional lights like orange hazard lights like in Mahindra Jeeto can also be a good safety addition that will blink and warn people when the truck negotiates a tricky maneuver and avoid getting close to it.
Truck drivers usually continuously drive for extremely long hours and can quickly become tired. Driver weariness heightens the risk of accidents because it causes him to pay less attention to what is happening around him. The trucks need to be able to anticipate and stop this.
Modern Mercedes vehicles have the ability to detect driver drowsiness. The vehicle will signal the driver to stop for a coffee break if the steering is shaky or the vehicle deviates from the lane markers. In addition, the automobile may take control and automatically apply the brakes if it is approaching an impediment too closely and the driver is not indicating that they will stop.
These safety elements should unquestionably include in every modern truck. Along with alerting the driver, it should also notify the truck’s company’s headquarters, allowing them to phone the driver and advise him to stop and rest before continuing.
A lengthy truck may require numerous tries to make a sharp turn or a U-turn, stopping the rest of the traffic in the process. In addition, if trucks must enter it and negotiate certain turns, it is a nightmare for the truck crew and other road users.
Similar to how difficult it is to park a vehicle in a city. This may be because only the front two wheels of a long truck may be steered (change directions), while the other wheels have fixed directions. The maneuverability of a truck increases significantly if all wheels have the ability to change directions, as some trucks in Europe do (I’ve seen examples of this in the video below for a car). This gives the driver more flexibility and ensures that trucks do not impede traffic as much as they do now.
Long-haul truck drivers transporting materials far distances spend a lot of time inside the vehicle. They should have access to a large, well-equipped cabin. Today’s cabins only have room for one driver to sleep while the other is behind the wheel.
The cabin can have a chemical toilet, a coffee machine, an induction or microwave to cook basic foods, some entertainment options like a tiny television, etc. if the design and features are reconsidered. As their requirements are met, and they are not dependent solely on a highway, Dhaba will encourage drivers.
Multiple vehicles today have multiple control power outputs and fuel economy options like City/Eco/Sports driving modes. Trucks have extremely strong engines, and with high-powering engines comes high fuel consumption, which in turn leads to a high cost of running.
There is no doubt that a truck that can pull up to 30 tons will have high fuel consumption as compared to a truck that pulls up to 10 tons only. But the downside of this extra power is that when the truck is empty, all this extra power goes to complete waste, and the fuel economy doesn’t improve as drastically as it should.
Fuel economy commission is easy if there was a mechanism with which we could partially shut down engine power output. Trucks can easily run on maybe one-third of the original power, which will enable us to save fuel exponentially. Thus, making a power delivery a little more dynamic based on load and other factors, fuel efficiency can also increase, giving the truck the best of both worlds.
This blog gives an idea of how the future of trucks and the delivery segment can be drastically improved. With such soaring fuel prices, fuel efficiency becomes extremely important. And so does driver safety which has been neglected for far too long. Improvement of both is possible if followed these ideas for future trucks.