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Scania’s hill-hold feature and its predecessor

A hundred years ago, when starting in an incline, drivers could use a metal rod controlled by a steel wire to facilitate the take off and preventing the truck from rolling backwards. Today, drivers of Scania trucks can rely on a hill-hold feature integrated in the braking system.

In the Scania Museum collection, a vehicle from the early 1900s is fitted with a hill-support device – a metal construction pin-jointed to the chassis at one end while the other end is shaped to grip the road surface, preventing the truck from moving backwards.

The hill-support device was managed from the driver’s seat via a steel wire. The driver didn’t have to use the brake pedal, so the device made starting in inclines easier. As soon as the vehicle reached enough speed, the device could be raised in the up position, parallel to the chassis frame.

This solution was used on many vehicles, but over time engine power increased and the need for this device declined. Drivers used a combination of the parking brake and the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals to start the truck on inclines.

In 2009, in conjunction with the launch of a new version of Scania Opticruise, hill-hold was introduced on vehicles equipped with Scania’s electronic braking system, EBS. The interaction between the automated gearchanging system Scania Opticruise and the hill-hold feature – which engages on a stationary truck when the brake pedal is pressed – made starting on an incline very easy. Aided by an inclination sensor, the gearbox automatically selected the optimal starting gear, resulting in minimised wear-and-tear on the clutch and gearbox.