Through Scania Sverige’s specialised training, drivers get to experience what it feels like to roll a vehicle using specially configured Scania trucks.
The heavy truck accelerates. The speedometer passes 30 kilometers per hour when something suddenly emerges from the morning haze on the long, straight stretch of highway. The driver is forced to quickly manoeuvre in order to avoid a collision.
Despite the low speed, the vehicle rolls violently, the left-side wheels lifting from the road. Within an instant, the tractor and trailer lay sideways on the asphalt. While the driver emerges safe, the accident results in high economic and material costs.
Though not quite. This time we are just pretending. We are in a neighbourhood near Arlanda airport and the runway has for the moment been transformed into an exercise area for Scania’s training in driving techniques to prevent rollover accidents.
“This was really useful”
With the help of two slightly modified Scania vehicles fitted with support wheels, which look a bit like the training wheels on a child’s bicycle, the course participants stretch the boundaries of different physical forces to simulate rollover accidents.
“This was really useful. To get the feeling of rolling, I had to force myself to go against all the safety precautions that I normally follow,” says participant Tobias Attorps, tanker driver at Simeon Logistics in Stockholm.
Ninety-five percent of all rollover accidents are the result of human errors including, among other things, ignorance, fatigue and lack of concentration. Excessively high speeds or sharp turns can also contribute to rollovers. While rollover incidents are very difficult to stop once the truck has already begun to turn over, it is possible to mitigate the risk with fairly simple measures.
“This is a good concept, as close to reality as you can get in an exercise,” says Petri Kekkonen, product manager, Driver Services, Scania Sverige and one of those responsible for the training.
“In reality, the margins are considerably smaller than those we work with during our training. Here, we conduct exercises in controlled environments with protective equipment to ensure safety. It is the specific feeling of overturning that we want drivers to experience during the course. Therefore, we place great focus on the participants’ driving experience.”
A full-day course
During the full-day course, theory is mixed with practice. From behind the wheel, drivers can manoeuvre between sudden emerging obstacles. Experienced supervisors guide the participants through the course.
“It can be difficult to mentally take the steps necessary to provoke the vehicles into a roll. But after completing the course we want participants to have the knowledge of how it can feel to be in such a situation in reality. This also helps improve their ability to assess risk factors and prepare to deal with rapidly changing traffic conditions,” says Petri Kekkonen.
Those interested in participating in the training may contact Petri Kekkonen at email@example.com.