Smarter Trucks through Smarter Electrification 08.08.2016 Product news When a new truck arrives at the Alucar workshop in Maxmo, electricians Christian Finne and Roger Östman are the first to examine it, because the very first job is installing the cables on the chassis before the superstructure can be mounted. Done this way, the job takes just one hour. “It’s much simpler and quicker to get the cables in before starting on the superstructure. If it’s done afterwards, the job takes between 4 and 5 hours,” Christian Finne explains. Alucar is the only timber transport manufacturer able to offer all electrical installations from start to finish. This means that, in practice, the customer gets a fully finished truck and won’t have to visit many different workshops after having the superstructure installed. “Modern electrical installations require programming” After the cables have been fitted in the chassis, Christian Finne jumps in the driver’s cab to start the most challenging, but to Finne’s mind, also the nicest stage of the operation. No mechanical tools are needed here, just a computer. “Because modern electrical installations require programming, electrification can’t really be done without a computer anymore,” Finne says. Roger Östman, who has been working for Alucar since the beginning, notes that technology is taking giant steps forward. In the early years, trucks had hardly any electrical installations but today there are more and more. “Electrical installation has advanced so much that I decided to stop performing it for truck cabs and concentrate on other wiring jobs. I’m happy to leave the cab work for Christian,” he smiles. Christian Finne started work at Alucar in early 2015. Before that he worked for a garage dedicated to a well-known brand of passenger cars. “Everything is bigger in a truck – even the electric system is 24 volts instead of 12. You have to keep learning all the time to keep up with the new electrotechnical developments of various truck brands.” Alucar applies the CAN bus technology to its electrical work. This technology has long been favoured in passenger cars but is fairly new in trucks. CAN bus makes it possible to control several different functions via the same cable. The advantages of this technology are fewer cables and the possibility of more advanced functions. “You have to keep learning all the time to keep up with the new electrotechnical developments of various truck brands,” says Christian Finne. Electrical installations have to be carefully planned in advance Almost all logging trucks today have at least their work lights and crane controls cabled. In addition to these, Alucar offers plenty of other functions too, to both improve safety and simplify the loading of timber. “You can control numerous different functions from your dashboard, such as the oil cooler fan, the tachometer controller and the working lights of the integral crane and the trailer. Various kinds of warning systems have also become more common. They let the driver know if a stabiliser is not locked in place or if the crane arm is too high,” Finne and Östman explain. Because advances in technology have been happening so quickly, logging truck buyers are not always aware of the possibilities on offer. It’s important to plan electrical installations carefully in advance. “It’s easiest and cheapest to do all the electrical installations at once. Taking the dashboard apart takes time, so of course it’s best if it only has to be done once. That’s why it makes sense to make your wish list as complete as possible before handing it over to us to work on,” Finne advises.