Loading timber from within the cab

Every time that a timber truck driver steps out of the vehicle, the risk of an occupational accident increases. Therefore many functions have recently been developed for improving safety at work as well as ergonomics. Both loading and tightening of the load are actions that can today be controlled from within the cab.

There are no video games being played in this photo, just timber being loaded.

Alucar wants to be at the forefront of this development and in addition to their own innovations, the company also works in close cooperation with crane manufacturers and other partners. In April 2017, Alucar fitted a timber truck with the first mass-produced remote-controlled crane in the world.

“Timber transport will become more automated in the future and more things can be done by pressing buttons inside the truck’s cab. This makes the driver’s job easier and faster and also improves safety at work,” says Alucar’s Managing Director Anssi Alasaari.

One of the innovative products that Alucar represents is the ExTe COM 90 automatic tensioner bunks. They allow for the load to be tied automatically from within the cab with the press of a button, since the tensioning system is integrated into the bunks. The system considerably improves safety, since it also tensions the load during driving.

Another new product that Alucar has installed is a multi-functional drawbar coupling, which includes not only the coupling, but also the hydraulics and electrical sockets for trailer functions. This product, manufactured by the company VBG, also reduces the need for manual work and the need to leave the truck’s cab.

The HiVision crane developed by Hiab is a third example of an innovative new product that makes the driver’s life easier and more comfortable. Unlike a traditional crane, the HiVision crane is controlled with a VR headset from within the cab. Six cameras are installed on the crane and their sensors react to the driver’s head movements and change the view accordingly. The whole system works with the help of a computer placed in the truck’s cab.

Exte Com 90 timber bunks
Automatic integrated load tensioning
HiVision crane
A crane that is controlled remotely from within the cab
MFC drawbar coupling
The hydraulics and electrical sockets integrated into the drawbar couplin

The first mass-produced crane was installed at Alucar in April 2017.

“Installing a HiVision crane is quite different compared to installing a conventional crane, therefore the installation required fresh thinking from us. Fortunately, Alucar’s electricians are fantastic professionals who quickly adopted the new installation method,” says Alucar’s Product Manager Leif Finne.

The installation of the HiVision crane is a good example of the new kinds of requirements that superstructure builders face in the future. Electrical installation will become increasingly important and smooth cooperation with partners will play a key role. The crane, the truck and the superstructure have to work together seamlessly.

Although HiVision is a completely new kind of control system, the installation went without a hitch.

“The first installation requires careful planning to find functional places for the computer, the controller and the camera cables. The crane is controlled from the passenger seat and it is important to achieve an ergonomic working posture, and to make sure that the equipment wires stay out of the way,’ says Finne.

In addition to safety at work and ergonomics, the remote-controlled crane has other advantages as well. When there is no traditional crane cab, the truck can be made lighter and shorter.