It is not only the driver that plays a very important role in road safety, also the vehicle condition has a significant contribution to ensuring safe and reliable transport operations. An unsafe vehicle can’t be operated safely even by the best trained driver.
It needs to be ensured that the different safety features of the truck or bus are working correctly as only then they are able to support the driver in critical situations.
MAN trucks are equipped with several safety features, such as the EBS (Electronic Brake System), which is a standard on all MAN vehicles. The EBS system includes the features of ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), ESP (Electronic stability Program) and the ASR (Anti Spin Regulation). In addition further electronic safety systems such as the lane guard system, emergency brake assistant are also available from MAN Truck & Bus. These functions are there to support the driver operating the vehicle safely in normal operations and specifically assist when the driver is presented with a critical situation.
In case of a malfunction on any of the safety systems the driver will be informed with a message appearing in the dashboard, in such cases the nearest authorized workshop should be contacted to advise any further action the driver should take. The trained staff of the authorized workshop can advise the driver over the telephone if the vehicle is still safe to operate.
The vehicle systems provide the messages for the driver, it is the drivers response to the warnings provided that contribute to the safe operations, ignoring indicated faults might harm the vehicle, the driver or other road participants.
Safety features include several different sensors to monitor the current vehicle status and driving condition. In case of irregularities the control unit will evaluate the next necessary steps and will support the driver in its actions.
The vehicles maintenance plan which is specified by the manufacturer includes different checks, including the checks of parts related to the safety functions of the vehicle. The fault messages which might have been stored in the vehicles fault memory are read out and evaluated and required measures are taken.
It is important that the diagnosis in case of a malfunction is carried out properly and the fault codes which are indicated in the vehicles dashboard and the diagnosis computer are understood correctly as a wrong diagnosis can lead to a wrong repair and can influence the vehicles road worthiness.
Furthermore the repairs which are not in line with the manufacturers standards might void the vehicles entire warranty.
Our authorized workshop, fulfill a certain standard which is set and monitored by the manufacturer.
They are equipped with the necessary diagnosis and testing equipment which is needed to make the correct diagnosis and be able to repair the required items. For some repairs special tools are needed which are also available in our partner workshops and are used by the trained technicians and electricians, which also have to undergo certain trainings, to be allowed to work on the individual systems available on the vehicles. This training degree need to be maintained at a certain level and the workshop staff is always trained on the newest updates which are introduced on our trucks and busses.
Another tool which is only available to our authorized workshops is the factory support, which is supporting the workshops in case of any difficulties via an online platform, in addition we have a team of experts based here in the Middle East who are able to visit the workshops on short notice to support the diagnosis. It does look it easy to exchange certain parts, but we ensure that the parts exchanged are the correct parts which are needed for the specific vehicle.
Especially the exchange of control units can cause problems, as the control units are personalized to the vehicle and need to be programmed when changing to again match with the vehicle and to ensure correct operation. Often control units are purchased second hand on the local market and fitted to vehicles, this might rectify the fault temporally but on the long term this can create more problems and will be more costly, as every control unit also is programmed with different parameters and cannot be just swapped from one vehicle to another.
Many times we come across failures, which have been created by wrong diagnosis and improper repairs by non-authorized workshops, this sometimes might create an unsafe condition of the vehicle and in addition it increases the downtime.
Our workshops are not allowed to carry out any temporary repairs, if those repairs might affect the road worthiness of the vehicle .This is not to make more money and sell additional repairs, this is to keep the driver and the people around him safe.
Another crucial point are the actual spare parts used, in our workshop only MAN genuine spare parts are used and fitted, these spare parts ensure a high quality standard and a 12 month warranty is given on most of the parts.
Our parts catalogue is always up to date to ensure that the latest available parts are used. MAN vehicles and parts are permanently undergoing further technical development. Therefore it might be that a part is superseded by a newer one.
Especially when it comes to brake pads or brake valves MAN spare parts are often seen as too expensive compared to parts available in the local market. We ensure that as example our brake pads fulfill a certain standard and will last longer as other brake pads available in the market.
When brake repairs are carried out in our workshop, the brake function is tested with a brake roller tester before releasing the vehicle back onto the open road, with that we can ensure a proper and safe operation of the brake system.
With the brake tester we are also able to see any irregularities on the brake system and are able to test and match a tractor head trailer combination; this ensures a correct brake force distribution to the entire combination.
Many times it can be seen that the brake force distribution of the train combination isn’t correct, this can lead to locking up the wheels and makes the vehicle more difficult to control especially in critical situations.
As many of the before mentioned aspects can reflect in the vehicles safe operation on the roads, we as MAN Truck & Bus strongly recommend vehicle owners to maintain and repair their vehicles in our authorized workshops, to keep vehicles in a safe and road worthy condition.