Carrier Transicold has developed a tilting cab roof aerofoil and working platform to help ensure that routine maintenance on truck-mounted refrigeration units can be carried out in the field quickly and cost-effectively without compromising engineer safety. The new tilting aerofoil was developed with the help of Ryder Europe.
Increasingly, cab roof aerofoils are fitted to rigid trucks in order to improve vehicle aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. "In the majority of cases, fixed aerofoils also mean that engineers are unable to work on the refrigeration unit in a safe manner as it is unsafe to stand on the cab roof," explains Scott Dargan, Carrier Transicold UK's director, operations. "Even with adjustable aerofoils, there is very limited work space, and the lack of a suitable catwalk can increase the risk of an engineer slipping or damaging the cab roof."
As a result, an increasing number of trucks are being brought into workshops for what should be routine field maintenance. This means customers are without a working truck for longer than expected, which can also result in additional driver or replacement vehicle costs.
Realising the impact of this trend and the increasing importance of these aerofoils to the efficiency levels and branding of their customers' fleets, Carrier Transicold searched for an existing system that would still meet these requirements whilst giving engineers safe access and a stable platform. "After much searching, we were surprised to find that nothing suitable existed, so we made the decision to invest and design our own," explains Dargan.
The result is a system that can be fitted to any make or model of truck, whether new or retro-fit, and features a built-in tilt function with gas struts and a locking mechanism that allows it to be operated by a single
person. An integrated grab handle and punched anti-slip platform protects the cab roof whilst giving the engineer ample space. The tilted aerofoil also helps form a barrier to reduce the risk of a fall. The profiling of the aerofoil is customised to ensure refrigeration performance is not compromised.
With the newly designed solution, there is no need to tilt the truck's cab or to transport, assemble or load test any additional equipment. Customers will always have the right equipment in the right place at the right time. It also means any one of Carrier Transicold UK's 180 service engineers can safely access the unit single-handedly via a secure structure.
Ryder Europe worked with Carrier Transicold in the development and trials of the cab roof aerofoil. Andy Gallaugher, Ryder's Commercial Engineer states: "Carrier Transicold has managed to innovatively solve an age-old and ever-increasing industry problem, which helps to greatly minimise operator inconvenience and cost that is so important in today's environment."