Better visibility and increased Safety for SUEZ Trucks 27 May 2019
Safety Comes First
Safety is paramount at SUEZ Netherlands. As Health & Safety Specialist for the company, Ralph Kerkhoff was involved in the decision to install CornerEye®, the blind spot camera from Orlaco. "We operate more than 850 trucks in a wide range of models. When we drive them through urban and residential areas and business parks, our top priorities are traffic safety and the safety of people and other road users. Our main focus is on preventing accidents, whatever the circumstances; from driving on the roads to maneuvering heavy vehicles in business parks. Although we have already made significant progress, the technology is constantly developing, so we need to keep pace. We are willing to do everything in our power to guarantee safety."
SUEZ Recycling and Recovery Netherlands is part of the global SUEZ Group and specializes in waste and resource management. SUEZ is a driving force in the resource revolution, overseeing important chains and launching collaborations with customers, chain partners and other stakeholders with the aim of managing and protecting resources. SUEZ has more than 40 sites in the Netherlands, from which it advises clients and handles the prevention, collection, storage and transshipment, recycling and processing (while recovering energy) of waste streams. SUEZ Netherlands employs over 2000 staff and serves around 530,000 households and 80,000 businesses and other organizations.
As a specialist, Ralph keeps a close eye on developments in technology. He works with the Fleet and Logistics departments to put innovations into practice: "We analyze damage and accidents and share our knowledge and experience within the industry. Improvements still need to be made in terms of the visibility directly in front of the truck and on the right side of the front of the truck. When we look for solutions, we always start by asking 'What is effective?' and 'What will help?', and we always search for the best-in-class solutions. Although we were already familiar with Orlaco's reversing cameras, CornerEye® caught our attention because it provides real-time visibility of both critical risk areas as well as a view of the area behind the right-hand window pillar. Most trucks have six mirrors, so it's a real challenge for drivers to have to constantly divide their attention between all the mirrors and viewing directions. That means that being able to see several areas of vision at a glance is a real advantage," says Ralph.
The CornerEye® HD camera monitor on trucks displays several areas of vision at a glance
Practical Test for CornerEye® HD Camera
The CornerEye® system was installed on 55 trucks from the SUEZ fleet at the end of 2018, and all drivers were trained on how to use the camera monitors. Although it took a few weeks for drivers to get used to the vision system, they now say CornerEye® is an indispensable tool. Ralph is adamant that the system has proven its worth: "One driver told me that he was stationary at a red light and was just about to pull away when, without consciously looking, he spotted movement on the monitor that he hadn't seen through the window or in the mirrors. His reflexive response was to stay where he was. The camera's field of vision and the clarity of the monitor meant that he – thankfully – saw the person in time and was able to respond immediately. Other drivers have reported that CornerEye® provides them with a better view of roundabouts and cycle paths. The camera covers a wider area to the right of front of the truck, allowing you see further away from the vehicle. This improves visibility of the critical areas, so it's certainly an effective tool in that respect!"
"Being able to see more without moving your head and being able to respond quicker means safer driving. Once drivers have used the camera monitor system for a few weeks, they don't want to be without it again."
Greater Overview, Fewer Viewing Directions
The camera is positioned on the right-hand corner of the outside of the truck, and the digital 10-inch HLED monitor is mounted on the right-hand pillar or above the co-driver's window. This gives the driver a clear view of the area in front of the cab at a glance (class VI) and lets them see a greater deal to the right of the front of the cab (class V) and further ahead. As CornerEye allows you to view those fields of vision that are required by law, the front mirror and close-proximity mirror are no longer required. This means that the driver can see everything faster and with fewer viewing directions.
One aim for the future is to completely replace mirrors with cameras. The large side mirrors on trucks not only create a blind spot, but also offer a lot of resistance to the air flow, which reduces the truck's fuel economy. Ralph Kerkhoff says: "We have already removed all class V and VI mirrors wherever possible and replaced them with CornerEye, because 'less is more' — whether that's improving vision systems, reducing viewing directions and lines of sight, or minimizing the time it takes to see what's going on around the vehicle. I believe that we're well-equipped for the arrival of the mirrorless truck," says Ralph Kerkhoff.