BEST-BKF – Winner's Day at the Mercedes-Benz Trucks Wörth plant: Young truckers are taking the wheel
- Mercedes-Benz TruckTraining makes even the best new drivers better
- 70 000 drivers qualified in 10 years of professional driver training
- Anticipatory driving relieves strain on drivers and budgets
- New innovations support future professional drivers in their working life and require life-long learning
Stuttgart / Wörth – Logistics firms are keeping a watchful eye on the lack of professional drivers and thus also on training new drivers. And that's also part of the reason why the BEST-BKF competition was created – to get upcoming young drivers on the start line and ready to take the wheel. Held at the beginning of this year, the 2018 edition of BEST-BKF will be the fifth time the big competition for apprentice haulage drivers takes place. Twenty-four young hopefuls have now qualified to participate in the Mercedes-Benz TruckTraining. At the end of it there will be a certified module which is required as part of compliance with German professional driver's qualification legislation (BKrFQG).
The Mercedes-Benz TruckTraining team shared their theoretical and practical knowledge about anticipatory driving with the BEST-BKF participants. The young drivers spent a whole day on the TruckTraining Eco-Training module, for which the participants had already successfully proven their theoretical qualities as part of the 2018 BEST-BKF competition. The Eco-Training is not just about adopting an anticipatory driving style, but also about topics like how aerodynamic influences, tyres and fuel-saving driving all have a role to play.
Anticipatory driving and use of the assistance systems relieves strain on drivers, budgets and the environment
All of the BEST-BKF winners took to the 100 km long test track a total of three times. They were assessed on their fuel consumption, as well as the respective driving time around the route both before and after receiving the training. The third round allowed the TruckTraining Team to demonstrate how an optimal economically-minded driving style really works.
The results surprised even the best drivers in the group of BKF rookies: the average fuel saving of all participants was 7.5 percent and the best value was even 13.0 percent. On the second round, they saved up to 6.4 l/100 km compared with their own reference drive, and that despite a faster speed.
Participation in an Eco-Training course uses a driving style analysis to determine an appropriate and personalised driving strategy to drastically reduce fuel consumption. In a nutshell: anticipatory driving and the use of the assistance systems relieves strain on drivers, budgets and the environment.
Professional driver training is a building block in the comprehensive range of qualifications which Mercedes-Benz TruckTraining offers
In this domain, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has a proud figure to share – more than 70 000 drivers have qualified over the course of 10 years. What's more, in June 2008 Mercedes-Benz became the first truck manufacturer to receive approval from the German state for their range of qualifications in accordance with the BKrFQG legislation. Today, Mercedes-Benz offers its comprehensive scope of qualifications on a national level all over Germany. The company currently has 16 unloaded 40-tonne Actros models equipped for training purposes with a converted cab and seven seats.
The scope of the practical training courses includes the following modules: "DriverTraining Plus" for learning about vehicle technologies, "Eco-Training" for improving the economical driving style, "Driving safety training", "Load securing in practice", "Legal requirements in haulage, including driving and rest times" and "The truck as a workplace".
Including the time before BKrFQG certification, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been delivering driver training courses for more than 47 years already. In all, the training catalogue features 13 different offers, of which six aim at achieving an efficient driving style. The DriverTraining Plus company seminar seeks to qualify hauliers and other businesses with the BKrFQG requirements for improving driver behaviour.
The new generation of drivers will be at home in the digital truck
The future is already present in today's trucks. The young drivers now being trained in Wörth will, of course, make use of innovations from the fields of efficiency, safety, connectivity, automated driving and electromobility. By way of example, the new Actros is the first series-produced truck to be equipped with MirrorCam in place of regular exterior mirrors. Thanks to connectivity in the cab, drivers will be able to use the Multimedia Cockpit to obtain access to various apps from our Truck App Portal. At the heart of the "Human Machine Interface" (HMI) is the new, intuitively controlled Multimedia Cockpit. It features two centrally-positioned colour displays. Instead of the traditional instrument cluster with speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge, there now stands a primary colour display. The secondary screen features touchscreen technology. Using this, drivers can control the majority of functions within the truck. These innovations were also a topic at the training course for the young hopeful truckers.