It weighs 26 tons, holds thousands of liters of rod salt or brine and should quickly clear the carriageway of the A7 between Hamburg and Bordesholm in Germany: the winter-service vehicle of highway maintenance service. It is always in use, when there are difficult conditions on the roads: rain or shine, snow and flash freeze, drivers must have their car fully under control anytime. So the drivers completed a special driver training – end of September at 21 degrees.
Driving instructor Michael Breitling at the test track in Hohenlockstedt (Steinburg): At a speed of 30 kilometers per hour they should do an emergency stop on dry pavement – but of course also with simulated rain, snow and ice. In use, they will be much faster on the road.
With such a 436-horsepower vehicle it is really a challange because of the size and weight. And another factor makes the vehicle of highway maintenance service to a particular case: the unfolded snow plough is as wide as two lanes. Each direction is to be cleared with a tour. An important training for drivers so that they do not cause accidents in the winter time.
18 drivers of road maintenance service Via Solutions North were trained these days. Most of them were there for the third time, practiced the brakes on slippery and wet ground last year twice.
Christian Merl, the spokesman of Via Solutions looks relaxed. Just he himself drove a truck and has completed a brake test. His conclusion: “cool”. But immediately afterwards he says, how important the training is for its drivers. Especially in tight corners the drivers have to know their vehicle very well. Every centimeter is important then. The driver should be able to clear the snow with a speed of 35 km/h. Exactly that is trained here. That means, the winter can come now …