At your service30 June 2021
Most customers probably think of Haldex as a commercial vehicle components manufacturer; and of course it is, manufacturing and supplying not only brakes but also suspension and braking components and other equipment for vehicles worldwide.
But that is not all it does, by any means. To support the safe and effective operation and maintenance of its parts, Haldex also acts as a publisher, a training provider and technical support organisation. Not only does it provide these varied additional offerings, and in multiple European languages (English, French and German at least), but also mostly free of charge. The examples below offer more detail and highlight new developments.
These services are developed by Haldex’s European Technical Services Organisation, now four years old. Its technicians and service engineers bring real-world expertise, as well as their engineering passion, to educate customers and help them solve problems.
Trailer Application Guide
Starting from an overhead image of a tractor-trailer combination, the Trailer Application Guide locates Haldex components around the vehicle. It acts like a table of contents for its parts inventory, and clicking on a part provides an overview and more technical information. This service is available for free, 24/7, with no registration required: bit.ly/2JCYLU8
Diagnostics assistant. A new section within U-ABS includes step-by-step diagnostics assistance to support workshops. As not all workshops are able to provide every technician with a laptop computer, the diagnosis assistant can be printed, complete with fields that need filling in, and stored for future reference. Work is currently ongoing to replicate this system for EBS, too.
Modul-T parts search. To be made available in English, French, German and also Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech and Russian, it will help customers across Europe identify parts needed for these popular air disc brakes. This system is also being expanded to cover the latest Gen 2 Modul-T brakes.
Calculator. Haldex’s load sensing valves make sure that brake performance always matches what drivers on the road need by modulating a vehicle’s braking pressure depending on how heavily the vehicle is loaded (static load). As the valve is not pre-set with suspension and brake pressures dedicated to a specific trailer, the installer must do this. For a steel suspension, it needs to calculate a lever length; for air suspension, it must calculate a mechanical pivot point, in both cases according to a mathematical formula. Vehicle safety and efficiency depends on the accuracy of this calculation. A new online calculator available in English, French and German language helps customers carry out this work, speeding up the process and reducing the risk of mistakes. Once completed, the results can be printed out for future reference.
Webinars. “The pandemic and restrictions have speeded up the digitalisation of training across the industry, and also at Haldex,” observes Pascal Blais, leader of the company’s European technical service organisation. As a result, Haldex has launched customer webinars, with some countries, in particular in Poland, UK and Italy, France and Germany, taking the lead. They are just the start of a new approach to training for the vehicle component OEM. For example, while a face-to-face EB+ basic training course lasts two days, that format would never work online. Instead, Haldex has split the course into five shorter modules, each lasting about 90 minutes. Although the digital course covers the same amount of material, it is structured differently to better hold the focus and attention of virtual attendees. In addition, Haldex has also developed one-hour training sessions on TPMS (tyre pressure management systems) and traction assist, the function that actuates the Haldex lift axle valve to transfer the load on to the drive wheels in case of a loss of grip.
Customer demonstrations. Whether in person or virtual, this technical training is carried out live, specifically in response to customers’ unique needs. While a fee is often charged for this kind of training, Haldex is also planning to offer technical sales training demonstrations for free. This includes how to use the Trailer Application Guide, an introduction to the Haldex website, how to find the right spare parts or how to replace brake pads. These demonstrations will be offered periodically to customers either directly by Haldex or via its distributors.
Support hotline. Recently, Haldex has begun trials of a special telephone hotline for customers in the UK, France and Germany. These technical hotlines, offered in the country’s language, connect workshops with Haldex technicians and service engineers. Over the phone, they can provide a part reference, help find alternatives to discontinued products and aid customers with diagnosis through documentation, drawings and advice. Haldex plans to roll out this service to other countries, once trial results are studied.
Remote service. Haldex can provide tailored, task-specific support to workshops, virtually. For example, during the summer holidays when most of the technicians are away on vacation, Haldex can support a less-experienced site technician with more challenging tasks. For example, when it comes to pinpointing problems with EB+ EBS braking systems, Haldex technicians can tap into the workshop’s laptop computer remotely to run the diagnosis procedure. “We are their eyes; they have the hands to do the operation,” is how Pascal Blais describes it. Also available now is mobile support. Workshop technicians are offered access to remote assistance from Haldex technicians by downloading and enabling an app. In future, this might include an augmented reality function to provide a video feed from the device to the Haldex technicians, to help direct the local technician.