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The vehicle is equipped with a turning assistant

The Nagel-Group debuts its own driving school tractor unit

The Nagel-Group continues to focus on the training and qualification of professional drivers. In connection with this, the food logistics company has acquired a tractor unit for its Nagel Driving Center. The 420 hp MAN vehicle is equipped with a turning assistant as part of the pilot project. The Nagel-Group is also testing the functionality of the turning assistant in the field.

"The vehicle opens up new opportunities for us in the area of training and further education," says Raik Spengler, Manager at the Nagel-Group's Academy for Truck Drivers. He arrived in Borgholzhausen together with the driving instructors Rüdiger Baade and Axel Melzer on Tuesday 19 February to receive delivery of the tractor unit and take it back to Schwerin. The Nagel Driving Center, where the vehicle will be used, was founded by the Nagel-Group in Schwerin in June 2018.

You cannot see the special-purpose equipment for the driving school in the MAN TGX 18.420 from the outside. You can only see the additional accelerator and brake pedals on the passenger side once you open the door. Even the seating is different compared to conventional models. The driving school model is designed as a seven-seater. As such, the practical course content can also be demonstrated in small groups.

Learning to drive a vehicle that is used in the day-to-day operations

"This is especially important for advanced training," explains Spengler. This is because the Nagel-Group regularly trains its drivers to drive with anticipation while conserving resources. Thanks to the vehicle’s special design, the driving instructor can demonstrate to several professional drivers how the driving style can be adapted to make it even more economical and sustainable.

First and foremost, the vehicle will be used to train the Nagel-Group's apprentice drivers. "We have the internal resources to carry out the training according to our quality standards," explains Spengler. This is how the Nagel-Group is actively addressing the shortage of professional drivers. An added advantage is that the apprentices are trained to drive a vehicle that is used in the day-to-day operations. This means additional training is not required.

Turning assistant for more safety

Alongside training and further education, there is another interesting aspect to this equipment: this vehicle is equipped with a turning assistant, which is used to make blind spots "visible". "The turning assistant is a useful tool. However, using it does not substitute a driver's skill. Only when this is combined with a cautious and anticipatory driving style, which is taught at the Nagel-Group, does it become truly effective," explains Raik Spengler.

The driving school vehicle is part of a pilot project in which the Nagel-Group is testing the use of the turning assistant in different vehicles. In addition to the driving school truck, the technology will also be tested in one rigid and five tractor units. "Seven vehicles will be in operation and rigorously tested in the field from May onwards," says Arthur Ebel, Supervisor Fleet Management. The effectiveness and the functionality of this technology will be evaluated on the basis of a three-month pilot phase

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