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Old 27th July 2017, 15:19   #31
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Excellent decision. The incremental cost (both purchase and running) will be negligible.
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Old 27th July 2017, 16:01   #32
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

While this certainly is a step in the right direction, a few points that remain to be seen are:
1. The number of fleet owners who will allow the AC to function and not dismantle it to save fuel, prevent increased rest hours etc.
2. The number of drivers who use it for their own good. City cabbies turn the AC off the minute the passenger gets off, resulting in bad health and shabby cab interiors.
3. Medium to long term maintenance of the ACs in a country where sheer basics like brakes, spare wheels and lights aren't maintained.

Lastly, like all rules, it is not the presence of the rule but the adherence to it and accountability for the lack of it which matters the most.
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Old 27th July 2017, 17:42   #33
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Truck drivers deserve more respect than they get. This is a step in the right direction.
I have read that GST implementation has also eased their lives somewhat. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-earl...ers-1500456600)

More power to these hardworking guys!
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Old 27th July 2017, 19:15   #34
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

A much welcome move.

Air conditioning improves comfort levels by a huge margin. It's the only reason I take my car out if I travel during 9-4 . Otherwise , a two wheeler would save me half the time and be much cheaper.

The harsh sun in Chennai always is a trigger for headaches. There has not been a single day when I haven't got out in the heat and returned without an headache.

I can imagine non air conditioned cabins being a furnace like how we the enter a car that has been parked in the hot sun.

The whole debate about impact on mileage is ridiculous because the difference will only be 0.1 kmpl at max. You can't compare the impact of Aircon systems on cars with that on cars.

The load of the Aircon on the truck engine won't even be 1% compared to the equivalent load carried by a truck.

Comparisons with AC buses are also irrelevant because the cabin size would need huge compressor whereas the truck cabin is only the size of a car.

With time , even if 50% of truckers are allowed by their owners to use it , they will get habituated soon and will refuse to drive a truck without AC. How many non AC cabs we see these days compared to say 15 years back ? Zilch. These days, most cab drivers I speak to in Chennai will run the air conditioner with engine on if they want to take a short nap. They are not bothered by the mild drop in fuel efficiency.

Last edited by Ragavsr : 27th July 2017 at 19:31.
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Old 27th July 2017, 22:24   #35
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

There are two things that could make an impact:
1. The noise insulation provided by the AC cabin. We have heard of incidents where the drivers of huge car carrier trucks have been driving for quite a long distance without even knowing that they have made an accident. This AC cabin would make it even more difficult to alert the driver using horn in case of overtaking. Also, the volume at which they play music is known to everyone.
2. With gst coming into effect trucks are able to cover an average of 30% more distance per day (300-325 km as against 225km earlier). A lot of non-value adding activities such as waiting at check posts and unnecessary paperwork has been reduced. This would eventually reduce the fatigue of the drivers.
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Old 27th July 2017, 22:50   #36
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Still doesn't take away from the fact that it's a step in the right direction. There is no doubt that an air-conditioner greatly elevates comfort levels & reduces fatigue.
True.

Except, those trucks are owned by someone, and driven by someone else.

Consider that Delhi Police Innovas come without an AC fitted from the factory itself (specially ordered!), and these folks spend life in 45*C+ temperatures for months on end without a break.

Also consider that the truck driver will have no qualms about (a) running the AC while he sleeps in the cabin; or (b) removing the compressor and selling it, retrofitting a similar looking piece of junk (after which it'll be life as usual for him again).

Mandating that truck cabs be air-conditioned is one thing, but enforcing that the AC is used will be another.

Another ridiculous order by the MoRTH, without understanding ground realities. Do they even think about drivers' working hours regulations? Even if they mandate that now, who would even enforce that?

Off-topic question, has anyone on this forum ever been checked with a breathalyser outside metropolitan city limits and on highways?
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Old 28th July 2017, 00:59   #37
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

What about the trucks which get their bodies made as aftermarket job? Especially the forward cowl one's with wooden cabin bodies fitted afterwards by local fabrication shops.

I don't think that people will swiftly shift to factory made AC cabins suddenly just because of AC requirement as a rule.
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Old 28th July 2017, 05:19   #38
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Indeed a move in the right direction. A proper hvac system is required. Up north, the temperatures in winter get so cold that it is a challenge to drive. I wish manufacturers pay attention to the cabin design and work on NVH while they go about it. While air conditioning is good, it also helps if they can control noise intrusion. This is another contributor that leads to the driver nodding off. The constant buzz of the engine, tire noise and whatever else.

Volvo introduced the idea of air conditioned and ergonomically designed cabins well over a decade ago. Fortunately our local truck companies have started looking into these things now.

On a different note, I hope the government looks into making this mandatory for our extremely stressed out locomotive pilots and cooks in the pantry car. Air conditioning has been introduced at a very small scale but the units end up failing and are never attended. The less said the better about the hygiene standards of food on our trains.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 28th July 2017 at 05:22.
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Old 28th July 2017, 08:41   #39
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

FUN SIDE - As a kid (was a automobile freak as young as 13yrs), I wanted to be a truck driver so that I could drive all day! And it was Tata 407 my favorite back then lol. But I always had the concern of no a/c in trucks and now the dream comes true after 20 yrs of my 'vision'.

OTHER SIDE - Easy for Law to mandate a/c in truck cabins, but can we ever dream that drivers will actually switch on a/c ? Uber/Ola or name it, most drivers drive without a/c when they get a chance even when passengers are in! In the transportation industry where mileage of 2-3 is the winner (read as the success of Bharath Benz), additional load of a/c is going to reduce mileage (even if slightly) and going to be a turn off for drivers. My take is - hard to implement/enforce.
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Old 28th July 2017, 10:43   #40
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
True.

Another ridiculous order by the MoRTH, without understanding ground realities. Do they even think about drivers' working hours regulations? Even if they mandate that now, who would even enforce that?
I agree with the working hours point but disagree for calling it ridiculous. Somehow, I find this regulation to be a superficial solution than something that addresses the root cause. I am not against the regulation for providing cooled and comfortable workplaces for truck drivers. It is a fundamental right of a worker to demand a safe and comfortable workplace and in a country where the voice of working class is seldom loud, it is good that the govt steps in to make their life better. This should actually be a demand by the driver unions across India to demand better comfort(working conditions) for the drivers, but anyway govt stepping in is good for them.

But greater good can be brought by bringing a regulation about working hours for drivers and make the personal logging device mandatory like in Europe. That would not only improve driver's life but also other road users who are faced with a massive 15t truck swerving because of a tired driver. It goes a long way in improving road safety and making truck driving an attractive job. As many of us pointed, trucks will eventually have working A/C only during the RTO inspection as one cannot really check during the regular times.

Making personal logging device mandatory and coupling it to trucks will force the drivers to stick to the time limit and force the logistics companies to work out an amicable solution. I feel this is more tamper proof than ensuring drivers are using the air conditioning systems. There is also some really cool startups working on regulating the working time of their own drivers in India.

These are the regulations that are in effect in Europe for driver work time,
Source https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes...riving_time_en

  1. Daily driving period shall not exceed 9 hours, with an exemption of twice a week when it can be extended to 10 hours.
  2. Total weekly driving time may not exceed 56 hours and the total fortnightly driving time may not exceed 90 hours.
  3. Daily rest period shall be at least 11 hours, with an exception of going down to 9 hours maximum three times a week. Daily rest can be split into 3 hours rest followed by 9 hour rest to make a total of 12 hours daily rest
  4. Weekly rest is 45 continuous hours, which can be reduced every second week to 24 hours.
  5. Breaks of at least 45 minutes (separable into 15 minutes followed by 30 minutes) should be taken after 4 hours at the latest.

This is a tacho device that logs the data and is also part of the telemetry system of modern trucks. (Pic source: http://www.tachosupplies.co.uk/)

Name:  tacho.JPG
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Old 28th July 2017, 12:28   #41
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSharan View Post
I can quote a parallel example from railways. Now all new IR engines (Diesel or Electric) are fitted with AC in cabins. However, I know for sure that these AC's are not used, because of fuel efficiency drop perception (or higher electricity consumption in case electric locos).
Why would an Indian Railways loco pilot care about the fuel efficiency dropping because he switches on the A/c ?

Is this fact or just assumption ?
Because I doubt the a/c in a Locomotive would cause any difference in the fuel efficiency given the hauling capacity of the engines.
As for the electric locos's I doubt there is a meter in the loco that records how much electricity it consumed ??
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Old 28th July 2017, 12:46   #42
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

We need to take this in the right spirit guys, this should be a basic need for all drivers.

The trucks are in dire need of modernization, it's not just about the AC, but we need better trucks which are able to haul more and quicker, and also not hold up traffic by struggling to moving at 20kmph.
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Old 28th July 2017, 21:49   #43
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixantz View Post
This is funny. I don't know why people are even mentioning "fuel efficiency" in a truck with ac thread! It's absurd. The truck engine won't even notice the compressor attached to it what with the humongous torque.
More than the actual figures, what matters more is perception in the mindset of people in our country. That's what I said too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSharan View Post
In our country, the mileage is still considered to be a good metric for efficiency and expenses, and it's a general perception which says running AC brings down the mileage.
We could actually go into the math and see how that makes a difference. Given the mileage the trucks cover, even a fraction would make a huge difference to the TCO of the truck and in turn the bottom line of the logistics firm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NaXal View Post
I wonder, if government is so concerned on driver fatigue, why is Indian Railways still have its majority of the locomotives with Non A/C driver cabin ?

Isn't that the first place to start ?

By the way, Indian Railways has something called dead man switch mechanism. Where the locomotive driver needs to press few buttons in sequence in order to keep the locomotive running. A device sounds an audible alarm (randomly) in a certain span of time. The loco-pilot has to press few buttons in sequence to keep the locomotive running. If the system finds improper entry, the loco would apply the breaks to stop the train.

Isn't that a better or practical option to keep truckers awake? Specially with ECU driven engines, it is more secure way. Off course, corrective measure may be different compare to a train loco. In case of truck, may be shut off accelerator input, but you get the point right ?

If the aim is to reduce accident from driver fatigue, that dead man switch is way more effective than A/C cabin. At-least government run Indian Railways seems to have proven that. Since none of their locomotive runs without this dead man switch mechanism.
Sir, FYI, every new loco that IR turns out now is an airconditioned loco. However, the use of air conditioner is discouraged (though not explicitly.) Now, dead man's switch in locomotives has a different working mechanism. Let me try to lay it out for you. There is no accelerator or gear in locomotives. An equivalent thing is called notch, and loco pilots run through notches, as they accelerate the loco. Each notch is designed for a particular speed range. Now the loco pilot can leave the loco running in a higher notch and the train would maintain its speed, even if there was no intervention from pilots. Hence the need for a dead man's switch to keep the loco pilot alert.

In trucks, the driver needs to press on the accelerator continuously, and if the pressure is removed, the truck would slow down. This in effect acts as a dead man's switch. I hope you see the difference in essence. For alertness, there could be other mechanisms such as detecting driver fatigue via tracking the eye etc. There's a system in newly launched octavia that detects driver fatigue and sounds an alarm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
Why would an Indian Railways loco pilot care about the fuel efficiency dropping because he switches on the A/c ?

Is this fact or just assumption ?
Because I doubt the a/c in a Locomotive would cause any difference in the fuel efficiency given the hauling capacity of the engines.
As for the electric locos's I doubt there is a meter in the loco that records how much electricity it consumed ??
It's a matter of perception. When it comes to consumption of fuel, it is logged in case of diesel locomotives. When it comes to electric locomotives, especially the new 3 phase one's, every pilot has to make an entry in the log book at the end of his trip to show the number of units consumed and number of units regenerated (3 phasers regenerate electricity while braking and send it back to the grid).

The loco pilots are rated on these parameters. It is difficult to get the actual first hand proof, but I'll try to look it up on internet and share it here.
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Old 28th July 2017, 23:18   #44
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSharan View Post
In trucks, the driver needs to press on the accelerator continuously, and if the pressure is removed, the truck would slow down. This in effect acts as a dead man's switch. I hope you see the difference in essence.
I disagree here. A significant number of accidents involving trucks are known to happen due to the drowsiness of the driver when behind the wheel thereby rendering the accelerator pedal's functions as a "dead man's switch" ineffective. The reasons are simple:

1. Trucks generally move at a slow, numbing pace inducing sleep to the already overworked drivers.
2. They do not respond like cars to accelerator inputs or the lack of them and hence the impact on the driver for those few seconds is not as profound as you think it is. The reasons are the way trucks are designed to drive/perform.
3. Heard of drivers putting a brick on the accelerator pedal on straight roads? It is a fact and happens to this day.
4. Modern trucks have Cruise Control systems which pretty much work like notches on boring 4 laners.
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Old 29th July 2017, 05:48   #45
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Default re: AC cabins for trucks mandatory from December 31, 2017. EDIT: Not anymore

I wonder how much difference in fuel economy we will actually see in a moving truck. Current trucks drive with their windows open and we have to consider the impact this has due to increased coefficient of drag. Would be interesting if the manufacturers could test this.

Obviously having the a/c on when stationary will consume fuel.

Anything to improve working conditions is good but the biggest issue is will the drivers actually use it. I have yet to see any bus or lorry that has proper seat belts.
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