French Multinational Automobile Manufacturer Renault, through their authorized distributor in Uganda Victoria Motors Ltd, has introduced Renault Trucks codenamed Safety+ Edition Trucks on to the Ugandan Market.
The French Company, that started production in 1899, has introduced the Safety +Edition Trucks that come with additional and enhanced features like High Power Retardation, Neutral Inhibition while at slopes, Hill-start Anti-runaway parking brake, all aimed at enhancing the truck driver experience while improving on safety.
The features ensure a high level of safety for the driver, other road users and at the same time improving productivity and revenues for business owners.
According to Dickson Mwesigwa the Victoria Motors Uganda Sales Manager, the introduction of the Safety+ Edition Trucks is to purely respond to safety issues on the road.
“Its introduction is basically to improve safety on the roads as well as being fuel economic. Most accidents are always as a result of human errors.
“These trucks come with automatic hand breaks, neutral inhibition, Anti Runaway Parking Brakes among other safety features,” said Mwesigwa during the launch at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Road Fatalities and Traffic Accidents are a growing problem with statistics from the Uganda Police Force indicating that in a span of 20 days in June 2017, they registered over 53 deaths as a result of road accidents.
Majority of these accidents are as a result of human error, defective vehicle condition of which the two combined attribute to about 90% of the causes. Road condition only accounts to about 5%.
Aside from introducing the Safety+ Edition trucks, Victoria Motors also embarked on a campaign aimed at reducing road accidents by providing robust services and training drivers in order to equip them with for their safety, that of other road users and that of the goods carried.
Derrick Feta, a Renault Truck Trainer while talking about the Optifuel Driver Challenge that was started with the express aim of rewarding the best eco-efficient and safe drivers, said that 20 drivers were shortlisted for the final competition testing their rational driving skills in the areas of coasting, retarder use and eco-driving.
“Taking advantage of the topography and the truckload, the driver is able to maintain a constant speed at )L/100km and hence improve fuel efficiency on the full journey.
“In the meantime, it gives the driver, an opportunity to anticipate any danger or obstacles on the road,” said Feta.
He said with the usage of the retarder alone, a driver can drastically reduce the speed of a loaded vehicle the service brake is used only to stop the vehicle.
“The benefits of a retarder is there is no wear and tear, so maintenance is free. The more the driver uses the retarder alone, the more he or she increases the life span of the service brakes,” added Feta.
Feta said the retarder is efficient and progressive thus limiting harsh breaking and is the right tool to cause the driver to practice rational driving.
“When you train drivers to use the retarder properly, one eliminates the risk of brake failure due to overheating (overuse) hence mitigating road accidents that come as a result of brake failure,” said Feta.
Renault produces a range of cars and vans, and in the past has manufactured trucks, tractors, tanks, buses/coaches, aircraft engines, and auto rail vehicles.
BY PAUL TENTENA