Getting to grips with winter
Freezing temperatures, precipitation, ice – there’s no mistaking when winter’s arrived. Noticing snow and ice on cars and removing it is not such a problem. But getting rid of ice from trucks is much more complicated and difficult – it’s also much more dangerous.
Even if the winter turns out to be comparably mild, water that has collected on the roofs of trucks may still freeze and then melt again so that at any time chunks or slabs of ice may – and often do – become absolutely dangerous and sometimes deadly missiles as they slip off into the road.
It’s not a new problem and efforts have been ongoing to solve it with some suggestions even making it to market. But none of the products guaranteeing that tarpaulins will remain free of ice has yet found widespread use. The main barriers to these products conquering the market are not only the installation and retrofitting costs but also the fact that they are difficult to use and the promised effectiveness is often only limited. Many truck drivers also can’t afford to spend long periods off the road while they carry out the necessary checks.
But, last winter, the ÖAMTC witnessed a revolutionary and amazingly simple invention when FEGAMAXX GmbH, which is based in Vorarlberg, presented its solution in Teesdorf at the ÖAMTC’s Safe Driving Centre.
The EISBART starts doing its job where other products reach their limits.
Because ice on truck roofs doesn’t have to be removed when the EISBART has been installed as the EISBART simply keeps it in place – which also means that no maintenance is required.
So there’s no more clambering up on to truck roofs, no more off-road times and no more almost illegal trips – and the best thing is: everybody remains safe.
The EISBART is a sponge-like structure that stays stable over the long term. It’s made of plastic and holds the ice on truck roofs in place and so prevents it from slipping off. The water that gathers on truck roofs seeps into the EISBART’s structure like it would into a sponge. And when it freezes, the ice is reliably held in place.
When, with rising temperatures, the ice starts to thaw again, the melt water runs off but the parts that are still frozen remain in place. The residual ice is held safely on the roof until it has melted completely.
The EISBART may be welded or glued on to tarpaulins. FEGAMAXX GmbH’s range of products includes complete packages as well as retrofitting kits for use on existing tarpaulins.
Co-owner, Gerhard Galehr, says of the EISBART, “Our products may be easily installed on any tarpaulin roof with little effort and by any qualified fitter. Once installed, our products remain maintenance-free over the tarpaulin’s entire life!
The system has been tested by ÖAMTC experts among others. After many practical tests Gerhard Blümel (Head of the Academy for Professional Drivers at the ÖAMTC) and Mr Fehlmann (Chief Instructor Commercial Vehicles at the ÖAMTC) were amazed and delighted with how simple, effective and cheap the system is.
The ÖAMTC specialists all agreed! „The EISBART has shown us how simple and even cheap it is to prevent injuries and damage caused by ice falling from trucks“, said Mr Blümel.
In the right position, the tarpaulin may be easily opened and closed. The alignment, positioning, size and structure of the EISBART depend on individual requirements.
„Get our experts’ advice, we’ve got the perfect solution for all trucks“, said Gerald Felder, co-owner of FEGAMAXX GmbH, recommending the product.
In summary, it may be said that the EISBART is the only all-round and easy-to-use solution to the problem of “ice on truck roofs”. It’s cheap and maintenance-free and may be used anywhere.
„We can heartily recommend FEGAMAXX GmbH’s EISBART to all responsible operators“, said Gerhard Blümel of the ÖAMTC summarizing the result of the tests.