Talking to expert Jens Lohmann

Mr Lohmann, you are putting a tremendous amount of effort into the evaluation and documentation of the comparative drive. Why?
We want a proper measurement with as little error of measurement as possible. That is why our aim is to ensure that no fuel can be supplied between official fuel stops and that the load cannot be reduced anywhere along the way. That distinguishes this measurement from the one in the year 2008 in Nardo: the truck on the test circuit at that time drive around in circles, and there was no substantial possibility for manipulation. That would now at least be theoretically possible.

Before the start you are thoroughly checking the three trucks in Rotterdam. What does that mean?
This initially means that I seal off the possibilities of fuel supply. This is done via adhesive tapes and seals, which cannot be removed without destroying them. We do this on the premises of a Mercedes-Benz branch agency, where I have the possibility to check the vehicles from underneath and to tilt the cabs and attach the corresponding seals. After that, the cab locks get seals put on them. As do, for example, the cargo compartment doors and the fifth wheel couplings too. In addition, the vehicles are weighed. Everything I do is documented and captured on photos.

What is your task after the start?
After the start I am on duty at the service camp in Peine, in particular to supervise the refuelling. I record information on the exact amounts of fuel and AdBlue. The temperature of the fuel is also documented because it does not, as in the case of the petrol station, come from underground tanks and can thus, depending on the outside temperature, be markedly warmer. This has an impact on the volume, which we take as an orientation for the measurement.
A total of six refuellings will be carried out in Peine. I will be the only person to remove the seals and to attach new ones again after every refuelling process and to check the state of the other seals and to document everything.

What technical equipment is being used?
For the fuel, Shell is making the filling facility available with the corresponding gauging or calibrating certificate. I myself will mainly have sealing material, thermometers and a camera with me, but no big technical equipment.
The driving movement data, in other words the kilometres, the average speed and break times, will be documented with the usual EC control device. I let this be read out following the arrival by our partner, avus Services GmbH. This way we ensure additional independence and transparency.

What is the biggest challenge of this comparative drive for you as a DEKRA tester?
The fact that we have to accept the imponderables of everyday long-distance transport – and that we must react flexibly to them. The trucks will inevitably get caught up somewhere in congestion and then arrive late for refuelling. Nonetheless, the whole procedure must be carried out in a routine way. Furthermore, the trucks have to get back on the route fast, which means that there is only a tight time window for my work. 

How exact are the data that you collect?
You never get absolutely exact data, and there are minor deviations in every measurement. An example: the vehicles stand on a level surface when refuelling, and we fill up the tanks to the exactly stipulated mark. But you nonetheless never get this 100 per cent right. Our aim is to keep the deviations as few as possible, so that they only impact the third position after the decimal point.

When will you be giving the final result and in which form?
I will be handing it over in the form of documentation – with all the logs and documenting photos. This will be extensive and will thus take a few days. The basic data, such as the total amounts of fuel used, however, will already be ready shortly after the trucks cross the finishing line on the final day in Rotterdam. So we will be able to already make a statement on the result of the comparative drive in the evening.

The Log

03.07 00:21
After traveling for more than 10,000 km, the Record Run 2011 of three Mercedes-Benz trucks reached its destination at midnight.

02.07 16:57
It is 4:57 p.m. in Peine, and the Actros Record Run 2011 will soon go into its final round.

cooperation partners

link to the Shell homepage
link to the Dekra homepage
link to the FleetBoard homepage