Here is but a fraction of the exhibits that made up 65th IAA Commercial Vehicle Show held September 25-October 2 in Hanover, Germany.

IAA Commercial Vehicles Show 2014: Innovation on display a hemisphere away

Oct. 1, 2014
“Talking” trailers and components among the innovations seen at Europe’s largest truck and trailer show

WITH trailer quality ever increasing, trailer manufacturers are finding different ways to help customers become more efficient. They were on display at the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicles Show held September 25-October 2 in Hannover, Germany.

Two of Germany’s largest trailer manufacturers touted systems that break down individual communication silos and enable fleets to network over a broad network.

“The autonomous use of individual telematics systems among transport and logistics companies has almost become a thing of the past,” according to Schmitz Cargobull, Germany’s largest trailer manufacturer. “Customer groups quickly realized that telematics systems only improve the efficiency of processes when all of the available systems are intelligently networked. Schmitz Cargobull’s trailer telematics system successfully meets this challenge.”

In the past year Schmitz Cargobull Telematics has standardized the interface for the connection to other data systems and established a process for integrating the trailer telematics data.

Schmitz Cargobull Telematics has addressed with the new web service interface that integrates trailer telematics data into leading logistics software. Schmitz demonstrated the concept by integrating data into the Windows-based Winsped system developed by LIS AG, a German shipping software and transportation management software company based in Greven, Germany. 

Schmitz Cargobull’s TelematicOne system, meanwhile, is already connected to a broad range of truck and trailer telematics systems, including MAN telematics, Fleetboard, Volvo, and Wabco Trailer Guard. Customers have the advantage of only needing to use a single portal.

Krone (Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone) of Werlte, Germany, promoted its Krone Telematics system that offers a range of different telematics solutions, from simple location monitoring to two-way communication, and its to the complex door locking system Door Protect.

The company, however also promoted the progress it has made toward vertical integration.

Krone presenting the new “All-in Krone concept” for the first time. The idea is to offer a complete trailer where all parts bear the Krone brand and have a Krone spare parts number.

“We noticed frequently in the past that our customers not only wanted to benefit from our expertise as a trailer manufacturer, but also would like us to be a complete service provider for everything to do with trailers,” said Bernard Krone, managing director.

The biggest step in this direction was the company’s new Krone trailer axle that the company introduced at IAA. “We are now also offering other components with the Krone look,” he added. “This makes life significantly easier for transport companies as they only need one contact now to answer all their questions concerning service, maintenance and spare parts”,

The Krone Trailer Axle is manufactured by gigant Trenkamp & Gehle in Dinklage, located 31 miles from Krone’s main plant in Werlte. The company has been part of the Krone Group since January 2013.

Kögel is another trailer manufacturer moving toward vertical integration. The company introduced its new KTA trailer axle at the 2014 IAA. According to the company, this integrated chassis system will form the backbone of Kögel’s vehicles. Reasons for the optimism include ideally matching it to Kögel trailers to further improve their handling, weight reduction, ease of maintenance, and longer service life.

Here are some of the products seen at this year’s event:

Keeping asphalt hot. The German Federal Ministry of Transport has passed new laws regarding road construction and road repairs. The aim is to sustainably improve the road surface in order to ensure greater durability of the roads. As a result, transport companies working in highway construction will be subject to stricter requirements for transporting asphalt effective January 1.

To comply, dump trailers hauling asphalt will be required to be insulated, and the quality of the delivery must be verifiable. Currently the regulation applies to national highways, but it will be gradually expanded to include all road works by 2019. New trailers will then be fitted with permanently installed measuring equipment.

Schmitz Cargobull offers flexible thermal insulation for the S.KI 7.2 tipper semi-trailer with a rounded steel body. The custom fitted covering for the front and side surfaces is made of tarpaulin material and designed for temperatures up to 200°C. In combination with inlay mats, this achieves the required thermal resistance of ≥1.65 m²/KW. An additional mat is fitted in the tailgate.

Schmitz Cargobull has also introduced a fixed thermal insulation solution for the S.KI 7.2 tipper semi-trailer with a rounded steel body. The Thermopro full insulation prevents the mixed material from cooling down before use. It already satisfies the requirements due to come into force from 2016. The patented design of the insulated panels ensures excellent thermal insulation that far exceeds the legally required values.

Playing it safe. SDC Trailers of Toomebridge, Northern Ireland, displayed a concept Trombone trailer with on-board safety equipment.  The custom built Severfield Rowan Trombone trailer has been designed with advanced safety features for loading and securing various different materials such as tubing, decking and raw materials. An on-board Mansafe system is available for immediate use, aiming to increase operational efficiency on a busy construction site. An exclusion area is cordoned on both sides of the trailer using yellow extended posts and bungee cord for a fork-lift to safely unload material.

Other features include a reinforced rear underride guard, built-in straps for securing loads and extra sockets across the bed of the trailer for forward restraint. Twenty-four lockable aluminum side posts provide additional security while confirming to the strength required for transporting heavy loads. Cycle guards have been added to both sides of the trailer to increase safety for inner city transport. The innovative design exceeds current UK safety requirements. (

Hauling coil. Kögel’s new Cargo Coil is optimized for transporting coils and split strips, but with a low tare weight, it is suitable for a variety of cargoes. It comes with a lightweight steel frame with a coil trough shape. Coils and split strips with a diameter of 35 to 83 inches and a maximum distributed load of 30 tonnes can be transported in the standard coil trough of 23.6-ft or optional 29.5-ft-long coil trough. This allows a total vehicle weight of up to 45 tons, subject to special approval. The floor can bear high fork-lift axle loads of up to 12,037 pounds.

The advantage of the Kögel integral roof tarpaulin is that in the Kögel Cargo Coil there are no straps hanging down into the loading area when the roof is open because they are integrated into the roof tarpaulin. This prevents straps from snagging on the load. (

Spotlighting the brand. As part of its effort to have its brand associated as many trailer components as possible, Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone GmbH has entered a private-label program with Hella to develop new lights for Krone trailers.

To illustrate the new program, Krone displayed an extra-large LED trailer tail light from Hella the Krone booth at IAA exhibition stand in Hanover. The Krone logo lights up permanently in the tail light area when switching on the lights and even more clearly while braking. The light helps make Krone vehicles clearly recognizable day and night design. The logo is even displayed dotted on the lens itself.

“We have implemented this idea together with our supplier Hella,” reported Uwe Sasse, Krone construction and development manager. “In doing so, for each development stage we have naturally made sure that all legal requirements are observed.” The new Krone tail light can be retrofitted and is available from Krone’s on-line shop for immediate delivery. (

Multi-tasking. Kögel presented the new Kögel Multi flat semi-trailer for building materials. The trailer is particularly suitable for hauling building materials other weather-resistant freight. It also is available with container locks for service as a container chassis capable of carrying palletized freight or 20-foot and 40-foot containers.

The all-new optional container locks are flush-mounted in the cargo floor, spaced to accommodate two 20-foot containers or one 40-foot container. Moreover, it is ideal for transporting such various different building materials as steel mesh grating and concrete products.

The Multi is available with either steel or aluminum front walls. It is also available with the option of four or five pairs of foldable two-foot, 2.6-ft, or 3.2-ft high aluminum drop sides with tie rods.

The foldable back wall has three tie rods, T-bolts and one or two foldable steps on its inner wall. For use on sites with a shortage of space, Multi is also available with an optional articulated, self-steering axle.

The drop sides and insertable stakes can be removed quickly and easily without the need for tools to accommodate extra-wide goods such as prefabricated building sections, steel frames, construction steel mats or concrete plates. An optional storage box can be installed for stowing ten drop sides, the back wall panel, and for all fold-down stakes. To prevent the drop sides from being scratched during loading and unloading, the mounting device is provided with a protective overlay.

Even challenging freight requiring extra-wide loading can be carried by the Multi’s loading platform. The optionally available extendable red/white retro-reflective warning panels for the front and rear and the rear rotating warning lights allow the safe transport of extra-wide loads. For variable, professional and time-saving load-securing of long materials and short goods, the Multi exhibited at the IAA Commercial Vehicles has eight pairs of optional stake pockets flush-mounted in the outer frame, and another eight pairs of stake pockets inside integrated in the side members. On request, eight stake socket battens can be built into the loading platform flush with the floor. Between the external frames and the left and right-hand side members, it then has five stake pockets, while between each of the side members in the middle of the vehicle are ten stake pockets for insertion of square-tube insertable stakes. In the Vario-Fix steel cavity outer framework there are up to 24 pairs of lashing rings capable of withstanding 4,409-pound or 8,818-pound tensile strength. (

Kögel presents its second-generation FlexiUse tarpaulin trailer. With the fully remodeled FlexiUse, Kögel is presenting a trailer designed for the widest possible range of transport tasks. The Kögel FlexiUse is suited for the flexible use of various tractor units, with fifth-wheel heights of 990 to 1180 mm in unloaded state. Thanks to the large adjustment range, the body can be easily adapted to these fifth-wheel heights. Thus the trailer is not just able to do more tasks, it also saves forwarding companies time and money.

The Kögel FlexiUse is based on the popular and well-proven Kögel Cargo and Mega. Along with the familiar benefits such as the low maintenance costs and the high quality finishing, this also allows it to combine the individual strengths of both trailers - the volume of the Mega and the all-purpose suitability of the Cargo. Its two different ride heights allow a range of possible fifth-wheel coupling heights. The ground clearance is easily and automatically regulated when coupling the trailer through the appropriate connection to the two coupling heads present.

Kögel’s new Hybrid Quick-Opening Mechanism shows how the driver and the transport company are able to meet the requirements of the automotive and beverage industries for shorter loading times. In comparison with the conventional closing system of a trailer with DIN EN 12642 Code XL certification, the closing and opening times of the side tarpaulins are reduced considerably due to the combination of frame and closing technology. The Kögel hybrid quick-opening mechanism was awarded the international sectoral prize, ‘Trailer Innovation 2013’.

The Kögel Mega semi-trailer is perfectly suited for conventional standard tasks as well as for high-volume transport use. Its clear internal height of three metres makes this volume-marvel the ideal trailer for the automotive sector. Loading and unloading stacked pallet cages is simple, thanks to the standard mechanical/hydraulic lifting roof. This increases the side and rear through-loading height to more than three metres. The new standard Kögel aluminium rear wall door is also installed in the Mega on exhibit. In addition to a self-cleaning trilobular shaft guide, its ease of repair due to inexpensive and easily replaceable single articulated hinges also scores high marks.

Kögel exhibits the Kögel Box – PurFerro Sandwich Panel. The PurFerro sandwich panel trailer body is manufactured at the Kögel plant in Duingen. This design is known for its wide range of applications for temperature-sensitive good. It provides premium transport quality and protection against environmental influences and theft. The lightly insulated dry freight box body is ideal for the transport of temperature-sensitive goods such as electronic products, paints and also foodstuffs that must reach their destination safe and dry.

Box body with light insulation from the Kögel modular system is a match for any and every ramp. The box body contains an advanced, 100-percent CFC-free insulating foam polymer. The steel ceiling layer is also coated with hard PVC film on the inside. The 30-millimetre-thick walls and 40-millimetre-thick insulated roof are produced in-house to ensure perfect protection for temperature-sensitive goods. Four interior LED lights built into the roof provide adequate light inside the box body. The light switches are on the outside of the box body. The 30-millimetre-thick non-slip floor is designed for fork-lift axle load of 7,200 kilograms and comes standard with a steel structure plate mounted in the rear. In addition, the Kögel Box – PurFerro has, as standard, a load-securing certificate in accordance with DIN EN 12642 Code XL. This is particularly suitable for the form-fit transport of general cargo and palletised goods. This product is available with a wide range of customized equipment such as circulated air heating and fully recessed anchoring rails throughout.

Renault Trucks’ Euro-6 T, the new French heavy-duty long-haul truck model, has been elected International Truck of the Year for 2015 at the 65th IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany.

The winning results were based on several criteria including technological innovation, comfort, safety, driveability, fuel economy, environmental ‘footprint’ and Total Cost of Ownership.

The new trapezoidal-shaped cab with its 12-degree sloped A-pillars, enhanced noise insulation, new seat design, and main function controls close to the steering wheel represented solutions to achieving low aerodynamic resistance, while offering good all-around visibility and a pleasant working and resting environment for truck drivers.

Also noted were the fuel efficiency and performance of the Range T’s driveline, based on its Euro-6 DTI 11 and DTI 13 engines, and combined features of the latest Optidriver automated transmission. Jury members further appreciated the ‘Eco Cruise’ control, with its choice of three different settings, which allows the driver to select the best mode for optimum fuel consumption.

WABCO Holdings Inc. debuted its OptiFlow™ Tail.  The aerodynamic product helps to improve the fuel economy and operational efficiency of trailers throughout Europe.

The OptiFlow Tail features a modular design of four folding panels that improves airflow at the trailer’s rear. The panels are mounted directly on the trailer’s swing doors, allowing for the doors to fully open. The modular system also utilizes a fast and easy-to-use folding and unfolding mechanism, available for new trailers and as a retrofit option for trailers already in operation.

The OptiFlow Tail helps to increase the fuel economy of tractor-trailer combinations by up to 3.5 percent at highway speeds.” For more information, visit

About the Author

Bruce Sauer | Editor

Bruce Sauer has been writing about the truck trailer, truck body and truck equipment industries since joining Trailer/Body Builders as an associate editor in 1974. During his career at Trailer/Body Builders, he has served as the magazine's managing editor and executive editor before being named editor of the magazine in 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.