Comfort for truck has not really been high on priority in India. Trucks in India come with bare minimum equipment in the cabin that would make life easier of the driver. Indian summer is popular around the world for the relentless heat, and such situations cause physical fatigue hence leading to badly made decisions like overspeeding or haphazard braking. Understanding these hazards, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has been advocating for making fitting of air conditioners mandatory in trucks. The company hopes this addition would help boost road safety on Indian roads. Consequently, the company does not support the latest proposal backed by most of the commercial vehicle manufacturers in India to replace ACs with a blower-based system.
Air conditioners in trucks do not fall in the category of luxury, as is suggested by many, it is a basic need to, and could help prevent accidents. It will be easier for the driver to remain focused and alert if he is in physically fit condition. The hours are long for truck drivers and absence of basic comfort leads to tiredness.
About the blower system, Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said that the only advantage of the system is that it is cheap. Other than the system is not capable of bringing the temperature inside the cabin below what it is outside. He added that such a system would actually bring the temperature up, along with dust.
BharatBenz hopes to remove the misconception that AC trucks consume more fuel. The company says that non-AC trucks are usually driven with windows rolled down, creating drag which leads to more fuel consumption. Feedback from BharatBenz AC truck customers also indicates that AC trucks cover more kilometers every day due to less driver fatigue. This adds to the overall profitability for truck customers.