Constructive partnership: Hestal and Tirsan Solutions are developing a new trailer sliding roof

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Text: Petra Wurm
Photos: BPW

In a joint development project, BPW subsidiary Hesterberg & Söhne and trailer and tanker manufacturer Tirsan Solutions have developed a new type of sliding roof system for Curtainsider trailers: the Hestal Roof has set new standards in terms of handling, durability and efficiency – and shows how a constructive partnership can produce solutions with added value.

The trailer and tanker manufacturer, Tirsan Solutions, also owners of the Kässborher brand, have long been working with the BPW Group in a partnership that has grown continually over the years. Today, BPW running gears are almost exclusively used in the on-site production of the Turkish commercial vehicle manufacturer. And BPW subsidiaries are also getting involved, with worklights from the Ermax brand, for example, being used in the tankers. And, as a specialist for fasteners and superstructure technology, Hesterberg & Söhne are providing sealings from their Hestal brand for the rear doors of Curtainsider trailers.

sliding roof with aramid belts

folding elements

end carriage

From project to product

When Tirsan Solutions was looking for a partner for a development project in 2016, Hesterberg & Söhne were chosen due to the many years of good cooperation. The aim was to create a new type of sliding roof system – a solution with tangible added value for the transport companies and the project partners. They wanted to optimise the technology and make everything more efficient, more functional, more durable and more secure. The development work was to be carried out by Hesterberg & Söhne, based in Ennepetal, while Tirsan Solutions in Istanbul would take care of implementing the practical driving tests and certifications.

The breakthrough came with a design that is similar to conventional systems in many respects, but whose numerous optimisations offer enormous advantages. Initial static tests in Adapazari, Turkey, were promising and showed the development partners that they were on the right track. This established the basic principle and more detailed solutions were developed on this basis. Step by step, the project resulted in a product that is optimally adapted to the production processes of vehicle manufacturers and makes day-to-day business in the transport industry easier for truck drivers: the Hestal Roof.

Less is more

What makes the new sliding roof system so special? That it’s so simple! Dirk Miesen, Managing Director of Hesterberg & Söhne, explains: “The thing that makes a roof expensive is the cost of transportation. The highlight of our solution is that the system is built so simply that almost all components can be made only using common manufacturing methods that can be realised in virtually any country on earth.” This means parts can generally be purchased where they are needed – making for decisive cost and assembly advantages. “We have also used as few different parts as possible overall, which brings additional purchasing advantages and which will also have a positive effect in the aftermarket business,” says Miesen. Less is more – this formula for success not only keeps production costs low, but also reduces the design’s susceptibility to wear and temperature. “If it’s not there, it can’t break down” is how Dirk Miesen sums it up.

»Our trailer sliding roof is built so simply that almost all components can be made only using common manufacturing methods that can be realised in virtually any country on earth.«

Dirk Miesen, Managing Director of Hesterberg & Söhne

Save on fuel and emissions

A combination of novel roof components replaces the solutions used in conventional sliding roof systems. This means the sliding mechanism runs significantly more smoothly. In addition, when the sliding roof is open, the so-called package, which includes the retracted tarpaulin, takes up around ten percent less space. This frees up around ten percent more space for loading and unloading from above and means a considerable reduction in the workload when operating the crane, as well as correspondingly shorter idle times.

The Hestal Roof’s longevity is ensured by the fact that it does not use vulnerable gas springs. Instead, robust coil springs that are insensitive to temperature are installed. The innovative design also makes the construction lighter and thus more economical and climate-friendly in practice. The Hestal Roof weighs up to 18 percent less than comparable systems and thus noticeably saves on fuel and emissions.

The Hestal Roof runs smoothly and is convenient to use: the system can be pulled by hooking a pull rod into the side pull strap, or alternatively from the loading area.
As a component of a trailer, the sliding roof will also meet the requirements for reinforced truck bodies according to Code XL of DIN EN 12642: the elongation of the belts used to reinforce the roof is extremely low, minimising the twisting of the trailer. Planned system expansions will ensure additional work and transport safety. For example, the integration of the Hestal CargoMaster load securing aid and Ermax LED light strips for illuminating the load compartment is planned. In a subsequent development step, sensors will provide protection against expensive damage to the trailer and load. For this purpose, corresponding sensors are attached to the end of the roof, for example from idem telematics. A magnetic switch on the movable lifting arm will serve as a signal transmitter and send a message to the driver’s cab if the canopy is open or closed.

A solution for our time

The Hestal Roof will be presented to the general public at IAA Transportation in September 2022, with the sales launch following in the first quarter of 2023. It is a solution that fits perfectly with the times: “Lower weight, less CO2, less effort in handling, fewer components, less wear and tear – this means a significant reduction in workload for many truck drivers and more efficiency and climate protection at lower costs for hauliers,” says Hesterberg Managing Director Dirk Miesen. He is just as convinced of the market success of the jointly developed solution as project partner Tirsan Solutions. Ahmet Yilmaz, Chief Operating Officer of Tirsan Solutions, confirms this: “Our cooperation with the BPW Group is much more than a business relationship, it is a true partnership where we can develop ourselves and our products for the benefit of our customers. The new sliding roof system is the best example of this.”

The sustainability of this partnership has already been proven. The Hestal Roof, as an innovative product with a lot of potential, is further proof of this strength. “The relevant market is around 50,000 sliding roofs and more,” explains Dirk Miesen. “So we can make work more pleasant for a great many truck drivers with our novel solution.”

»Our business relationship with the BPW Group is a true partnership where we can develop ourselves and our products for the benefit of our customers.«

Ahmet Yilmaz, Chief Operating Officer of Tirsan Solutions

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