For over 60 years the premium manufacturer Frans Vervaet B.V. in Biervliet, the Netherlands, has been a proven expert when it comes to self-propelled beet harvesters and slurry injectors. The company has decided to use HELLA illumination products for its latest generation of machines - and with good reason, as Jonathan Hoekman from the Sales Dept of Vervaet explains: "Lighting is a delicate subject, a tricky matter for machine operators. There can never be too much light for them. This applies to both work lights and signal lighting. Even if we equip our machines at the rear with six reasonably priced lamps with good luminous efficacy, this often does not meet the requirements. If, on the other hand, the machines are equipped with six lamps from HELLA, there are no problems at all simply because of their high quality."
The HELLA complete package
For Hoekman, however, it is not just luminous efficiency and quality that count, but also the entire price-performance ratio. For this reason, it has been decided to equip the machines with the HELLA complete package comprising working and signal lighting. Hoekman says: "The lamps of other manufacturers are often cheaper in price. However, those who opt for a complete package from HELLA also achieve a purchasing advantage at the same time. And such a bonus then reduces the price difference between a premium brand and other suppliers."
Driving lights are constantly becoming more and more important because of the distances between individual farms and also as a result of the necessity to drive in the dark. Hoekman says quite rightly: "Seeing and being seen is of utmost importance. Particularly as our machines are 15 metres long, three metres wide and four metres high. The dimensions of the machine must be visible even in darkness. Daytime running lights are also playing an increasingly important role."
Work lights place particularly high demands on lighting. Hoekman explains: "The further work lighting can reach into the countryside, the more pleasant working conditions become. And that brings us back to light efficiency. Thanks to rapid developments taking place in the field of LEDs, great progress has been made in this sector. All Vervaet machines are only equipped with high quality lamps that have been proven to provide the correct luminous efficiency. And that means there is no getting away from HELLA."
Comprehensive signal lighting includes both marker lights and rotating beacons. Here, too, Vervaet only uses HELLA LED solutions. According to Hoekman, signal lighting is not monitored by law particularly strictly in the Netherlands, a situation which can easily lead to negligence. A very high degree of personal responsibility is therefore required, if only in order to legally cover oneself. And this is where HELLA signal lighting helps greatly.
Increasing requirements, longer running times
Often neglected in the past, good vehicle lighting is absolutely essential today. The demands placed on vehicle drivers by the ever larger and more capital-intensive machines are constantly increasing. Jonathan Hoekman: "As a result of the increasing capital expenditure, the machines must be usable longer than in the past. If only eight hours of daylight are available, the machines must also run at night in order to achieve a higher level of utilisation. Then lighting becomes the crucial factor in the equation."
Longer operating times and higher work demands therefore require more investment in good lighting - such as in HELLA's LED solutions, which are far ahead of earlier halogen solutions.
Although Jonathan Hoekman has no direct contact with HELLA, he does have direct contact with end consumers. "I was involved in the conversion from halogen to xenon and later from xenon to LED. In the meantime LED has actually become standard. In the beginning - when LED was new and expensive - we tried other brands, but actually we always end up with HELLA." This is mainly the result of practical tests: "Practice is the best test environment, but here in the plant the difference is obvious as well. When drawing a comparison between a machine with "conventional" lighting and a machine with HELLA lighting, one immediately recognises the difference. The colour of the light in combination with the light beam conveys a certain impression - we call this a premium value. And like Vervaet, HELLA is a premium brand. That's how to play safe. I do not claim that all lighting questions can be solved with HELLA lamps. But if you take a close look at the lighting pattern of the machine, HELLA lamps always leave others standing behind."
(This article is based on the original Dutch article on www.deloonwerker.nl.)