Krone Trailers: Review of business year 2022


Departure for the “Mission Beyond Zero” – Farewell to Dr Bernard Krone

For Krone, the year 2022 was marked by groundbreaking innovations. At the IAA Transportation, Krone presented the overall concept “Mission beyond zero” as the starting signal for a new generation of trailer transport solutions that ensure a significant reduction in the CO2 emissions of articulated trucks through a combination of digitalisation, automation, sustainability and electrification.

Strategic partnerships with start-ups

Already at the start of the year, the eTrailer, which was developed in a cooperation between Krone and the start-up company TrailerDynamics, was awarded the innovation prize of the ZENIT network. The Krone eTrailer reduces diesel consumption and CO2 emissions of the tractor unit by 20 to 40 percent. The core of the innovative technology is a powerful drive axle. It supports the tractor unit in its drive and also recovers braking energy through recuperation. This gives the transport company two advantages: with battery electric tractors (BEV), the Krone eTrailer can be used to extend the range to over 1000 km, or when using conventional tractors, these can be easily combined with the eTrailer and a CO2 reduction can be implemented directly in the fleet.

Another strategic partnership with a start-up company has been agreed by Krone with Fernride, the innovation leader for autonomous & teleoperated transport solutions. As part of this collaboration, an automated trailer is to be developed that initially implements the important secondary functions, such as the coupling process, the closing of doors and the sensory environment analysis automatically. Specially trained teleoperators can thus concentrate entirely on looking after the autonomous towing vehicles assigned to them during the transport process.

Starting signal for new generation of trailer transport solutions

Interest in the “Mission beyond zero” at the IAA Transportation in September 2022 was exceptionally high, with Krone attracting a large number of visitors on all days of the trade fair. At a total of eleven exhibits in and in front of Hall 27, interested visitors were able to experience both innovative technology carriers and fully equipped Krone trailers for tough everyday transport at first hand. Dr. Frank Albers, Managing Director Sales & Marketing at Krone, is very satisfied with the great response: “Our entire team was very pleased to finally be able to welcome so many national as well as international customers to our stand again after four years. The particularly great interest in the ‘Mission beyond zero’ impressively confirmed that Krone has taken the right course with these innovations.”

In addition to the Krone eTrailer at the centre of the stand, another highlight on display was the intelligent “Box Liner Automatic” container chassis, which the driver can adjust to the correct container size from the cab at the touch of a button. On the megatrend of digitalisation, the “Krone Intelligent Transport Solutions” (KITS) with new technologies took centre stage.

Farewell to Dr Bernard Krone

The death of Dr Bernard Krone on 14 October 2022 marked a deep break in the history of the Krone family business. As sole heir, he had taken over the company succession from his father in 1970. He continuously developed the company and made groundbreaking decisions. In addition to entering the commercial vehicle sector, he established self-propelled technology in agricultural engineering and specialised the Krone company in forage harvesting technology. In this way, he shaped the group of companies for many decades before officially retiring from the operational business in 2009 and handing over the helm to his son Bernard Krone.

Bernard Krone, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bernard Krone Holding: “The death of my father means a painful loss and a profound caesura for us as a family, but also for friends, long-time companions and the employees of the Krone Group. The incredible sympathy from all over the world has touched us deeply. As the fourth generation of owners, it is our goal not only to preserve our father’s life’s work, but also to lead the companies into the future in a committed, successful and sustainable manner”.


Award for Krone’s “3D Telematics”

In October 2022, Krone’s innovative “3D Telematics” was awarded the “Telematik Award 2022” in the trailer telematics category. This coveted industry award is presented by the media group, which uses it to honour outstanding development achievements and solutions in the field of telematics.

The award-winning system is the Krone Smart Capacity Management loading space recognition system, which works with artificial intelligence and allows the dispatcher to track the occupancy of the parking spaces in the trailer in real time. The basic version, SmartScan, transmits high-resolution images from the interior of the trailer, while the higher version, SmartLoad, uses artificial intelligence to detect the free capacities in the load compartment and also takes precise digital measurements.

Ralf Faust, Managing Director Service of Krone Commercial Vehicle SE, emphasises that this digital innovation not only increases the economic efficiency but also the sustainability of transports: “Our innovative technology does much more than recognise free parking spaces: Enriched with weight information, Krone SmartLoad enables real-time connection to freight exchanges and can automatically book additional freight that matches the route and empty capacities.”