The technical hotline – total commitment to expert assistance.

Sometimes even the professionals need a helping hand. If you encounter any problems, you can contact the Knorr-Bremse TruckServices technical hotline. Its team assists all callers with a patient, systematic and holistic approach to resolve even complex cases.

Both offline and online, in-depth product information can be found along with detailed product catalogues, explanatory videos, diagnostic systems and training courses. These all complement the specialist expertise of mechanics and mechatronics engineers and the collective wealth of experience available on site. As a result, most issues can be dealt with promptly in the workshop, so the truck can get back on the road and making money. For any other cases, Knorr-Bremse customers can reach Christian Zyzik and his team on the technical hotline of TruckServices. When the hotline phone rings at their premises in Grünheide, near Berlin, the experts calling from a distributor or workshop are usually at their wits' end.

We must be able to inform our customers adequately. Even if it's simply a matter of sending the right information material.

Christian Zyzik – Teamlead Technical Hotline Knorr-Bremse TruckServices

Delivering facts and data

"The issue might be resolved in three minutes," says Zyzik, "for example, if the installation guide for a particular type of compressor is missing or someone needs to check whether a certain caliper will fit in a particular trailer. Remind me, what was the tightening torque for version XY of the disc brake cylinder? Even Zyzik's colleagues Jan Commichau and Ronald Stobbe don't have every answer in their heads. But they know exactly where to look in the Knorr-Bremse TruckServices documentation. Zyzik: "It can take longer to write down the caller's email address than to find and send the facts and data they need."

Besides having in-depth knowledge of Knorr-Bremse's diverse portfolio, the key for the hotline operators Jan Commichau and Ronald Stobbe is to bring a patient, systematic and holistic approach.

Solving complex cases

Especially for an independent workshop like Bosch Service Kronach, keeping track of all the parts from various manufacturers can be a challenge. Nevertheless, Günter Hofmann, who manages the truck workshop, says he "wouldn't misuse the technical hotline to help us find the right parts. That's something our ten people have to handle." He adds that "the new brake pad finder is a real help here." Hofmann basically carries out all kinds of maintenance and repairs in the workshop's three inspection pits: changing pads, straightening and metalwork, heating and air conditioning, plus the basic inspections on the brake and dynamometer test bench. "So we may have to call the hotline when certain error codes show up," says Hofmann. "The service is excellent and the colleagues have always managed to assist us quickly, even in more complex cases."

The right approach: patient, systematic and holistic

According to Zyzik, "more complex" cases can sound something like this: "I've connected everything up, but nothing is moving at the back!" Or: "We changed the electronic air treatment and now the vehicle won't start!" Besides having in-depth knowledge of Knorr-Bremse's diverse portfolio, the key for the hotline operators is to bring a patient, systematic and holistic approach. Stobbe: "Whenever someone is in a hurry to get a truck back on the road and they've run into an unexpected problem, they call us with the feeling that they've tried everything already. But when we go through the sequence of steps on the phone together, we usually find one detail or another that was overlooked. Standard procedure in these cases is to have the colleague in the workshop send over the fault log or to link up to their system directly, then go through the process systematically, step by step.

Technical hotline boasts a high clear-up rate

A very specific type of fault that the hotline deals with is the "unknown component", when type plates have become illegible after hundreds of thousands of kilometers, or when out-of-production components have to be replaced, or when a combination of components that someone once assembled is now causing a fault. Zyzik: "In case of any doubt, we dive into the technical data, compare values and give a recommendation." A similar situation is when someone in the warehouse orders pads that simply do not fit the brake model, or the distributor delivers a cartridge with a serial number that is apparently not suitable. Stobbe says: "Mistakes happen. Drivers often call the head office while on the road to report a problem, then parts are ordered before the vehicle is on site to speed the whole process up. This can lead to mix-ups, which we can usually clear up." Günter Hofmann from Bosch Service is impressed at how many problems the hotline operators are able to resolve. "The best thing to do is just call up and discuss the issue." Photos are only necessary in exceptional cases, while emails only raise further questions. "We don't have time for a lengthy back and forth via email."

Physical reconstruction using models

Then there are some really interesting cases that do not fit into any known pattern at the technical hotline. Zyzik: "We have complete models of our systems right next to our offices. These allow us to physically reconstruct what may have happened at the customer site. Sometimes this is more effective than having the mechanic on the phone go around inspecting various parts of the vehicle. "Once we have a specific idea about the cause, we'll call back and to resolve the problem in a second conversation."

Günter Hofmann from Bosch Service Kronach appreciates the level of service on the hotline.
The hotline experts have complete models of their systems right next to their offices. These allow them to physically reconstruct what may have happened at the customer site.

After 40 years of working on trucks, Zyzik says it is very rare for a case to really get under his skin. However, he does remember one case that he went to investigate in person. "It was an issue with the EBS. Everything seemed okay, but after 50 or 60 kilometers the indicator showed a malfunction. The workshop mechanics had tried all sorts: new sensors, new cables, disassembling and reassembling the entire wheel hub. The theory was that the control unit was broken. I didn't agree, so I drove over there." It was a tough one, he says. In the end, it turned out that one of the mechanics had just slightly damaged the rotor with a wooden block during installation. "It was hardly noticeable, but it was responsible for the fault."

Database for earlier vehicles

Sometimes truck enthusiasts call the technical hotline, too. There was a vintage Unimog fire engine that needed new valves, but the original spare parts were long out of production. There was a classic Kässbohrer trailer with a ruptured brake cylinder. Someone wanted to safely convert the single-circuit brakes of a former German Army vehicle to an up-to-date brake system. Zyzik: "For internal use, we have set up our own knowledge database where we collect documentation and information for vehicles going back to the '60s or '70s." Occasionally an old brake cylinder arrives on their desk. "We'll measure it and can usually suggest an alternative product."

This is how the three once received an invitation to go gliding at the nearby airfield. Stobbe: "One day there was a student standing on our doorstep with an old brake cylinder in her pocket. The brake of the towing system was broken. We were able to help her out."

In-depth exchange with colleagues

It generally takes some time for new vehicle models to arrive in the workshops with issues beyond the regular maintenance and wear and tear procedures. "But that doesn't stop customers coming to us for general technical information," says Zyzik. From tire pressure monitoring and turning assistance to the fleet management system – the technical hotline is always on hand with expert answers. That is also why the team regularly exchanges in-depth information with colleagues from development and product management. Zyzik: "We must be able to inform our customers adequately. Even if it's simply a matter of sending the right information material."


How to reach our technical hotline:

Tel. 00 800 1905 2222
Single international service number
Mon-Fri 08:00-17:00
Free of charge

By email at any time:

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