Lens-Tech peeps around the pillar with truck window lenses

14 Nov 2022

CLOCS Champion Lens-Tech has developed a solution to dramatically improve forward visibility on trucks fitted with peeper windows, effectively eliminating the blind spot created by windscreen pillars.

The company, which designs and builds Fresnel lenses for commercial vehicles, has begun applying its Hi-Vue lenses to peeper windows in the lower front doors of truck cabs, which have become increasingly popular since London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) came into force.

Lens-Tech has a long history in the design and production of Fresnel lenses and for the last 10 years the company has held supply contracts with U.S. companies, Boyd Corporation and Velvac Incorporated, so that their lenses are fitted to peeper windows of new Daimler and Kenworth truck models produced in North America. Lens-Tech is now utilising that U.S. truck peeper window expertise to offer UK truck operators an enhanced forward view through a small area of the DVS window glass conversion in the nearside lower truck door section.  

Positioned on the nearside peeper window in portrait format, the lens can improve forward visibility by 30 degrees. It allows the driver to see into the area obscured by the windscreen pillar, considerably improving their ability to spot anyone or anything close to the front left-hand corner of the truck.

“It’s very difficult to alleviate the blind spot created by the pillar, and a pedestrian or cyclist hidden behind it is extraordinarily vulnerable,” says Les Haigh, CEO of Lens-Tech.

“With the force majeure of FORS and the DVS requirements of getting the maximum amount of vision you can from the driver’s seat, there’s a strong push towards getting those peeper windows into the doors. We’re discovering that there’s even more to be had from a lens in a peeper window, because of the huge blind-spot zone behind that pillar, but if you attach our small A5-size lens to the glass in the right place, you’ll see around it.”

Lens-Tech’s Hi-Vue Fresnel lenses are made from PVC or acrylic, easily stick to glass using peel-back self-adhesive and, at 21x 12cm, they take up a nominal amount of window space. Additionally, the lens, being passive, makes for an extremely simple installation, requiring no wiring or complicated electrics to function and it’s both strong and dependable, with a normal on-truck working life of five years plus.

In trucks without peeper windows, they have traditionally been applied to the rear of the nearside passenger window in a horizontal format, to increase visibility below the door. In contracts over the last 10 years more than 400,000 of this lens format has been issued by National Highways to drivers of left-hand drive lorries arriving at UK ports.

No adaptation of the existing product is required for vehicles with peeper windows, it is simply a case of sticking the lens to the correct area of the glass.

“The reason we haven’t looked at this area until recently is because we didn’t want to place a lens in a position where it could obstruct the driver’s view of the mirrors,” adds Business Development Manager, Mike Eastwood, “but now that manufacturers are fitting peeper windows to trucks coming off the line for the UK market, there is an opportunity for transport managers to consider enhancing that view even further.”

Hi-Vue lenses also represent a low-cost solution for operators looking to make their vehicles safer. Prices start at £7.99 excluding VAT for individual PVC lenses or £7.49 for orders of 10 or more units. Orders can be made with the company directly (visit www.lens-tech.com for purchase and contact details) or through most UK truck component resellers.