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”TWO works faultlessly”

For more than 40 years, Sven-Åke Lindén has worked on measuring the friction on the country’s roads. Few measurement technicians, if any, have so much experience – experience that legitimises his very definite professional opinions. “When It comes to measuring equipment, TWO is the best option. It is safe, robust and dependable. It works smoothly, quite simply.

Sven-Åke Lindén in Mjölby likes to follow his own head. At 64 years of age in 2014, he resigned his post at VTI, the Swedish National Road and Transport Institute, where he had worked since 1976. As responsible for a variety of friction-on-road projects – often with different types of tires and asphalt in focus – he more or less stumbled across a business idea.

“I’d really intended to work for a while longer and retire when I got to the age of 67. I am soon 69 years now, self-employed and think the job is more enjoyable than ever. The background is the so-called “Road of Death”, the E4 motorway off Vagnhärad, where several MC-accidents have occurred. It turned out that the new road actually “bled”. Bitumen, a binding agent in the asphalt, came up to the surface when it became hot. When It then rained, it became slippery as glass.. This meant that SMC, Sweden’s Motorcyclists, the police reported the Swedish Transport Agency and the contractor, but the investigation was closed down. Even a Swedish national consumers’ rights TV programme Uppdrag Granskning drew attention to the problems of the “Road Of Death”.

“The Transport Agency then decided that the friction on newly-surfaced roads would be monitored more accurately and systematically. But who’s going to do that? I resigned and invested in starting my company Roadfriction with the vision that people should be able to travel safely on our roads.

So much water

The first friction tester, a Volvo V70, was acquired in Spring 2014. It was actually made for airports and had a water tank with only 500 liters. Water is required to measure wet friction and after every seven kilometres Sven-Åke needed to replenish the water tank.

“When It was time for vehicle number two, I wanted something better. That was a VW Transporter with space for 1 200 litres of water and TWO’s friction meter. I’d known about TWO since my days at VTI, so I knew what I wanted. Now, a third friction tester is incoming, a VW Caravelle, also with TWO’s friction meter.

“I mainly work with newly-laid roads. Nowadays the Transport Agency requires that the contractor friction-tests all new roads before final inspection. Not just parts of the route, but the newly laid stretch of road in its entirety.

Flexible measurement

If the newly asphalted road does not pass the friction test, it will be expensive. Then the road must be made less slippery, for example by rolling-in fine sand or by water-blasting the surface. And The TWO equipment is user-friendly, rugged and at the same time easy to handle. “It weighs only 75 kilos and I can easily move it on the beam it is installed on, then I can choose whether to measure the friction to the right or left wheel track or on the road markings. Currently Sven-Åke has friction testers located in Mjölby and Ängelholm. He and his son Christoffer do the driving. Recently Sven-Åke tested the TWO’s Twinfunction Tests on his VW Transporter in Sälen.

“I can then measure the friction in both the right and left wheel tracks at the same time. It is good, it does happen that friction is different in the two wheel tracks, so-called split friction. Soon even a third friction tester will be ready for delivery, a VW Caravelle to be based in Östersund and run by son Daniel. “What if there’s a fourth vehicle? I don’t know, we’ll have to see. But in that case I have another son in Gothenburg”, laughs Sven-Åke.


– In the autumn of 2018 Mählers broadened its product range with Norwegian TWO, Traction Watcher One.
– TWO is a friction tester and consists of wheels that fold down in the roadway to measure current friction. The equipment can be connected to any vehicle and is designed for use on both roads and airports.
– TWO measures friction in the range of 2-110 km/h, which means it can also be used on walking and cycling tracks.