Labels get green light
WASTING needless hours – and money – looking for the right part to fix a trailer defect could soon be a headache of the past.
After hearing an expert panel pitch their case for why trailers need specification information plates, delegates at the technology and maintenance conference in Melbourne gave the concept a resounding thumbs up.
The ATA’s chief engineer Bob Woodward said he’d now take the feedback and panellists’ notes and draft a technical advisory procedure for further discussion at the next Industry Technical Council meeting early next year.
“What we’re trying to do is make the invisible visible,” said session panellist Chris Blanchard, workshop manager at Herb Blanchard Haulage and one of the loudest early voices for the adoption of an industry-wide spec plate.
“It’s giving you that ability to see what’s in behind those wheels without having to take the wheels. It reduces uncertainty, repair times and costs of breakdowns and maintenance.”
In an often lively discussion, delegates agreed that the plates should include information such as suspension make and model, suspension ride height, tyre size and diameter range, wheel bearings, gross trailer mass, airbag info and axle diameter, among other vital stats.
Panellist Lance Fisher, fleet maintenance manager at John L Pierce Transport, said he’s already reaping the benefits of a similar system he’s affixed to all his fleet.
“After doing 25-plus years on the end of a 24-hour breakdown phone in middle of night, you soon learn that something has to change within your businesses,” Mr Fisher said.
“We’ve been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t work, and you’ve got to give everybody a home life. I don’t want my guys out in the middle of the night fixing a problem.”
TECH TIMESAVER: Chris Blanchard gets support for his trailer ideas at TMC2018.