Jackson Heil joined the team at Smedley’s Engineers in 2018 with a passion for the technical side of the industry. Since then, he has been primarily involved in Performance-Based Standards (PBS) certifications as well as helping large fleets get the most out of their combinations.
Prior to his role at Smedley’s, Jackson was working at Hercules for six years.
“Initially I was just trying to find placement work in general,” he says. “I left that to the very end after I completed my degree, so I sort of just fell into it. Smedley’s then had a need for someone at the time, and I came in out of nowhere thanks to a mutual acquaintance with Ken Cowell – and here I am now.”
As the Smedley’s team tripled in size from just a few engineers when he started, Jackson has continued to work with a client base dedicated to what he and Smedley’s could provide.
“There’s been a lot of customers that have tried to explore ways to get more productivity than they were currently getting out of their vehicles,” he says. “I’ve got a few people trying to do different things to figure out if they’re viable concepts at the moment. There are also some significant fleets that were never on PBS to begin with but are now trying to merge a lot of their equipment down that path.”
One of these fleets was Cartage Australia, which turned to Smedley’s with two new A-double sets. After a series of long and careful considerations, the fleet devised an A-double combination it would use in future as a template across the tipper industry.
The 29-metre A-double was developed according to the Victorian High Performance Freight Vehicle (HPFV) reference to gain access to the HPFV network. Outside of that, Jackson and Smedley’s had the ability to come up with a solution in a timely manner which fulfilled these requirements – without reinventing the wheel.
“Hercules were involved to ensure it could be built as required for the networks needed,” Jackson says. “Being dependant on bridge assessments was the other major criteria.”
The next step for Jackson’s career, he says, is to get involved in more special projects.
“We’re working towards getting me to do less of the general work and a lot more for the bigger fleets,” he says. “This will ultimately see me helping them from start to finish with whatever they need to become fully functional on the road.
Made possible by Smedley’s Engineers, Industry Innovators is a series dedicated to honouring the individuals who are transforming the commercial road transport industry.
Founded in 1931, Smedley’s Engineers is a specialised Australian engineering firm providing services in automotive & heavy vehicle engineering, infrastructure & civil engineering and general & mechanical engineering.
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