In 2015, it was announced that JOST’s safety training sessions, aimed at mechanics, dealers and fleet managers, would become an integral part of its offering. And since then, these onsite workshops have continued to roll out across some of Australia’s biggest fleets and transport companies.
Queensland-based transport company, Blenners Transport, has become very familiar with JOST’s onsite training. Although its relationship with JOST, stemming back to its origins in 1988, was based on the OEM’s quality product, it has flourished to become much more.
“Our relationship with JOST has become a long-term partnership as a result of their ability to provide high quality and reliable products, attributing to keeping our vehicles on the road in good working condition,” says Blenners Transport Workshop Manager, Peter Morris. “From the start we were using JOST turntables and kingpins on all of our prime movers, and then we slowly went into the landing legs.”
In the last few years Blenners Transport has started using the JOST sensor fifth wheels. These fifth wheels have built-in sensors that are wired up to a display panel in the cab of the prime mover and either tell the driver that the fifth wheel is correctly coupled, or in the case of a false coupling, alerts the driver with a red flashing symbol and an audible alarm.
Now, almost all of Blenners Transport’s fleet is fitted with JOST equipment. Excepting its A trailers, its trailer combinations are all equipped with JOST landing legs as standard, and all of its prime movers and dollies are fitted with JOST turntables. Having an oversight on the entire fleet, Peter says the JOST product performs phenomenally in these heavy vehicles.
“They’re really good,” he says. “The quality of the product and parts that is provided is crucial for the safety of our company drivers and the goods being transported.”
With the turntables, Peter says the fleet usually gets six years out of them.
“There’s no issues, they’re a very durable and reliable product,” he says. “We know the maintenance that is required on our turntables, and they don’t let us down.”
Over the years, JOST has worked closely with Blenners Transport in its workshops by providing product-specific training to technicians in a bid to ensure they are fully confident to carry out the correct adjustments and service procedures of each and every coupling point in the fleet. JOST National Training Manager, Bob Martin, says it is essential.
“Going out and providing this training on how to do the adjustments and how to maintain the products gives technicians the confidence they need to work on the product,” he says. “It gives the product a longer life if it’s adjusted and maintained correctly, which brings about cost savings for the company as well.”
JOST regards the training as a critical part of its support to the transport industry and the fleets that are using its product.
“It’s one thing to buy the JOST product upfront on a new vehicle, but if it’s not serviced and maintained correctly, the life of that product will be diminished,” Bob says. “So, we regard it as vital that we get that training out there so that the fleets’ technicians and workshops are correctly servicing and maintaining the equipment, giving it a longer life and saving the operators money.”
Correct fifth wheel adjustments not only extend the life of the fifth wheel components, but also add to the life of the trailer king pins as well. Bob says as soon as a driver feels any ‘slop’ in the fifth wheel, it is imperative to report it to the workshop and have an adjustment carried out.
“A trailer king pin left banging back and forth in a set of fifth wheel lock jaws will dramatically reduce the life of the jaws and the trailer king pin,” he says.
Lack of grease, he points out, is also a ‘killer’ of couplings and king pins.
“Having said that, it is important to regularly clean out any old grease and replace it with fresh clean grease, especially when a unit is being operated in dusty, off-road conditions,” he says. “Bulldust mixed in with old dried out grease becomes a grinding paste and can reduce the life of coupling components dramatically.”
With the ever-expanding size and configurations of today’s transport fleets, and an increased need to service and maintain equipment as a result, Bob says the secret to getting the maximum life out of the JOST product – which Blenners Transport can attest to – is regular servicing and maintenance.
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