JOST enhances safety experience for Camerons
- From the November 2016 issue.
The Glen Cameron Group has invested in the newest Volvo and JOST safe coupling sensor technology for its ‘non-stop’ DON Smallgoods contract.
Running a 24-7 transport operation is nothing new to the Glen Cameron Group. The diversified logistics company has been working throughout the days and nights for its 42 years in the Australian road transport industry, understanding that meeting clients’ schedules is crucial to winning tenders.
Such is the case for a contract that Cameron Group operates on behalf of DON Smallgoods. Two brand-new Volvo FM trucks have just been put to work pulling Vawdrey refrigerated trailers in a shuttle service that involves a swing trailer operation throughout the day and night.
Glen Cameron Group Fleet Manager, Shane Coates, supports the tough task in his capacity of controlling Group Assets, adding that, “investigating ways to minimise risk and increase safety for these swing trailer operations is a constant work in progress”.
“There are many safety features now available on the market and my task is to constantly evaluate them, and either reject or embrace them,” Shane says. “Our customers all throughout the supply chain are increasingly focussed on Chain of Responsibility and risk mitigation, so they expect us to be innovative and find new solutions to provide a safe environment for all workers to operate in.”
One area of concern that Shane has identified for swing trailer operations, like the DON Smallgoods task, is the greater potential for human error during repeated fifth wheel uncoupling and coupling in the middle of the night.
“There is an inherent increased risk of not coupling correctly when working in the dark,” Shane says. “We want to be a safe business and our customers have high expectations of us. We believe we can actively mitigate risk through the introduction of new technology.”
The new technology brought on board by the Glen Cameron Group is an electronic solution developed by fifth wheel specialist JOST in cooperation with Volvo Group Australia, which Shane says lowers potential coupling failure and the associated risks significantly. “Together, JOST and Volvo have developed technology that integrates the fifth wheel sensor with a Volvo in-dash animation to identify whether the fifth wheel is correctly uncoupled or coupled,” Shane explains. “Our clients, as well as our Safety and Compliance Team, are really excited about the benefits from this integrated sensor technology, which is a first for JOST, Volvo and the Glen Cameron Group.”
Shane says previously fifth wheel sensors could only show the coupling status through a simple red or green light in the dash, which he notes could potentially refer to any dash feature warnings.
“Having an actual animated coupling right under the driver’s nose removes any ambiguity about whether or not the coupling is in the correct place. It’s very specific and that’s an important upgrade to the sensor technology.”
Though new technology is a first for both parties in this space, the Glen Cameron Group has been working with JOST as its fifth wheel supplier of choice for years. “JOST has good people, who are open to suggestions and new ideas. Over the years we have built a close relationship with it and are excited to trial new technology, like this sensor,” Shane says.
“The fifth wheel is an integral part of the combination, so it’s something we take very seriously when sourcing equipment from supportive suppliers.”
Shane adds that with some suppliers, the support finishes when a sale is made. However JOST understands that for the Cameron Group, that’s where it starts. “Being mechanical in nature, all components require maintenance and service, and most importantly, aftersales support at some point or another. It’s crucial that we can contact our suppliers and get an immediate response with an equally speedy resolution,” the Fleet Manager explains – adding that he prefers to be constantly talking with suppliers about new and innovative solutions to better manage whole of life costs.
“The JOST turntables have always been a good, quality product, and the team gives us great support. As a fleet manager for around 500 trucks and 400 trailers, aftersales service that assists us to manage whole of life costs is a box that just has to be ticked,” Shane says. “JOST has given us outstanding support over the years, and without support from our suppliers, we’re unable to deliver a service that exceeds our customer’s expectations. Glen Cameron is very loyal to suppliers that share his vision for safety.”
With the clarity of coupling status guaranteed at any hour of the day through the in-dash animated display, Shane says the Glen Cameron Group drivers on the DON Smallgoods operation can rest assured that they have the latest tools and technology to provide a service in line with the Cameron Group’s “Safety in Motion” focus.