Trailer Magazine

Pumping up the volume

  • From the July 2018 issue.
Pumping up the volume

Shephard Transport Equipment, a hydraulics specialist aligns itself with heavy-duty supplier JOST to ensure its trailer components are always first rate.

When it comes to hydraulics supply and expertise, Shephard Transport Equipment has over 40 years experience servicing the transport-engineering marketplace.

Based out of Larapinta, on the Logan Motor Way, a short drive south of Brisbane, Shephard Transport Equipment first opened its doors in 1976. Steve Erfurth, Parts and Hydraulics Manager, says operations revolve around supplying equipment and providing engineering expertise to body builders, Original Equipment Manufacturers, crane distributors, water tank manufacturers, tilt tray manufacturers, truck dealers and more.

“Our customers can ring us with an application and we can supply everything from the controls in the cab to the power take-off (PTO) pump and the valving, oil tanks to hose kits. It’s the complete package,” he says “We can provide steel and aluminium components for tipping bodies as well.”

Steve, who has been with the privately owned Shephard Transport Equipment for 30 years, estimates hydraulics and associated components represent close to 70 per cent of its revenue. The remaining focus of the business comprises the supply of turntables, landing legs, kingpins and towing eyes for its customers.

“We started out mainly as a specialist tipper body and trailer builder and the company has since then diversified into one of Queensland’s largest wholesaler of transport hydraulics and transport equipment,” he says. “The equipment we sell is used in our own manufacturing so we know what works, and this gives our customers a lot of confidence.”

Hydraulics is the company’s strength. It partners with JOST, who supplies the market leading Italian designed and manufactured hydraulics, PTO and pumps, valves and controls, all manufactured by the same company.

“There’s a synergy there. With the underbody rams manufactured in Italy also using manufacturing processes that is exclusive to them,” he says. “That’s one way we know we’re supplying the best product in the industry.”
Having sold the JOST multi-stage underbody rams his entire career, Steve says, as a business, they won’t look at anything else. The tubes are manufactured via special tenifer process involving salt nitrating. The extreme surface hardening it provides prevents wear and enhances corrosion resistance, anti-friction and mechanical strength.

“They are head and shoulders above anything else I have seen,” he says, referring to the JOST underbody rams. “They are bullet proof. The genuine warranties I’ve seen claimed you can count on one hand.”

Recently Shephard Transport Equipment, as Steve recalls it, worked with JOST on a new oil tank design for a range just released to market. The oil tank, which took six months to develop, resembles the compact square shaped European build, limiting chassis space required to fit.

“It’s beautifully finished, powder coated, with convenient mounts and stainless steel straps,” Steve says. “European trucks are becoming more and more popular in Australia. We saw that there was a need for square tanks locally and we worked together to find an overseas quality manufacturer to modify their design to suit our requirements.”

“As market leaders, JOST provides the customer with a comfort that they have purchased a quality piece of equipment,” Steve says. “There’s been an influx of cheap rip-off products in the market originating from Asia. The Italian manufactured product, on the other hand, inspires confidence among customers.”

Shephard Transport Equipment, which employs over 40 people in the workshop, has the engineering expertise and resources to supply quality equipment and services at competitive prices, says Steve. It matters not if a customer is in Mount Isa or Melbourne.

“We want to be an asset to a customers’ business in that we can supply a true parts and labour warranty Australia-wide,” he says. “One of our customers, a leading tilt tray manufacturer in Queensland, supplies all over the country. If there’s ever a problem the director at that company simply calls us and gives us the customer’s name and we troubleshoot the problem. It doesn’t matter where they’re product is in Australia we can back it up.” 

Shephard Transport Equipment offers more than just a box with a PTO in it. Steve says it also offers the advice, the correct application and other necessary components in which to meet customer needs. JOST has a wide range of PTO pumps for every application including Hot Shift clutch pack PTOs, which have been built to suit European gearboxes. Also a heavy-duty Road Ranger PTO, a brand of transmission, rated at 80kw in power. JOST, as Steve sees it, provides Shephard Transport Equipment with every bit of dedicated support it needs.

“We’re at the coalface and so it’s important we are listened to so that the product when it gets imported is the right size and shape and the pricing is correct,” he said.

“JOST are one of the only suppliers that take our advice and work closely with us to meet the market needs.”

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