There are a number of common values that are deeply ingrained in Australia’s commercial road transport industry: Safety, productivity and efficiency are high on the list of priorities quoted by many a fleet manager, regardless of the business they represent.
The difference often comes down to how those values are actioned. For some, productivity gains are realised through using lightweight equipment that offers optimum payloads, while others seek robust gear that reduces downtime spent in maintenance. For equipment supplier SAF-Holland, understanding those nuances to its customers’ priorities is key to ensuring a product is more than a sale, but a solution, says SAF-Holland Area Sales Manager, Bill Cassar.
“Know your customer and understand their business, then you can actually offer something that is right for the job,” he says. “We always endeavour to understand how our products will answer to our customers’ needs, then deliver on that requirement.”
When customers are investigating options for their axle and suspension needs, Bill says the SAF-Holland Intra range of disc and drum products is a popular option for those seeking productivity gains. “There is no arguing the fact that the SAF-Holland Intra axle and suspension product is the lightest on the market,” says Bill. “For fleets looking to maximise payloads, it can save in the region of 300-400kg over a tri-axle combination.”
The lightweight aspect of the Intra range is achieved through the integrated trailing arm that eliminates the need for U-bolts and other componentry through its robotically-welded three-piece design. “The SAF intra range utilises the highest technical standards of construction and design. There’s nothing like it, it has been engineered specifically to uphold maximum loads while still providing its light weight advantages.”
Fleets chasing weight gains are predominantly running tippers, Bill adds, and they can amplify the weight benefits of the SAF-Holland Intra range by selecting the aluminium hanger option. “Payload for a fleet is money in the pocket,” he says. “The aluminium hanger can be welded directly onto the chassis of the trailer or the tipper bin, eliminating upwards of 250kg of weight by removing the subframe without compromising on strength or component reliability.”
That product reliability is more than just a marketing phrase, Bill says, as the Intra range is backed by an industry-unique six-year/one million kilometre warranty. “Some fleet customers choose their axle and suspension equipment based on labour and maintenance costs,” Bill says. “For the fleets who are looking to improve efficiency through minimising downtime, the SAF-Holland Intra plus Integral disc brake offers greater brake performance and extended service intervals.”
Bill says that once fitted to a trailer, SAF-Holland sends a recommended service agent to perform the first service on its behalf. “They understand the exact torque settings on certain components, and once they’re all set, the trailer can go 30,000km before it needs a visual check,” Bill explains. “If that check shows that nothing has moved, then you’ve effectively taken an eight to 12 hour service down to a half hour inspection. That’s a huge time saving, and perfectly answers the needs for fleets trying to minimise downtime.”
By first finding out the core values of its customers and their priorities, Bill says SAF-Holland ensures fleets are provided with the results they seek. “More and more businesses are seeing the benefits the SAF-Holland Intra range can provide and are jumping on board,” he says. “By understanding their businesses, we aren’t just selling a product, but providing a solution.”