In December 2010, Liner Transport Equipment became authorised to distribute French refrigerated body builder Chereau’s BC bumper in Australia and New Zealand, extending the company’s global supply network. In 2011, Liner Transport Equipment will commence importing the BC bumper, a feature that has taken France by storm.
The chassis-mounted system is designed to reduce body damage due to impacts when docking, ensuring that the impact energy is absorbed by the chassis. “I am confident that the Australian market will welcome this innovative system,” Luke Davies says. “The Chereau bumper makes the dock contact function entirely independent of the shock absorbing function by ensuring that the chassis absorbs the impact energy.”
A study undertaken by Chereau accentuates the system’s effectiveness: “We have carried out an informal analysis of the state of six-year-old semi trailers coming back to our workshop for maintenance,” says Pierre-Andre Landaret, Chereau Service Network and Parts Development Manager. “The objective was to compare the cost of maintenance of a trailer fitted with the BC bumper to the cost of maintenance of a trailer without the BC bumper. The first step was to estimate repair costs for rear damage, the second to divide it by the number of dockings made over the six-year period. As a result it appeared that the cost of a docking operation could be estimated to one Euro ($1.35) for a trailer fitted with the BC Bumper and to almost 10 Euros ($13.50) for a trailer without the BC Bumper fitted.”
On this account, Chereau’s largest French customer STEF TFE – operating 2000 vehicles throughout Europe – decided to have all new vehicles fitted with the BC Bumper and retrofit the BC Bumper to all trailers not equipped with the new rear end when they return to Chereau for maintenance.
Chereau is a manufacturer of refrigerated transport equipment based in Avranches, a community in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France, focusing on the production of refrigerated vehicles and the development of innovative equipment, such as the BC bumper. Employing 599 people, Chereau built 3755 bodies in 2008. “The Chereau bumper is an exclusive option available on all Chereau articulated rigid and trailer chassis – with or without rear loading platform,” says Luke Davies.
“The robust steel rollers provide a high impact resistance, and their bowed shape optimises docking contact conditions, irrespective of the vehicle alignment. The rollers rotate during raising and lowering manoeuvres to prevent shearing.”