Servicing EBS in the West

Over the last 20 years Dino Bertone has built a successful enterprise catering for the auto electrical and EBS needs of transport operators in the vast state of Western Australia. More recently, Dino partnered with trailer braking specialist, Knorr-Bremse, to provide a one-stop-shop for installations, servicing and repairs of sophisticated EBS equipment and other technology on heavy trucks and trailers.

Being invited to become a Knorr-Bremse TruckServices Service Partner in WA was a crowning achievement for Dino Bertone, who has spent the better part of two decades learning all there is to know about EBS (Electronic Braking Systems) while building his business, EBS Perth and Auto Electrical.

Having grown up in Perth, Dino started an auto electrical apprenticeship in 1998 and, eager to learn more about truck and trailer braking systems, undertook additional learning in control systems, electronics and pneumatics.

Prior to starting his apprenticeship, Dino already had some knowledge of auto electrical systems as he had done plenty of work experience and worked with auto electricians in his school holidays.

During his apprenticeship he was awarded Apprentice of the Year in 2000 in Auto Electrical at the South East College of TAFE.
Dino also won the Perth regional Workskills competition and then went on to represent his state in the Australian Workskills competition in Adelaide in 2001 where he finished as a finalist.

After completing his apprenticeship, Dino worked on heavy vehicles in a range of transport fields including general freight. He was also heavily involved in the fuel industry and as EBS started becoming mainstream on fuel tankers he began filling a need for maintenance of the systems. As such, he became licenced to work on tankers used to haul regular liquid fuels as well as those used for carting gases in the form of LPG, LNG and CNG.

EBS Perth caters for customers in metropolitan Perth as well as in far-flung mining communities in places like Kalgoorlie and Port Hedland.

Dino also gained his Multi-Combination driver’s licence and Dangerous Goods licence which enabled him to test drive the heavy vehicles to ascertain that issues had been rectified.

Dino’s next move was to start his own business called EBS Perth & Auto Electrical, as he realised that there was a significant opportunity in this space and was keen to help truck operators with their EBS needs.

“I discovered there were relatively few people with the knowledge and expertise to do this type of work, so I decided I would fill this niche and learnt all there was to know about EBS,” Dino says.

As for his initial connection with Knorr-Bremse, Dino says in trying to diagnose a problem with a truck’s EBS in 2013 he contacted an engineer at Knorr-Bremse who was pleasantly surprised at how much he knew about Knorr-Bremse EBS.

“He asked me how I knew so much about their products and EBS in general and I explained that I had been diagnosing faults and doing installations for a number of years and had learned as much as I could along the way,” Dino says.

As it turned out, Dino’s enthusiasm and expertise with EBS was just what Knorr-Bremse had been looking for, and the company made him an offer to become one of its service partners in Western Australia.

Not surprisingly, Dino grabbed this opportunity with both hands and has worked closely with Knorr-Bremse ever since. Also unsurprisingly, his business has thrived as a result.

“Over the intervening years I was introduced to more people at Knorr-Bremse and every time I found issues in a system I was working on, I would consult with them and sometimes fly over to Melbourne so we could work things out together in the workshop,” Dino says.

Rugged and reliable. Knorr-Bremse EBS features CAN bus communication between the various components.

Having now had seven years of doing this, Dino and his company are considered an important go-to service provider for specialised technical support of Knorr-Bremse EBS in WA.

Dino explains that he tries to stay one step ahead of the technology development to ensure he is right up to date with the servicing and diagnostic procedures.

“During my time in the fuel and gas industries I made lots of contacts so many of my current clients are from these industries,” Dino says. “I have CNG, LNG and LPG tickets and I’ve also had the opportunity to work closely with software engineers who used to work for a leading global auto manufacturer. This involved learning a lot about CAN bus which is a major component of EBS.”

A Controller Area Network (CAN bus) is a robust vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other’s applications without a host computer.

Dino says that CAN bus systems are generally quite reliable but that problems can arise if aftermarket systems are added without sufficient preparation or testing.

He also says his exposure to different modes of transport from early in his career – including cars, trucks and marine – has given him a broad perspective on electronics across a wide range of vehicles and vessels.

“The owners of the business where I did my apprenticeship were right into yachting so I was able to learn about how to deal with electrolysis problems,” he says. “I was always interested in mechanical and electrical systems and I would always annoy people by asking lots of questions so I could learn as much as possible.”

These days Dino’s company comprises himself and one tradesman with Dino saying he is deliberately keeping the operation small so that it remains a specialised service.

“It’s important to stay specialised in this field because you can have 10 trailers side-by-side and each one could have a different EBS configuration that you have to know how to manage,” he says. “EBS valves can be programmed in different ways so it’s essential to have the broad product knowledge to enable the job to be done correctly and efficiently.”

As such, Dino and his employee are kept on their toes looking after the complete EBS needs of customers from metropolitan Perth to far-flung mining communities in places like Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie.

At the same time, Knorr-Bremse is assured its customers’ sophisticated EBS equipment is in the safest of hands in terms of service, repairs and installations in the state of Western Australia.

Fast Fact
EBS Perth & Auto Electrical is an authorised service partner for Knorr-Bremse in the state of Western Australia. The owner of the business, Dino Bertone, has a broad and deep knowledge of EBS that ensures issues are sorted pronto.