Prime Mover Magazine

Beyond the repairs

Beyond the repairs

Often referred to as the unsung heroes of commercial road transport, modern repair businesses play a vital role in keeping Australia’s transport industry running – even though they are not always top of mind.

From the odd scrape in city traffic through to the – rare – worst case scenario of a full-size collision, accident damage is a cost every modern transport company has to make provision against – especially in an age where traffic and freight volume growth are in constant overdrive.

Even though the commercial road industry is working hard to achieve a zero incident environment, recent data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that the amount of vehicles on the road has risen dramatically over the past half decade.

While there is no conclusive data on how that spike in volume will affect road safety down the track, a 2013 US study suggested that every one per cent jump in truck volume results in a “disproportionately higher increase” in severe crash probability – indicating just how important it is to have a contingency plan in place on how to handle damage-related downtime.

Combined with data suggesting that Australia’s national freight task is expected to triple by 2050* and an average truck age of 14.4 years**, truck repair experts say now is the time to reactivate the relationships fleets have repairs businesses – even though the topic itself is an unpleasant one.

“Generally speaking, every incident is a crisis situation for a transport company,” says Shane Coates, Group Asset Manager at the Glen Cameron Group. “To handle a crisis, you need quick access to trained professionals who know what they’re doing. As a transport business, our expertise is in handling freight, not in vehicle recovery and repair; so if we want to manage our brand and the subsequent downtime and associated costs, we need people who can manage an accident in the same professional way.”

Shane adds, “Downtime is a real issue in our industry. Every day a truck is not on the road, it is costing us money. That’s why it’s important to make sure that we have a repairer that doesn’t just park it in the workshop and gets to work on it straight away. Doing research beforehand and building a relationship with the right partner who shares our sense of urgency absolutely pays dividends when time off the road is considered. The costs add up really quick.”

The full story has appeared in the October edition of Prime Mover. To get your copy, click here.


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