Turning the tables
With an overarching view to maximising safety for its drivers, clients and the general public, the Glen Cameron Group has specified SAF-Holland G36 fifth-wheels with RECOSS integrated dashboard display status alert on a batch of new Volvo prime movers. Longer release handles requiring significantly reduced pull effort and one-handed operation are big drawcards.
A long-held motto of ‘one team, one goal,’ has been an ongoing influence on the modus operandi of the Glen Cameron Group since its inception more than four decades ago. Put simply, this is a company that prides itself on providing consistently exceptional service to its broad and varied customer base.
The company’s founder, Glen Cameron, has an extensive history in road transport, having started working for his father, Ed Cameron’s interstate haulage business when he left school in 1970. In 1974 he struck out on his own, setting up a one-truck courier business operating in the greater Melbourne area.
Over the ensuing decades Glen developed the enterprise into a highly successful multi-faceted national logistics operation and has refused to waver in his determination that the company provide the best possible service to every customer, large and small.
In striving to achieve this goal, the Glen Cameron Group has, over the years, utilised a range of different brands of trucks, trailers and related equipment, in line with a philosophy that each application demands different attributes, and the capital equipment needs to be chosen accordingly.
Furthermore, the company is always on the lookout to gain a competitive edge and considers that trying different products in comparable applications is a good way to see how the manufacturers are tracking in delivering new and improved features and technology.
Above all, the imperative of receiving exceptional aftersales support, in sync with its own high standards of customer care, has been a driving force in the Glen Cameron Group’s decisions on which equipment to purchase for each contract.
Over the years, the company has learnt that engaging committed suppliers, known for excelling in their respective fields, can produce a collaborative outcome that would not otherwise have been possible.
Which brings us to the relationship Cameron’s has developed with fifth-wheel, axle, and suspension supplier SAF-Holland, and specifically its decision to specify a brace of 28 new Volvo prime movers with RECOSS-equipped G36 fifth-wheels.
“For us, safety is of utmost importance so for some time now, depending on the application, we have been using fifth-wheels equipped with sensor technology that informs the driver, via an in-cab display, whether or not the jaws have locked correctly,” says Greg Morris Cameron Group Fleet Manager.
“I believe we need to keep our options open in regards to new equipment that comes into the marketplace,” he adds. “The G36 looks to have the goods and we’re very keen to try it out to see how it stacks up against our other units and make some comparisons.
“Ease of use from a driver’s perspective was definitely a determining factor,” he explains. “The G36 units have a longer release handle so the driver doesn’t have to reach under as far and it’s a simple one-handed operation that requires much less effort. Workplace Health and Safety is a big thing these days and we welcome these features as a way to reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries.”
Critical in not only reducing the incidence of workplace injuries but also ensuring the safety of the general public is determining that prime movers and trailers are correctly coupled every single time.
SAF-Holland’s RECOSS (REmote COntrolled Safety System) provides the driver with a visual indication in the cab as to whether or not the jaws are correctly engaged with the trailer’s king pin. Thus, provided the driver heeds the warning, the likelihood of ‘dropping’ a trailer whilst underway is virtually zero.
“It’s certainly a very important feature for us,” Greg says. “As is the yellow tape on the release handle that visually shows the driver that it’s fully engaged.”
According to SAF-Holland, the G36 cast-iron fifth-wheels have a long service life, are low-maintenance, easy to operate and relatively light. They are said to weigh considerably less than comparable competitors’ products due largely to the spheroidal graphite cast plate construction.
While conceding the weight saving factor didn’t consciously play a part in the decision-making process, Greg says it’s nonetheless a welcome benefit.
“It’s an added bonus,” he agrees. “There’s not a whole lot in it but in this day and age even a small reduction in tare weight makes a difference.”
Another thing Greg is emphatic about is the dedication and diligence shown by SAF-Holland’s Key Account Manager, Bill Cassar.
“Bill’s been nothing but helpful throughout the whole procurement process,” he confirms. “Nothing’s been an issue and they’ve been willing to jump on board whenever we asked. That’s a good thing – it’s the support that comes after the sale that really matters to us and, in turn, we like to support them.”
As to the ongoing maintenance of the new G36 fifth-wheels, Greg says he doesn’t foresee any changes to the regular servicing regime the company currently uses.
“All our equipment is serviced regularly and part of that process is lubricating, checking and adjusting the fifth-wheel,” he says.
As for life expectancy, Greg says he expects the new G36 units to last for the life of the prime movers, in line with the other brand of fifth-wheels the company runs.
“We’ve had a good run out of the other brand we’ve been using and we are really interested to see how the SAF-Holland product performs,” he says.