US equipment company STEMCO specifies combinations of braking components matched to a fleet’s unique transport requirements, providing operators significantly longer wear.
Although the Australian commercial road transport industry may not share the same daily concerns that influenced Greek philosopher Aristotle, his phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ holds a lining of truth when it comes to braking equipment.
For STEMCO Australia’s Business Manager, Rob Pridmore, it is especially relevant, as he says the various braking products developed by the North American company give the best results when they’re all used together.
“STEMCO engineers and manufactures a range of braking products, including brake shoes with linings, automatic brake adjusters and steel shell CentriFuse brake drums,” he says. “When you put all the STEMCO products together, you will get 20 per cent more use out of them – and we have the test data to prove it.”
The data comes from the company’s Engineering Testing Center in Kentucky, where the different product varieties within each range are thoroughly tested. “We can back our various products up from a technical perspective. If fleets are interested in using any of our products, we can, for example, hand over the dynamometer test data, which shows the drum wear and the shoe wear,” Rob says.
In its brake drum offering, STEMCO has two colour-coded ranges to signify heavy-duty or lightweight application. “The heavy-duty brake drums are red, and we have the blue lightweight CentriFuse drum for on-highway applications.
“Within the brake shoes we also have two ranges: the on-highway range and the BRT range, made specifically for frequently stopping applications, such as garbage and concrete trucks, which have a different braking pattern to much of the industry,” says Rob. “If you’re a waste fleet and you use the BRT shoe together with the heavy-duty drum, you’re going to see improved performance and extended life.”
If a customer is unsure about which products will give them the best results, Rob says the sales team is there to help, spending time with the fleet to identify issues and figure out what sort of product they might need. “For example, tippers need a lightweight drum, while garbage trucks need the most heavy-duty products,” he says. “What we do find interesting, though, is a lot of people don’t need our help before, so much as after the sale. If there’s a problem with an RMS inspection, or braking balance, then they come to us for help, and we’re happy to do so.”
Part of the after sales service that STEMCO provides is its fleet of Total Customer Value training trucks, an initiative the company introduced around five years ago to create a mobile, hands-on training opportunity for workshops all over the country.
The five training vehicles are spread across the country, based in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, but also covering as much of the regional areas as possible. “The training vehicles are fitted out with wheel ends and braking systems to do onsite training as a way to support the fleets,” says Rob. “We can actually show mechanics how to adjust and maintain things like the auto brake adjuster, or if they have a question on a product we can fit it and demonstrate. Our training teams prove they know what they’re talking about, which in turn gives STEMCO a good reputation to match the quality of the components.”