Case study Bringing HGV Periodic Brake Safety Testing In-House At DM Forklifts

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Derek and Gillian Meston established DM Forklifts of Stonehaven, on the Aberdeenshire coast, in 2000 and have continuously invested in expanding the business over the last 22 years. Starting with one service van, they now run a fleet of nine vans and three HGV combinations.

In 2004, Derek and Gillian created a purpose-built service workshop to cater for the maintenance and preparation of their expanding hire fleet. This was further extended in 2013 to double the capacity and cater for increasing vehicle throughput.

With a hire fleet of over 90 specialist machines, including 5-18 metre Telescopic Handlers, 16-18 metre Access Platforms, Industrial Forklifts and a range of CAT Micro Diggers up to 8 tons and CAT Compact Rollers, the outbound and inbound logistics operations keep their HGV fleet at maximum capacity.

Periodic Brake Safety Checks are a vital part of DM Forklifts fleet maintenance regime, and whilst the safety requirements are paramount, the scheduling of vehicles around test appointments at the nearest testing facility, based twenty miles away, consumed a significant amount of travel and labour time, which ultimately resulted in costly fleet downtime. Add in a £20 per axle test fee, and the cost of testing a laden tri-axle low loader and tractor unit placed a significant operational burden on the business.

“Periodic Brake Safety Checks are a key part of DM Forklifts fleet maintenance regime”

In 2022, Derek and Gillian invested in a Commercial Vehicle brake tester for their workshop operations. The benefits of regularly testing their fleet vehicles at a time that suited their operational requirements provided Derek and Gillian with improved workshop and fleet efficiency and dramatically reduced the cost associated with off-site testing.

DM Forklifts contacted Dingbro Ltd, a long-standing distributor of Tecalemit Garage Equipment, through their Garage Essentials operation. Ally Duncan dealt with the enquiry and immediately contacted Tecalemit’s Jim McDermott. With over 20 years of Tecalemit Garage Equipment supply experience, including hundreds of CV brake testers, Jim is fully conversant with the product specification and its capabilities. In addition to the product benefits, Jim is fully adept in dealing with the civil requirements and the project management surrounding the supply and installation task.

“The civil work was undertaken, and the floor recesses were prepared to millimetre accuracy”

The key to a successful installation is preparation. Jim always meets with the builders to ensure they understand the groundwork requirements and plans. It is a “big dig” to prepare the groundwork to the specifications to accommodate two heavy-duty roller frames and roller beds, but something that Jim has overseen many times. It is far easier to check the cable ducts are in the correct position, plus the bracing of the recess shuttering before the concrete pours.

The civil work was undertaken, and the floor recesses were prepared to millimetre accuracy, enabling the Tecalemit engineering team to complete a swift installation and commissioning of the brake tester frames, roller bed assemblies and control cabinet.

The Tecalemit DE/9700 features robust, heavy-duty 15kW motors mounted to an epicyclic gearbox with a soft start facility. This means the unit will adequately cope with the powerful braking forces from the heaviest of laden trailer assemblies. The high-quality galvanised recess frames and roller beds will endure the harshest of the Aberdeenshire climate to ensure the equipment matches the high standards of fleet maintenance that DM Forklifts insist upon.

“The Tecalemit DE/9700 features robust, heavy-duty 15kW motors mounted to an epicyclic gearbox with a soft start facility”

With their new Tecalemit DE/9700 operational, DM Forklifts is saving many hours of operational downtime for their fleet vehicle tests. With the associated labour costs involved with ferrying vehicles backwards and forwards for testing, the payback benefit of the capital investment starts to add up. Their cost-benefit analysis further improves by providing tests to other fleet operators, which means DM Forklifts can generate additional revenue for the business operation.

The Tecalemit DE/9700 has also enabled Derek and Gillian to automatically capture their vehicle brake test results on its internal database, reducing administrative requirements related to vehicle record keeping.

Tecalemit would like to thank Derek and Gillian for choosing Tecalemit Garage Equipment to supply their new Commercial Vehicle Brake Tester. To benefit from the experience of Tecalemit’s National Equipment Specialists, call the Tecalemit team on 01752 219111