Alfred Hymas switches to AES to reduce tyre wear

Alfred Hymas switches to AES to reduce tyre wear

One of North Yorkshire’s largest and best-known bulk hauliers, Alfred Hymas, is using a wheel alignment system to reduce tyre wear and cut workshop time. CVW reports.

The Alfred Hymas fleet of 76 trucks is a familiar sight on the roads around North Yorkshire. Whether they are ferrying limestone from the quarries in the Yorkshire Dales to concrete producers or delivering agricultural produce and feeds to grain merchants and feed companies, the company’s blue and red livery is easily recognised.

But operating in a predominantly rural region and travelling on the poorly maintained B-roads takes its toll, as workshop manager David Porritt explains.

“Our vehicles carry heavy loads and often on uneven road surfaces so it’s important to keep close tabs on every axle, chassis and wheel to make sure everything remains perfectly aligned,” he says.

“Otherwise, tyre wear and other problems quickly take their toll, causing expense, potential hazards, and vehicle downtime.”

To guard against this, Hymas switched from its previous system to the Josam Camaligner from AES UK. David and his technical team say the main reason for this was because they need a system that is less complicated to operate and that was faster and more accurate.

Disruption and downtime

David and his team have recently moved to a six-bay workshop with DVSA spec brake rollers and a 5ft overhead crane at Sinderby, near the A1, where they also maintain and service other fleets. He says that damage caused by misaligned wheels is common.

“In addition to our own vehicles, we also provide maintenance services for external fleets and often see cases where lack of regular wheel alignment has caused damage which has gone unnoticed,” he says.

“Early detection and corrective action are essential to head off safety and cost issues, to say nothing about potential disruption and downtime.”

Alfred Hymas switches to AES to reduce tyre wear

Incorrect wheel alignment increases rolling resistance and adds to fuel consumption with even a slight misalignment resulting in premature and rapid tyre wear. If left undetected, the problem can cause blowouts and increase the chances of high level particulate (PM) dispersal.

To prevent this happening, Hymas technicians routinely check wheel angles such as camber, toe, axle offset and steering box middle during every MOT or when they fit a new tyre. The operation is swift, simple and accurate, as readings are automatically measured by the Cam-aligner. It uses the chassis centre line as a point of reference and, when it has completed the task, the computer produces a concise report.

“All quick and easy,” says David. “The cost benefits were apparent from the start and in the first year, the system is well on the way to paying for itself. We are making big savings in-house and also providing a more cost-efficient and improved service to our customers.”

The portability of the tool is an asset because it can be taken directly to the vehicle rather than customers having to bring their vehicles into the workshop for servicing. This is not only far more convenient for the customer but it also reduces the vehicle’s downtime and keeps it on the road.

Training and support are also key factors for David, ensuring that his whole team were able to operate the tool from the get-go.

“We started with an onsite group training session and then the AES team stayed close, returning the next month to make sure things were going smoothly. The Cam-aligner is not difficult to use, but it was reassuring to have the initial support and good to know AES is always at the end of a phone if needed.”

The Alfred Hymas fleet is predominantly Volvo and Renault and works out of operating centres in Great North Road, Sinderby, Thirsk (Head Office), Ripon, Keighley and Masham. Servicing both long- and short-term contracts, the company transports more than 6,500 tonnes per day.

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