Forget Zoom, Teams and Youtube videos. For semi-trailer operators, old school, face-to-face demonstrations and firsthand practice are back, and their popularity among fleets is proving that they might be back for good.
“We really like to offer up hands-on training when it comes to our products,” says JOST General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Corey Povey.
“We want success in every application we offer, and these training sessions are proving to be both interesting and enjoyable ways to ensure that.”
JOST’s most recent workshop was a collaboration arranged by DHL Supply Chain, with JOST offering national distribution network, Primary Connect, a hands-on presentation on how semi-trailer turntables operate.
Using a JOST training trailer, it focused on preventing dropped trailers and understanding why and how they occur.
Led by JOST Area Sales Managers, John Dreves and Stewart Lamb, the training took place at Primary Connect’s Sydney National Distribution Centre.
“Primary Connect and DHL collectively have shown their dedication to transport safety,” Corey says.
It should be noted that this particular workshop included JOST’s innovative fifth wheel sensor technology, which importantly ensures the coupling and uncoupling process is successful each time.
The system gives the driver a visual and audible warning from inside the cab if it detects that any one of the skid plate, kingpin or safety latch are not in the correct position for a secure connection.
One difficulty associated with tackling the problem of miscoupled trailers – and what makes this such a critical issue – is the huge variety of causes that can lead to a trailer being miscoupled and when or how a miscoupled trailer actually becomes separated from the prime mover.
Primary Connect National Transport Safety Lead, Virginia Callow, highlighted the importance of the message behind the demonstration.
“Dropped trailers might look funny and be classified as a minor incident, but trust me, they’re a big deal,” she said. “They can put drivers and road users at risk, be extremely costly, mess with operations and the recovery can be complex.”
In the best-case scenario, the driver will notice a miscoupled trailer following best-practice procedures and visually inspects the coupling to ensure the kingpin is secure in the lock jaw and the safety mechanism is in place, prior to performing a tug test after coupling.
If the check is not made on the kingpin in the jaw, then a miscoupled trailer can separate from the fifth wheel during the tug test or when manouevering in the yard, which can cause damage to the truck or trailer and delay deliveries.
However, the weight of a loaded trailer sometimes puts enough force onto the fifth wheel that it can pass a hasty tug test and give the driver a false impression that the trailer is securely connected.
This can lead to a potentially far more dangerous situation if the trailer separates from the prime mover when travelling at speed on the road. JOST has also held training sessions at the Toll/Woolworths Michinbury, New South Wales site for Toll Group’s drivers and management team.
In that training session, JOST covered everything from the maintenance and operational aspects of its turntable systems, to optimising their performance.
Toll Group Operations Support Manager, Mark Haworth, said the sessions, held in June, were invaluable.
“We consider it our top priority to invest in the professional development of our drivers and management team to ensure that our customer receives the highest level of service and quality that they expect and deserve,” Mark said.
“These training sessions present an excellent opportunity for our team to learn from the best and enhance their skills and knowledge.”
Next up will be demonstrations in Coffs Harbour where JOST equipment experts will be on hand to help with installation and training on fifth wheel sensors with Lindsay Transport.