English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 5 - 2018 | Page 29

SERVICE located in the central beam. In the end this specific requirement has been taken on by Nooteboom and introduced as standard on all new Pendel-X low-loaders.” MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS Peter: “We always have to find a balance in the planning of our mainte- nance work. For a large part we can do it ourselves during the weekend, but some of it has to be subcontracted. That’s why we have maintenance contracts for a number of our vehicles, mainly the relatively simple 2-axle and 3-axle tractors. For the he avy 5-axle tractors we carry out the maintenance ourselves.” PLANNING WORKSHOP Peter: “Between Monday morning and Friday afternoon our vehicles are on the road. Inspections and maintenance are done on Saturday. Our mechanics have one day off during the week as compensation for working in the weekend. I have been with Holtrop-van der Vlist for 24 years and during that time I have seen a lot of changes. In 1994 it was still quite normal for mechanics to work in the weekend. Nowadays it is increasingly difficult to find mechanics who will work on a Saturday. We see a similar trend with drivers. Twenty-five years ago many drivers were able to solve small technical problems themselves. Now they are on the phone straightaway. We expect our drivers to change the lightbulbs themselves, but anything more complicated than that seems to be too much for most drivers.” DEAD WEIGHT Peter: “The dead weight of the trucks and trailers is extremely important for us. With light combinations we can carry out some of our transports without exemption and during the life of a trailer that can mean saving tens of thousands of euro’s on exemption costs. Every kilogram extra has to be dragged along. That costs fuel and restricts the load capacity. Our last series of semi low-loaders that Nooteboom delivered fully meets these requirements.” EQUIPMENT NEW TRUCKS AND TRAILERS Peter: “If a new truck or trailer sets off to collect its first load, everything needs to be perfect. Therefore we spend a long time on new vehicles to equip them. We have many parts made especially for them. The aim is always a long life and for the driver’s work to be easy and safe. For the trailers we organise the boxes, width marker plates, ramps and panels to close the wheel wells ourselves. Quick and efficient work, that’s what we’re after.” At the end of the interview one question remains: Have the costs for repairs and maintenance actually been reduced over the last few years due to the careful planning?” Peter: “I cannot give a clear answer to that question. Part of our fleet consists of extremely complex vehicles. The maintenance of a simple steered Nooteboom Euro low-loader is cheaper than the version with pendle axles. But we opt for pen- dle axles anyway due to their big advantages: higher axle load, more steering angle and longer suspension stroke. What we’re really looking for is the impossible: mul- tifunctional use, low running costs, very few empty kilometres and user-friend- liness for the driver. With Nooteboom we are constantly looking to improve the details that could influence all this.” ■ 29