Special safety seminars are being run by JOST UK, to ensure safety whilst on the road, with the most recent one being held for a service provider, to a major European fleet. The seminars provide training on safe operation and proper maintenance of JOST Fifth Wheel Couplings.
The event was arranged after the service provider had been informed of a dropped trailer incident. Management wanted to ensure that they were maintaining the Fifth Wheels to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Fortunately the incident occurred in a loading yard. Had it been on the road it could have had serious consequences that, at best, would have resulted in major traffic disruption, and, at worst, could have resulted in serious injury or even fatality.
The seminar was delivered by Paul Clayton, UK and Regional Technical Sales and Support Manager at JOST UK. As part of its commitment to safety and component reliability, JOST UK offers free training seminars for both operation and maintenance of its full product portfolio, which includes Jost, Rockinger, Tridec, Edbro and Jost Axle System.
Clayton explained“Safety has to be paramount when you are dealing with trucks and trailers. That is a given and at JOST UK we take our responsibility very seriously which is why each seminar is pitched to the specific needs of the audience.
“Fifth wheels are inherently designed to be fool proof. If a fifth wheel has been properly serviced, and the coupling procedure is followed correctly, it is all but impossible for the trailer to then de-couple. On the occasions that incidents have occurred, then the fault is typically identified as operator error. Therefore it’s important that operators and engineers have the correct knowledge so that they can avoid a situation where they might be liable for a Health and Safety breach.
“In this case we were talking to the service provider of a major fleet, so we concentrated on the correct operation and maintenance and servicing, including how to engage a fifth wheel and how to strip and rebuild one - all very practical hands-on stuff. Had we been presenting to fleet managers and directors we would have focussed on different aspects.”
Such seminars are available to all JOST UK customers and are often free of charge. While they are based on key information, there is always a major effort to customise them to the needs of the audience. At most events for engineers, mechanics and drivers, the seminar delegates are invited to roll up their sleeves to iron out any bad habits that they might have picked up over the years.
After each such presentation JOST UK always follows up for feedback to make sure everybody has got the most they possibly can from the day and to see if they can improve similar future events.
Looking at fifth wheels specifically, anecdotal evidence suggests that they are probably the least maintained part of the truck; despite being one of the most important components for reliable and safe operation. Maintained properly, a fifth wheel will give years of trouble-free service. JOST UK therefore offers a ten-point check free-of-charge to promote this fact and encourages as many operators as possible to take advantage of this essential safety service. It also has information available in a number of forms, including on-line.
Clayton concluded: “It’s impossible to overemphasise how important safety is in our industry as very often accidents happen out on public roads. Should the worst happen then everyone involved – drivers, mechanics, fleet managers and owners – have to be able to show that they’ve met with every safety guideline, standard and regulation.
“These seminars are designed to promote the safe operation and maintenance of the JOST product, whichever system it may be.”