This year saw the appointment of Fleet Solutions as Service Partner for Krone Trailers. Fleet Solutions MD and founder Brian Balfe explains what lies behind the operation.
Fleet Solutions was established in 1984 and since then has expanded steadily into virtually every aspect of commercial trailer and truck service and support. Now, with over 50 employees, the Clondalkin- based company is renowned as one of Ireland’s foremost trailer service and maintenance specialists.
For Krone Trailers this was an important factor and necessary to provide a premier support service for its fast-expanding customer base in Ireland.
“The partnership is a natural one” says Brian Balfe. The Krone trailer is a top-end product with a no-nonsense specification. Good quality equipment and used by discerning operators throughout Europe. Similarly, Fleet Solutions has a reputation for expert technical back up with modern processes designed to meet the needs of today’s increasingly sophisticated transport and logistics operators”
Sophisticated is certainly one way to describe the way things are done at Fleet Solutions: Brian Balfe explains:
“Many years ago we introduced modern procedures which, using an end-to-end mapping process, enables us to tightly control every job, from the moment it is booked in until the vehicle or trailer is returned to the customer.
“This way, we can ensure consistently high quality and efficiency each time a job is raised. For example, our bespoke-designed administration and mapping system automatically processes each step of every job using a modular process which embraces: booking in, quotation, warranty clearance, parts provision, customer acceptance, production/engineering, quality control, and invoicing. Furthermore,” adds Brian, “our system recognises every previous job, which enables us to quickly inform the customer regarding exact costs and time frames to carry out the work required”
But it’s not all about sophisticated mapping systems. Fleet Solutions’ success also lies in the expertise and experience of its highly trained technicians, who apply their skills across a wide range of services. Brian Balfe again:
“All of our workshop technicians are fully trained and many are specialist in particular areas. Although we are best known for trailer service and refurbishments, we also provide truck maintenance, body shop facilities, tail-lift maintenance, vehicle livery and bespoke curtain manufacturing. And, as an official RSA (Vosa-equivalent) testing station, we of course need to ensure that all workshop employees are kept up to date with the latest regulations and working practices”
One-stop Service Solutions.
Providing a cross section of commercial vehicle services all ‘under one roof’ enables Fleet Solutions to deal with every fleet requirement – from the smallest owner driver one-off jobs, to regular maintenance and repair schedules for the largest tractor and trailer fleets. Leading brands including Krone, Schmitz Cargobull, Jost, BPW, ROR and Meritor are fully supported and operators the length and breadth of Ireland can rely on round-the-clock service and roadside recovery if required.
In brief, the operation comprises a 6 bay trailer repair workshop and 6 bay commercial vehicle repair centre; on-site LCV, HCV and CVR testing centre; NSAI-licensed tachograph, speed limiter and plating facility; tail lift inspection; 3,000 sq.m. parts and components centre; curtain manufacturing facility; shot-blast, painting and refurbishment; mobile service and breakdown vans; fleet scheduling, reporting and budget planning.
For Krone Trailer and all other trailer operators, Fleet Solutions provide a state-of-the-art trailer workshop which employs a ‘pit-stop’ philosophy to ensure fast turn-round and cost effective maintenance and repairs:
· 20ft pit bay for full inspections
· Dedicated ABS & EBS diagnostics bay
· All 6 bays equipped with specially designed trailer lifts and stands
· Retractable airlines and air points at front and rear of each bay
· Three phase and one phase wiring to each bay
· High quality equipment and tools
· In-depth code of practice and procedures adhering to the highest Health & Safety standards
Commercial Vehicle Testing Centre
Fleet Solutions’ commercial vehicle test centre is licensed and regulated by the RSA.
“We are also a member of the Vehicle Testing Network, “adds Brian. “ Unlike the National Car Test (NCT), it is mandatory for commercial vehicles to be tested annually. There are two classifications of vehicles: light goods vehicles – up to and including 3500Kgs gross vehicle weight and heavy goods vehicles -above 3500Kgs gross vehicle weight. Given the already diverse nature of our service, it was a natural fit to open the test centre and I’m pleased to say we have been very busy since it opened in 2009”.
The sum of the (trailer) parts
Fleet Solutions is a leading supplier of commercial vehicle spare parts and body components for Jost, Meritor, BPW,SAF, Granning, Wabco, Haldex, Knorr-Bremse, Jonesco and Featherwing. A stock of Krone Trailers’ ‘fast-moving’ parts is kept on site and if any major components should be required then they are despatched from Krone’s central parts depot on a next day basis.
“All-in-all” concludes Brian Balfe, “Fleet Solutions are here to keep Ireland’s commercial transport on the move and of course that includes the increasing number of trailers carrying the Krone badge. No matter whether we are talking curtainsiders, reefers, box vans or skellies, our trailer service is geared to meet and exceed the daily demands of operators across the transport industry”