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trailer world Issue One 2012

    Issue One 2012  39 Interview the main supplier of our trailer axles and the undisputed number one. But if I want to sell a trailer in France, I have to be able to supply a model that runs on differ- ent axles.” GE Equipment Services only deals in first-class equipment, “of course in con- junction with the servicing that is stip- ulated by the manufacturer or by law in some countries. Sometimes customers have special maintenance requirements, and we naturally make the necessary adjustments. During my career, I have seen disc brakes be- ing used first of all on tractor units and later on trailers. It took five or six years of use on tractor units before everyone got to know them and realised that they were reliable. It was even harder when they were intro- duced on trailers because of the need to ad- just them to the tractor unit’s braking system. That also took some time, but now there are hardly ever any problems.” GE Equipment Services uses exclusively original components that comply with OEM specifications. “This means that I never hear of any problems with axles or bear- ings. Absolutely never.” At the moment, there is a great deal of dis- cussion about trailer dimensions in Europe. The Germans are testing a EuroCombi vehi- cle, and the British have started field testing longer trailers. In Scandinavia, long vehicles with additional axles have already been on the road for some years. “This discussion will keep rolling on”, says Coupar. “I re- member when the trailer industry had to change from a total length of 12.50 me- tres to 13.60 metres. It took six or seven years for the market to adapt. It was only after five years, when a higher volume of longer trailers started coming on the market, that the resale value of the short- er trailers began to drop. We’re ready for whatever Europe decides and will have al- ready assessed the impact of a new trailer size. As we’ve seen in the past, the effects on resale value will only start to show after a few years.” Coupar is impressed by the number of long, heavy vehicles that are now on the roads in Holland. “These vehicles sell like hot cakes in the Netherlands. There are no resale problems because they are a com- bination of parts and vehicles that are standard everywhere. There is no negative impact on the resale value. This is the way things are going, but in many countries people don’t always understand how things are changing in the area of road haulage. I would say to them: welcome the new develop- ments, accept them and adjust your business accordingly.” (tdj) »In a strong market, it‘s pos- sible to earn more with a trailer with first-class equip- ment, while it‘s easier to sell it in a weak market. « For more information on GE Equipment Services go to Sizes and dimensions