Philip Judge, an international transport company with a client portfolio that includes the Queen’s farms in Windsor, specifies Rockinger couplings as standard to all of its vehicles.
Delivering hay, straw and machinery for farmers and equestrian establishments is a niche sector within the transport industry. However, the same challenges are faced, and the same considerations must be made, as in any other. Vehicles and accessories must be chosen which are best suited to the job in hand, and operators quickly learn which suppliers are the best; not just in terms of product quality, but also in terms of service and support.
For more than 25 years Philip Judge has been operating from Stowe-on-the-Wold to deliver top quality hay, straw, wood chippings and machinery to farmers across the UK and into Europe. Throughout this time the company has continued to grow, as has its reputation for reliable deliveries in all conditions. This reputation is essential for success when delivering food for the nation’s livestock.
Of course striving for 100% on time delivery is nothing new; it’s something that all good operators work towards no matter what sector they operate in. However, when deliveries are almost exclusively being made to farms in rural areas, the everyday problems brought on by poor road and weather conditions is multiplied. Often the destination is down a narrow B-road, and during winter the farm tracks can often mimic a bog more than a road.
So how can managers and operators best prepare their fleet for such conditions?
Philip Judge, Managing Director, explains: “When we first started out the first decision we made was to use trailers rather than articulated lorries. The trailers are more manoeuvrable in tight conditions and can be hitched up to a tractor far more easily should they get stuck in mud. What’s more, there is improved deck space which makes it easier to stack a full 44 tonne load for every delivery, which is an important commercial consideration for us.”
When you look at how far the company has come in the last 25 years it’s plain to see that this decision was a good one. Philip Judge now has a fleet of Scania lorries and trailers which is able to make deliveries anywhere in the UK and into continental Europe. In fact, following the worst drought ever seen in France, the business was asked to put 30 of its vehicles to use delivering over 3,000 tonnes of hay and straw to the French Government.
Philip continues: “In our business you’re nothing without your reputation, so if you want to grow you need to make sure that you choose the right businesses to partner with. Not just vehicle manufacturers, but component suppliers as well.
“If you take trailer couplings as an example, the importance of these components can’t be overestimated. They must be trusted to keep the trailers safely hitched mile-after-mile, year-after-year no matter what’s thrown at them. They also need to be simple and quick to operate to ensure fast turnaround speeds and easy to maintain when the vehicle is in the garage. Not only can any problems quickly start eating into your margins, but the well-being of the driver, and even the general public, is also reliant on them.”
In fact Philip Judge has recently announced that it will be fitting Rockinger couplings, supplied by JOST UK, to all of its new vehicles; as well as fitting them to existing vehicles when replacing couplings that have reached the end of their service life. 50mm and 57.5mm couplings have been specified to suit the different trailers the company operates. All of the couplings feature Rockinger’s pneumatically actuated design.
The advantage of air operated couplings over their manually operated counterparts is the ease-of-access for the driver during coupling. Often drivers have to get under the truck or trailer with manual solutions whereas the pneumatic actuation can be activated within the cab. This is particularly beneficial for Philip Judge where the drivers are often operating in mucky environments so it helps to keep the vehicle’s interiors clean.
Jannine Burt, Regional Fleet and Sales Manager for JOST UK has been working alongside Philip Judge with all the aspects and technical information for the Rockinger products, Jannine comments “Philip Judge has earned a great deal of respect in the industry, and from my first conversation with him it was obvious that this hasn’t happened by accident. He wanted to make sure that our couplings would be quick and simple to use, guaranteeing quick turnaround; but, most importantly, he wanted to ensure that the reliability of the product would be second to none as unexpected downtime just isn’t acceptable to his business.
“The air operated couplings are the perfect solutions for any application where they will encounter regular and heavy use making life easier for the driver when connecting the trailer to the lorry. Additionally, they are easy to maintain with automatic lubrication available as an option”.
Rockinger is a part of the JOST Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of components for commercial vehicles, offering its customers high quality after sales support.
Philip concludes: “Having spoken to Jannine it was easy to make the decision to switch to the Rockinger couplings. Not only are they clearly a very good product, at least equal to anything else I’ve seen in the market, but the level of service and support offered by JOST UK is certainly the best I’ve encountered”.
JOST World founded in 1952 has achieved a leading position worldwide in the manufacturing of components for commercial vehicles . Under the umbrella brand of JOST the comprehensive product range is broken down into four brands: JOST, ROCKINGER, TRIDEC and EDBRO. The company is located on all continents, with distribution, production and development. JOST World is the global choice for the commercial vehicle industry, with over 2,000 staff worldwide.
TRIDEC: The TRIDEC brand is well known around the world for its Mechanical and Hydraulic steering systems and Pneumatic and Hydraulic suspension. Providing increased efficiency to the transport industry.
EDBRO: The EDBRO brand has been the leading manufacturer of lightweight, reliable tipping gear for over 90 years. It’s products offer improved payloads and faster tipping speeds while a range of accessories are available to improve industry safety.
The ROCKINGER brand produces towing hitches , drawbar eyes and towing drawbars for both trucks and trailers, as well as for use in the agricultural industry.