Diesel Workshop examines Beka-Max at SRH Milk Haulage from Rutherford NSW, a company which commenced operations in October 1996 with one truck and tanker, providing bulk milk cartage to Dairy Farmers production plant at Hexham, NSW.
With the acquisition of subsequent contracts SRH Milk Haulage now provides daily bulk milk cartage from farms around New South Wales mainly around the Hunter Valley to Sydney. SRH Milk Haulage has recently expanded over to Western Australia and now provides daily bulk milk cartage around Harvey and Albany area and deliveries to Harvey or Albany factories
The company operates 62 prime movers and 66 tankers. The prime movers are on three year replacement plans and also are under contract maintenance plans, meaning there is less chance of break downs and also the latest technology in prime movers.
The fleet consists of Volvo, Mack and Scania, while the tankers consist of both Tieman and Byford units. SRH runs both front free reel and also rear boot pumping gear. The operation does servicing and repairs on tankers in house at their workshop in Rutherford.
Operating such a large fleet of milk hauling trucks, SRH prime movers and tankers accumulate hours and kilometres at a rapid rate. Maintenance and servicing of the fleet is a critical part of the operation. To ensure the fleet delivers their customers the best possible service and reliability, SRH insists upon and maintains a very high standard of equipment and experienced staff.
With SRH fleet mainly consisting of Volvo prime movers there are no lubrication points on the chassis of the trucks or lead trailer tankers, all of them configured with disc brakes. However, all of the fleet run Kompensator ballrace turntables. The Kompensator and the ballrace have 20 greasing points which all need a good supply of grease to reduce wear and stop dirt and dust from getting into the moving parts.
Keeping the Kompensator and ballrace in the best possible operating condition requires regular greasing, but with service intervals becoming longer and longer, and many of the trucks situated in rural areas, SRH decided to change from hand greasing to automatic systems about 6 years ago.
Initially using a semi-liquid #0 grade grease system, labour time was saved, but on moving parts on the Kompensator, such as the slide, ballrace and greasy plate, wear still occurred. With such a large fleet, the cost of replacing these parts due to lack of grease was expensive and time consuming, meaning trucks were in the workshop and not on the road.
Searching for a better way, in 2011, SRH owner Scott Harvey and workshop manager Jamie Maher decided to start using the Beka-Max greasing system, distributed, installed and serviced by Alemlube.
Beka-Max is a German made #2 grade grease system which allowed SRH Haulage to use their own choice of heavy duty chassis grease. Additionally, the Beka-Max system uses a high pressure “progressive” distribution system which does not allow blocked grease points to go unnoticed. These two features have made a lasting difference to the long term wear and tear of the fleet, in addition to the daily savings in greasing labour costs.
Every hour on the road, the Beka-Max system operates for a few minutes, pumping measured volumes of grease to each grease point. The design of the progressive distribution system ensures that no point can miss out without a signal from the pump station. The #2 grease forms a protective barrier around all the moving parts on the Kompensator, reducing or eliminating the entry of water, dust and grime.
Since introducing the Beka-Max systems and the prime mover being turned over every three years, Scott and Jamie have now gone from rebuilding a Kompensator Ballrace turntable every 12 to 18 months to now lasting the life of the prime mover in the fleet. The fleet is on the road more, with fewer repairs and reduced parts bills. Also with the Kompensator getting a constant amount of grease the chances of damage to the tanker such as cracking has reduced again meaning better productivity and cost savings to the company.
The Lubrication Systems division of Alemlube can custom design and install a Beka-Max system to suit specific transport or equipment lubrication applications.