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Ergonomics of hose-reel roll out and rewind

Shermac engineer safety in and hazards out 

An operator of a service vehicle will visit a number of different locations during the course of a shift and will perform a range of repetitive service tasks. The most common task is refuelling, and the link between the service vehicle and the equipment to be refuelled is the fuel hose, and an operator might be required to access the hose reel up to 50 times per day. 

Because refuelling volumes are large, they need high capacity delivery systems and fuel hoses are often heavy 1-2 inch hoses that may be 15 metres or more in length. The challenge of handling heavy hoses increases when working in hilly terrain or on soft surfaces that are common on mines sites. 

The constant need to roll-out and rewind the hose reels present a potential ergonomic risk to the operator of repetitive strain injury. The process is further exacerbated by the need to keep the discharge nozzle clean to prevent contaminants entering the fuel tank. 

To minimise the risk of repetitive strain injuries, Shermac actively optimises operator ergonomics on all its vehicles. 

While many service vehicles have hose reel access at shoulder height, Shermac position the hose reel lower on the vehicle at hip height, offering a more ergonomic height for handling and reducing the risk of shoulder injuries. 

Lightweight hoses might have a spring rewind system, but this is not suitable for fuel hoses as the spring tension required to rewind a long, heavy hose increases the effort required for an operator to pull out.  

The typical Shermac fuel hose has a manual roll-out and hydraulic or pneumatic assisted rewind. On roll-out, the hose clutch is disengaged and the reel free-wheels for easy delivery, and the powered rewind does all the rewind work. 

Once refuelling is finished, the operator has to walk back to the service vehicle holding the nozzle-end of the hose off the ground to prevent it getting dirty and leaving a loop of hose on the ground. Once at the vehicle, the operator activates the rewind switch and manages the rewind while all the time keeping the nozzle off the ground and clean. 

While this is an ergonomic solution, there is a better option available from Shermac. Once refuelling is finished, the operator can activate the rewind via a remote rewind switch on a wrist-band and simply walks the hose reel back to the service vehicle. 

Continuous improvement is part of Shermac DNA, and future fuel delivery developments potentially include the use of fuel booms with short flexible hose lengths to further improve operator ergonomics and optimise productivity. 

These examples illustrate Shermac’s commitment to engineering safety in and hazards out and to maximise operator wellbeing, vehicle uptime and productivity with predictable lifetime cost. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to our expert team to find out more about our commitment to operator safety and how we can help you. Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry. 

Hastings Deering are delighted with their new custom service trailers from Shermac. The company operates over QLD and the NT, with around 500 field service vehicles and 3,500 staff in operation. With sites such as drilling camps and coal-seam gas stations, often located in harsh and remote terrains, they need service vehicles built to cope. The company found their former maintenance trucks were no longer up for the purpose, being time-consuming to load and unload, unclean in terms of their greater capacity for spillages and expensive to run. They needed a solution, and Shermac came up with the perfect answer – timesaving and user-friendly self-contained service trailers. 

When their old service trucks were retired, Field Service Supervisor, Casey Dallas, saw the opportunity to approach Shermac. Hastings Deering has purchased several off-the-shelf Shermac service trucks in the past for various business areas. Knowing this plus Shermac’s leading reputation and reliability in the industry, Casey trusted Shermac to deliver a tailored solution to fit the company’s business requirement in expanding Toowoomba’s service requirements way out to their Roma base and beyond – up to 600kms away. Having done research across several companies, he found Shermac to be not only comparable in price, but the most flexible in terms of the level of customisation they could offer. With 120 employees and 30 field vehicles, Casey approached Shermac to provide 3 new custom service trailers. 

Casey was really impressed with Shermac in terms of their proactivity and flexibility to accommodate Hastings Deering’s every need: “They were really good at being flexible and were happy to change anything that needed to be changed.” This included one trailer customised to hold a high-pressure cleaner and water tank, and another specifically tailored to service power generators. 

Shermac definitely delivered on their client’s environmental requirements, too. Multiple fully-sealed compartments of varying volume-size for various fuels were added along with dedicated hosereels. This removed any chance of spillage onsite. Environmental safety is a huge consideration for all their sites, and Hastings Deering always work closely with landowners to protect and respect the land they work on.  

Along with providing a tough, durable vehicle set up perfectly to carry everything needed for several days’ work out in the field, Shermac provided trailers that were much lighter to tow. Thinking through all the safe towing aspects, Shermac put forward and fitted out lighter poly tanks for carrying hydrocarbons – now fitted as standard across the Hastings Deering trailer fleet – and lighter doors, allowing a weight saving of at least 200kg per trailer, giving greater weight capacity for fuels and tools. 

Delivered on time, on budget and perfectly matched to their needs – branding included – Hastings Deering are delighted with their Shermac service trailers and the increase in their business productivity through significant time-savings in loading and unloading. Now their teams can be far more efficient, getting jobs done quicker and being able to move onto other jobs sooner.  

Call us at Shermac today on 1300 799 943 to discuss how we can tailor the most efficient, safe and highest quality engineered-for-purpose industrial vehicles and equipment for your needs.  

An operator of a service vehicle will visit a number of different locations during the course of a shift and will perform a range of repetitive service tasks. To minimise the risk of repetitive strain injuries, Shermac actively optimises operator ergonomics and safety on all its vehicles. 

A good example of Shermac’s thinking are the service doors which may be opened and closed by the operator countless times during a shift. The doors have traditionally been made of steel. While gas struts are used to open the doors, being heavy, the amount of effort required to overcome strut resistance and close the doors is high, resulting in the potential for repetitive strain injury. In response, service doors on Shermac vehicles are made from lightweight aluminium and weigh 66% lighter than steel doors. The benefits are obvious – being lighter, the effort required to close the doors is much less and the risk of operator injury is greatly reduced.   

Another example involves pumps and filters that are typically positioned behind the hose reel, and operator access is difficult. In response, Shermac changed service vehicle design to position pumps and filters away from hose reels and accessed from the other side of the truck. The result is that operators performing routine maintenance tasks on their vehicles are no longer working in a confined space, improving task efficiency and reducing risk. This design change also enabled Shermac to lower the level of the reel compartment to make hose access easier and more ergonomic. 

Shermac engineer safety in and hazards out

Service vehicles typically have a fold-down step to provide safe access for the operator to the deck. Like the service doors, the steps may be frequently lowered and raised during the course of a shift and present a potential hazard to the operator when folding. In response, Shermac re-engineered the vehicle to include a permanent walk-in step configuration that allowed the operator to access the service deck without handling steps.  

In addition to ergonomics, Shermac continue to refine safety systems on service vehicles, and every opportunity to optimise operator safety is relentlessly pursued.  

Grease is essential for lubricating heavy production machinery, but because of its high viscosity, grease injection systems operate under high pressure. If a grease nipple becomes blocked, the grease line may be pressurised up to 5,000psi and, under pressure, the grease gun is difficult to remove. Similarly, if a grease nipple breaks, grease may be ejected under high pressure. Either scenario is high risk, and to eliminate the risk, Shermac offer an optional remote-controlled grease pressure release system and the operator can immediately relieve pressure in the grease line and eliminate the risk of grease injection injuries. 

These examples illustrate Shermac’s commitment to engineering safety in and hazards out and to maximise operator wellbeing, vehicle uptime and productivity with predictable lifetime cost. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to our expert team to find out more about our commitment to operator ergonomics and safety and how we can help you. Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry. 


Many mining companies require the service and ancillary support vehicles working on their sites to be customised for particular tasks, conditions or needs. But this can become problematic when the company’s need is short term and it doesn’t wish to buy the vehicle outright. Or, it may not have the budget for capital expenditure, but has funds from an operational budget available for hiring a vehicle. However, finding one that exactly suits the company’s needs but doesn’t have to be added to the permanent fleet can be difficult. 


The solution to these dilemmas, for many mining companies, is to hire the vehicles they require instead of buying them. But given these are not run-of-the-mill vehicles that can be picked up at just any hire company, assistance from a specialised hire firm is needed.  

One such company is Western Plant Hire, based near Perth. With 50 staff and more than 15 years’ experience, WPH specialises in renting service vehicles and equipment to mining and civil companies across WA and beyond. As it has grown, so has the demand for vehicles that suit the specific needs of its customers. 

 Five years ago WPH began sourcing customised vehicles from Australia’s leading manufacturer of customised mining vehicles, Shermac, also based in WA. It now regularly uses Shermac’s customised service and water trucks to supply its clients with rental vehicles. Currently it has 15 Shermac vehicles in its fleet with more on order. 

Executive general manager Luke Mateljan says the company uses Shermac for several reasons including quality, turnaround time, support levels and personal integrity. He says, ‘Shermac design vehicles differently. They have a knack for being able to reconfigure a truck so that, for example, where additional fuel tank capacity but less oil might be needed, they can come up with a design that provides this.’  

Luke also praises the speed at which Shermac responds to quote requests. ‘They make the purchasing process easy with quotes back very quickly. Sometimes we can confirm a price back to our client and secure an order all within a few hours,’ he says.   

Because Shermac are experienced in the supply of custom vehicles to the mining industry, they know the mine site compliance and design requirements of WPH’s customers. The end product we receive is always 100% work ready and within the design limits of the vehicle.  

For instance, when a client requested a drill support truck with water, fuel, oil and grease on a 4×4 chassis, care needed to be taken to ensure that the vehicle was not overloaded but still had the required quantities of fluids on board. Standard, readily available 4×4 trucks would have been overloaded when the vehicle was full, however Shermac were able to source a custom Scania truck option with increased capacity to meet the requirements of both the client and the manufacturer. 

No matter how high the quality of a vehicle, there is always going to be a need for repair and maintenance support. Again, Shermac excels with what Luke Mateljan describes as, ‘back up second to none’ with fast response to repair needs. He says when a problem is presented, Shermac is very quick to resolve the issue, focusing on resolution, not blame. 

As well, WPH says Shermac will pull out all the stops if a customised vehicle is needed within a shorter timeframe than is usual.  All these reasons make Shermac the ideal partner for firms hiring customised service vehicles to heavy industry customers.


Shermac has been providing customised, engineered-for-purpose service vehicles to the resource sector for two decades. While customisation is critical as vehicle design must reflect the specific operational needs for the unique environment of the customer, it is also an opportunity for continual design improvements that increase vehicle reliability, productivity and uptime, and minimise risk for customers. 

Shermac Production Manager, Steve Ray commented, ‘Shermac has been in business since 2002 and many buyers have been in and around service vehicles longer than we’ve been in business. They’ve worked their way through the ranks from servicing equipment to senior management roles. They’ve done the job, seen what works and what doesn’t work, and they bring insights from many years of experience. As customisation is part of our DNA, we actively seek input from our customers about what can be done differently and better’   

An example of this is how Shermac addressed a customers’ concern about potential cross-contamination of fluids. A service vehicle might contain as many as eight different storage tanks with each compartment containing a different fluid. The customer was very concerned that undetected cross-contamination between, for example, coolant and engine oil would have a serious impact with huge potential repercussions if it were to occur.    

In response to these concerns, Shermac re-engineered vehicle layout to separate oil-based and water-based fluids and separated individual tanks so that any leak was immediately apparent and cross-contamination could not occur.  

Every service person would experience grease viscosity to be a problem. By designing our service truck modules so that the grease tank is adjacent to the hydraulic oil tank module, it is an effective solution to warm the grease, making it easier to transfer into the unit being serviced. It also helps cool the hydraulic oil. 

Service vehicles operate in tough off-road environments where the potential exists for the vehicle to become bogged in poor conditions. Working with customers, Shermac designed recovery systems that make it easy and safe to tow the vehicle and these have now become now standard features of Shermac vehicles. 

In another example, a standard service vehicle will require a stand-alone delivery system for each of the fluids on-board. Each delivery system will include a filter assembly to ensure the product being transferred complies with particular filtration levels, defined by ISO 4406. To assist in filter maintenance, each filter includes a pop-up alert to advise the operator when a filter change or clean is necessary. 

These examples illustrate Shermac’s commitment to incorporating customer-led design and engineering into the build of service vehicles to ensure ease of maintenance that maximises vehicle uptime and availability with predictable lifetime cost. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to our expert team to find out more about our customisation process and how we can help you. Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry. 

Mining companies can ill afford unplanned downtime. The costs are eye-watering – around $180,000 per incident, according to industry experts. As an example, a dump truck out of action results in 17 percent reduction in mine output per hour. A custom support vehicle would enable the dump truck to remain in service for longer, thus optimising productivity and uptime. 

Productivity of core production assets is heavily influenced by the processes and resources that are deployed to optimise their uptime. These resources include an array of service vehicles that are the backbone of routine maintenance and service needs of critical production assets. Downtime on a service vehicle can increase the downtime of a mining vehicle or production asset. 

Shermac has been providing customised, engineered-for-purpose service vehicles to the resource sector for two decades. Customisation is critical as vehicle design must reflect the specific operational needs for the unique environment of the customer. A common example would be a vehicle customised to carry a larger than normal volume of fuel, coolants and lubricants. It can sufficiently service all the mining vehicles working at a particular location. One-size definitely does not fit all.  

Customisation requires an understanding of the specific challenges faced by any customer, a deep-seated intellectual curiosity to look for ways to solve problems and do things better, and concept-to-delivery engineering and manufacturing capabilities.  


In an upcoming series of blogs, we will shine a light on how Shermac’s unprecedented industry experience is reflected in everything that we do. This supports our goal to be the lowest risk supplier of service vehicles to the mining industry with the lowest lifetime cost of ownership. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring a number of critical themes:  

  • How Shermac incorporates smart design and engineering into the build of service vehicles to ensure ease of maintenance that maximises vehicle uptime and availability with predictable lifetime cost.
  • Some of Shermac’s initiatives and innovations in systematically looking at all tasks that an operator might be expected to perform and using smart design to ensure that safety is engineered in, and hazards are engineered out.
  • Operators in the mining industry get the job done over and over again. We explore how spending site time and walking-the-walk with operators and understanding workflow has resulted in meaningful improvements in task productivity and efficiency.
  • Some of the initiatives and innovations that have been introduced by Shermac to minimise downtime of production assets.

Follow us on LinkedIn to ensure you don’t miss out on this mining industry series.

Ready to find out more? Talk to our expert team to find out more about our customisation process and how we can help you.  Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry.

By: Robert Ray, National Business Developer Manager at Shermac

Shermac understand the importance of correct weight distribution on a truck chassis, and how if the limits aren’t adhered to, the consequences could be serious. All of our vehicles are designed and engineered to maximize the truck chassis capacity, but stay within the boundaries of the law and the vehicle ratings.


As Australia’s leading supplier of customised service vehicles for the mining and construction industries, Shermac takes safety very seriously.  We understand your zero tolerance in the workplace for having an operator injured, litigation costs, and the downtime cost of having a truck out of action.

Our knowledge on road rules, weight restrictions and loading limits is applied to every build here at Shermac.

We stand by our motto of  “safety engineered in – hazards engineered out”, giving you peace of mind, with your vehicle being 100% legally compliant in every way.


Manufacturers of non-customised vehicles provide a standard body that fits certain sized vehicles, which limits ability to control axle loading. The Shermac customisation process finds out how a vehicle will be used and ensures it is built for this purpose. A mining vehicle, for instance, will be mostly used on private roads where highway laws do not apply. As such it can be more heavily loaded. But a vehicle for servicing construction machinery will likely be used on public roads. This needs to be taken into account when it is customised.  

The weight limit of a truck and its load on highways depends on the truck’s size and number of axles. While its technical weight limit as specified by the manufacturer might be 12 tonnes, the maximum load allowable for a road-going, single-steer axle vehicle is seven. In general, manufacturers’ weight limits are higher than road limits. Which means the onus is on the vehicle’s owner and the driver to ensure it stays within them. 

Shermac’s customised service trucks make it easier for weight limits to be adhered to and along with the safe distribution of loads, resulting in fewer crashes, less vehicle and operator downtime, and a better bottom line. 

By: Robert Ray, Business Development Manager at Shermac

Purchasers of service vehicles for mining and construction must decide whether to buy a standard, “off-the-shelf” vehicle or one specifically designed to fulfill all expectations and meet all challenges. While the purchase price is a key factor in any such decision, other important factors must be considered to achieve the most valuable outcome. These considerations should include fluid tank capacities (these are generally determined by the available carrying capacity of the truck), fuel delivery flow rates and the usability and maintainability of the module.    

Vehicle holding tank size 

Shermac service vehicles are designed to maximise the available capacity of the carrying vehicle. By designing each module to optimise load distribution, we are able to increase the size of fluid tanks which increases the fueling capacity of the vehicle. Getting more fuel and lubricants across the site in one trip reduces downtime. 

Fuel delivery rates 

Fuel delivery rate is something mine sites could improve on to considerably increase the output of their operation with the same resource. On mines, time equals money and any downtime, planned or not, is tonnes of product not being produced.    

The cost of downtime for a large mining machine can be as much as a $80k per hour. For smaller primary machines it can be up to $40k per hour. For example, a non-customised service truck might typically pump 380 litres of fuel a minute, taking 30 to 45 minutes to refuel a large mining vehicle. By contrast, a customised Shermac truck would maximise the delivery rate up to 800 to 1000 liters per minute and only take 15 to 20 minutes to do the same job, halving the downtime and lost productivity. Saving up to $30k in downtime per shift is equal to saving almost $10 million per year on a single machine.  

Another area of concern for managers on mine sites and large civil infrastructure projects is the slow speed of transferring bulk grease in cold temperatures. Shermac service vehicles have designed a unique solution to this problem by placing the grease compartment adjacent to the PTO oil powering the pumps, which generate heat, grease becomes less viscous thereby reducing the time required to transfer it from the service vehicle to the machine.  

Find out how Shermac work with clients to customise service trucks and support vehicles. 

Usability and maintainability

Shermac vehicles are designed specifically with usability and maintenance requirements in mind. For operators, controls and storage areas that are ergonomic, easily usable, reachable and cleanable are of significant advantage. 

Traditionally, the parts of vehicles that need to be accessed regularly were tucked away and hard to access. Listening to customer feedback, Shermac rethought its designs to take maintenance issues into account. Now, for example, mining service trucks have pumps located on one side of the vehicle and hose reels on the other, so all the places that need to be regularly serviced or maintained can be easily reached without working in confined spaces or at heights without fall protection. 

Weight distribution  

Standard service vehicles have a severe disadvantage when it comes to weight distribution. A manufacturer of non-customised vehicles will provide a standard body that fits a certain sized vehicle, but this limits the ability to control axle loading. To complicate matters further, technical weight limits can vary between vehicle manufacturers for the same sized vehicle. And, if that’s not enough, vehicles used on public highways are limited by both the technical weight the vehicle can carry as specified by the manufacturer, and the legal restrictions. For instance, on the highway the allowable weight for a single axle vehicle is seven tonnes but the vehicle’s technical weight limit might be 12 tonnes. Even though the truck is designed to carry the higher weight, it is illegal to do so on a public road. Shermac has a very good understanding of these limitations and through a consultative process will maximise the vehicles’ capacities but stay within the boundaries of the law and the vehicle ratings. This is an important consideration for the safety of the operator and for the risk of litigation in the case of an incident. 


Talk to our well-trained and knowledgeable team to find out more about our customisation process and how we can help you.  Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry.

When you are next debating which service vehicle to choose, keep in mind the savings that a customised vehicle from Shermac will return. 

By: Stephen Ray, Production Manager at Shermac

As Australia’s leading provider of customised vehicles servicing mining, civil and construction, Shermac know what keeps buying managers awake at night. 

Late delivery, products not matching specifications, vehicles not complying with state transport laws and on-site failures post-delivery are every purchasing manager’s worst nightmare.  

Shermac have listened to their customers and refined their comprehensive design and manufacturing processes to ensure the challenges faced by most purchasing managers are solved before they become a problem.

From service trucks and trailers, to diesel trailers, water carts, tilt trays, drill support trucks, plant trailers, boilermaker’s vehicles, mobile workshops, and fuel and crane trucks, Shermac deliver exactly what customers need, when they need it.

Late delivery 

Shermac are aware that failure to deliver a vehicle on time causes havoc for their customers, especially when additional work needs to be carried out by the dealer before it goes on-site. Not fitting within their schedules has a knock-on impact which affects training, inducting and ultimately production.

Delivery deadlines are reverse engineered by working out the total build time early in the production process, so the delivery date can be agreed by all departments involved with the design and build.

Each week a Shermac customer receives an update by email, including photographs where possible, to show in real time where the product is in the process. A production job board is checked daily to ensure progress toward the deadline is on track.

An extensive checklist aimed at early problem solving enables Shermac to minimise the time wasted on having to rectify mistakes. This 50-point checklist improves operational efficiency by solving nascent production problems, preventing errors and reducing the amount of reworking required, all of which cause delays. It provides an additional check on workmanship such as bolt-tightening and other standard but critical tasks.

However, in the unlikely event that a problem emerges – perhaps because of the late arrival of a component – Shermac always communicate this to customers in a timely fashion. The company believes it is better to be upfront than let the customer know the vehicle will be late the day before delivery is due.

Products not being exactly what they ordered 

Customised vehicle buyers often complain that what they ordered isn’t what is eventually delivered.

Unlike some suppliers, the Shermac business model is to build what the customer wants and will solve their problem, not what the supplier might happen to have in stock.

For example, fuel delivery rates. If a customer wants a fuel pump that will fill a tank in eight minutes, it’s not acceptable to provide a pump that takes 15 minutes to do the job.

Shermac solve this problem by working closely with the customer during the design process, an additional point of difference in the industry.

They explain that each category of product has a master model, a standard design that is customised by manipulating the model to suit the job. The customer reviews the model before the componentry is ordered so they know what to expect and Shermac know what to build.

The initial proposal worked through with a customer becomes the checklist at the end of the job to ensure that what is delivered is exactly what was ordered.

Non-compliance with state transport laws  

As every purchasing manager knows, transportation laws differ depending on state and whether the vehicle is intended for use on public or mining roads.

Shermac’s extensive experience with customising vehicles used in multiple situations, ensures that issues affecting rear signage, rear overhang, length, weight and height are all taken into consideration in the proposal phase of the process. For example, if a vehicle will be used on WA roads, it will be no wider than the regulation 2500mm and the rear indicator lights will be the requisite 1200mm above the ground.

Weight limits are observed to ensure maximum volumes without overloading and incurring hefty fines. Mine-site roads are subject to different rules, including strict loading limits, so Shermac work with customers to ensure the parameters such as weights and loads are observed while providing everything they want on their vehicle within allowable limits. 

The processes that enable Shermac to guarantee compliance with local rules includes producing weight reports, understanding weight distribution on different vehicles for stability, and configuration so weight is loaded correctly over the axles.

Post-delivery on-site failures  

Many of Shermac’s customers report that a particular problem is the difficulty of fixing vehicles when they are being used in remote areas. Understandably, they are unhappy if a product reaches the site and something goes wrong because it can be a big deal to fix.

They want their vehicles to be fit for purpose – whether that is for months or years – and not to cause headaches. They warrant workmanship for three years and provide product support by making parts available, and guaranteeing componentry matches what’s on-site.  

Shermac pride themselves on understanding and focusing on customers’ pain points and working closely with them throughout the customisation process to ensure the finished vehicle is delivered on time, is fit for purpose, complies with relevant laws and won’t break down when it is least convenient. 

Ready for a consultation? 

Our team can create a customised vehicle to suit different budgets and requirements by assessing your needs and creating a custom vehicle solution. Call our knowledgeable and experienced team on 1300 799 943 with your inquiry.

By: Michael Ray, CEO at Shermac

In many buying situations, the customer knows exactly what they want and chooses their desired product off the shelf, out of a catalogue or from among the standard items the company produces.

That is not the way it works at Shermac.

Shermac is an Australian vehicle customisation company, based in Western Australia and we’ve been manufacturing customised equipment for mining vehicles for nearly two decades. The plant employs a team of designers, fabricators, painters and assemblers.

We mainly supply mining conglomerates – BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group – but also customise equipment for OEM dealers (e.g. Caterpillar, Komatsu etc.) around the country.

The process of customisation begins months before the vehicle is scheduled to start work on a site when a fleet manager determines an existing vehicle is approaching the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced.

The customer comes to us with a concept in mind and the team asks a range of questions designed to uncover how the vehicle is going to be used. Questions such as the optimal servicing intervals for minimising downtime, what servicing products will be needed and whether they will be easily available. Only once all these and other queries have been satisfactorily answered, will we come up with a concept that meets the client’s objectives and does the job that needs to be done. A common example of this would be a vehicle customised to carry a larger than normal volume of fuel, coolants and lubricants to sufficiently service all the mining vehicles working at a particular location.

Shermac products are complex and often a linchpin of the production process. It needs to be reliable and a full complement of spare parts readily available. A further consideration is the environment with the spillage of hydrocarbons, oil, diesel, fuel coolants and other toxic products not acceptable practice.

Another part of the discovery process is for us to understand what each person involved in the purchase needs. For instance, the truck operator – who often treats their vehicle like family – wants to be sure there is storage available for their specific needs. The plant manager on-site is responsible for keeping the fleet at optimum performance, so will make decisions based on mechanical considerations such as oil change intervals, grease points etc. The commercial buying manager wants to reduce risk and to know that money is being spent wisely.

Once we feel that we have a full understanding of what the company is trying to achieve, our design engineers come up with a graphical representation of what the customised product will look like and its dimensions.

When all the stakeholders have had an input and the design is finalised, a purchase order is received from the customer and, if needed, finance arranged. Around 50% of the vehicles that we customise are on finance plans with Shermac paid on delivery of the vehicle. High levels of trust exist between Shermac and our customers and so we don’t require deposits.

With the purchase order safely in hand, the design is finalised and turned from a graphic representation to a finished design so the manufacturing process can begin. Shop drawings are made that include the details for parts needed to be brought in. This includes any steel needed, which arrives cut to shape, and is then bent, folded and joined to create the necessary product. It is tested for leakages and double-checked for quality control.

Once it passes quality tests, the product’s surface is prepared for finishing, which involves sandblasting, painting and assembly. Mounted electronic components are fitted and the product itself is affixed to the chassis.

Generally, durability of the product coating takes precedence over aesthetics, and high-quality industrial paint system is used. However, where the vehicle we build is the representation of our customer to their customer, then aesthetic values carry more weight, and alternative coatings such as powder coating may be used.

After finishing is completed, the vehicle is tested again for functionality. Fluid systems are wet-tested to ensure they’re working as designed and are run close to optimum settings for four hours to resolve any bugs.

Once every aspect of the product has been rigorously tested and retested, the vehicle is ready for delivery. If the product is truck mounted, it would go back to the truck dealer for them to carry out their final pre-delivery process. It is then either driven or carried to the work site. As a service to clients, we help arrange these final stages of the process to speed up deployment.

Our team works hard to understand the systems used on sites where the vehicles will be operating and to work with that system to help eliminate human error. For instance, to avoid fuels and liquids being transferred into the wrong tank or reservoir, connections are colour-coded. In another case, an oil change for a digger was taking 12 hours every two weeks. We devised a solution that slashed the oil change to just 45 minutes. This out-of-box thinking saved the customer both time and money.

We encourage clients to be clear on what they want to achieve so we can recommend the best solution from the outset. For instance, if the high number of trips required for refuelling is causing problems, we will use our knowledge and experience to come up with a solution that might not otherwise have been thought of.  

This type of creative thinking is why we are nationally recognised vehicle customisation consultants and advisors with a reputation for integrity and quality.


Talk to our well-trained and knowledgeable team to find out more about our customisation process and how we can help you.  Call our team on 1300 799 943 or email [email protected] with your inquiry.

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