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THE SHERMAC DESIGN PROCESS

Trucks

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.

Ready to find out more?

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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