Hymas on the road to safety with Cam-aligner

One of North Yorkshire’s (UK) largest and best-known bulk hauliers, Alfred Hymas, is using a wheel alignment system to reduce tyre wear and cut workshop time.

Established near Harrogate in the early part of the 1900s, Alfred Hymas operates a mixed fleet of 76 vehicles, predominantly serving the aggregates and agricultural industries.

“Our vehicles carry heavy loads and often on uneven road surfaces,” says workshop manager David Porritt, “so it’s important to keep close tabs on every axle, chassis and wheel to make sure everything remains perfectly aligned. Otherwise, tyre wear and other problems quickly take their toll, causing expense, potential hazards, and vehicle downtime.”

To guard against this, Hymas switched from its previous system to the Josam Cam-aligner from AES UK, primarily because Porritt and the tech team needed greater accuracy, more speed and a less complicated system to operate.

“In addition to our own vehicles, we also provide maintenance services for external fleets and often see cases where lack of regular wheel alignment has caused damage which has gone unnoticed,” Porritt adds. “Therefore, early detection and corrective action is essential to head off safety and cost issues, to say nothing about potential disruption and downtime.”

As further explained by Hymas, incorrect wheel alignment increases rolling resistance and adds to fuel consumption with even a slight misalignment resulting in premature and rapid tyre wear. If left undetected, the problem can cause blow-outs and high levels of particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere.

Avoiding this, during each MOT or ideally each time a new tyre is fitted, Hymas technicians can quickly and accurately check wheel angles such as camber, toe, axle offset and steering box middle. Readings are automatically measured by the Cam-aligner, using the chassis centre line as a point of reference and on completion the computer produces a concise report.

“All quick and easy,” says Porritt. “The cost benefits were apparent from the start and in the first year, the system is well on the way to paying for itself. We are making big savings in-house and also providing a more cost-efficient and improved service to our customers”.

In this regard, he explains, the lightweight mobility of the system means Hymas can go straight to the vehicle to carry out all requisite checks and corrections, which reduces downtime and saves the customer having to send the vehicle in to the workshop.

Porritt also points to the comprehensive training and ongoing support from AES: “We started with an onsite group training session and then the AES team stayed close, returning the next month to make sure things were going smoothly. The Cam aligner is not difficult to use, but it was reassuring to have the initial support and good to know AES are always at the end of a phone if needed.”

The Alfred Hymas fleet is predominantly Volvo and Renault and works out of operating centres in Great North Road, Sinderby, Thirsk (head office), Ripon, Keighley and Masham. Servicing both long- and short-term contracts, the company transports more than 6,500 tonnes a day.

Established in 2005, AES UK (Automotive Equipment Solutions) is the sole UK distributor of Josam products and provides commercial vehicle alignment and CV workshop equipment, along with on-site training, servicing and equipment calibration to operators throughout the UK.