35th Kraker trailer with chopper unit for BVB Substrates"We know each other well and we speak the same language"
Bernd and colleagues are keeping BVB trailers on the road
On a sunny Thursday, Bernd Wilmer, head of the BVB workshop, travelled with his wife Inge to Axel to pick up the 35th Kraker with a chopper unit. These are trailers that are constructed according to a special BVB specification. After the final inspection, carried out by Bernd together with Timothy Wuyts, a salesman at Kraker, it was time for coffee and to share stories about the maintenance of moving floor trailers with a chopper unit.
"Bernd, we're out of sugar cubes, but here's some loose sugar, which should do the trick." said Timothy to Bernd as he handed him a cup of coffee and a sugar container. This interaction also shows the relationships between the two. It is something that Bernd believes is typical at Kraker Trailers. "We know each other well and we speak the same language. In the past, and I'm talking about 25 years ago, we converted existing trailers ourselves and fitted a chopper unit underneath. After doing that once or three times, we came into contact with Kraker. It quickly became clear that we're better off leaving this to them," said Bernd. The chopper unit had just made its appearance in that period. Unloading casing soil over the mushrooms has proven to be more hygienic and more uniform with a chopper unit.
"Since then, BVB has bought a number of moving floor trailers with a chopper unit every year," said Bernd, who has his hands full as workshop manager with a large fleet of vehicles. This does not only include trailers, but also forklifts and various other means of transport that you would expect at a company like BVB. You would be mistaken if you think that the trailer with a chopper unit has changed a lot over the years. The concept, developed by BVB and implemented by Kraker, has been fine-tuned over the years," said Bernd, "but in reality this only concerns little details. The base is exactly as it was 25 years ago."
"I think the product is very good, I think the understanding is very good and that's what's important to me. In fact, there are some smaller things that we have developed that are now being used by Kraker and vice versa."
“The chopper unit requires the most maintenance,” Bernd continued, “it is mostly the bearings that break, those parts that are subject to wear.”
"We drive our vehicles for a long time, and with those chopper units it is a major purchase. This is where good maintenance makes a world of difference."
There are three mechanics at Bernd's workshop, one of whom is constantly carrying out major maintenance.
"Our trailers must be in top working condition. On a busy day they do 3 to 4 trips. And despite that, the oldest one has been with us since 2006." This is largely due to the manufacturer, but maintenance also plays a major role. When a trailer comes in for a periodic technical inspection and a mechanic sees that it needs some extra attention, the trailer is taken apart completely, including the moving floor. Preventive maintenance prevents unexpected downtime and ensures that our trailers are always in perfect working order.
Bernd and Inge happily drove off the Kraker Trailers site with the 35th moving floor trailer with a chopper unit. But it won't be long before Bernd is back in Axel: number 36 is currently under construction, and number 37 is already at the paint shop.