In Special Vehicles

Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting Your Road Rail Equipment Supplier

Selecting your road rail equipment supplier can be a real nightmare for Infrastructure and Transport Managers.

Firstly, the specialist road rail equipment often requires a business case justification because of the capital outlay required and the long lead times.

Secondly, the equipment is specialised and scoping the requirements can be time consuming and confusing.

Thirdly – because of the specialised requirements, not many people in procurement understand the requirements or can assist with setting up the correct selection criteria.

Thus, creating a very lonely and confusing world for infrastructure and transport managers whose day jobs are to keep the wheels rolling – literally!

And the pitfalls can create huge cracks on the tracks!

What are the pitfalls to avoid when selecting the right road rail equipment supplier?

#1. Selecting a supplier that does not have right experience, skills and certifications

For example, when purchasing a Unimog for road rail shunting and fitting additional implements, it is important to use a Mercedes Benz certified provider.  If not, the warranties provided by your supplier may be null and void due to unapproved changes.

How do we approach this for our clients?

We carefully select preferred suppliers that we work with to ensure that they have the right qualifications and accreditations.  We use our own experience in working for and with the likes of Mercedes Benz to ensure that we have reputable, reliable and credible suppliers on board.

#2. Selecting a road rail equipment supplier that cannot assure compliance

AS7502:2016 Australian Standard for Road-Rail Vehicles determines on the minimum standard to which, road-rail vehicles should be designed and manufactured.  Interpretations still vary. And a lot of confusion reigns still. 

Unfortunately there are those who prefer to make confusion an opportunity for making a buck or creating a new stick by creating interpretations of the new standard instead of applying the details. Compliance is a critical selection criteria and it is therefore important to have the right understanding and application of the standard but avoid the so-called “wish list” or washy interpretation that come with an added price tag.

We provide advice to our clients on what is and actually is not required under the standard.  One of our team, Alexander Winzen, will be presenting on how this standard actually applies at an international conference next year.

Therefore if you have any questions, please reach out to us and we will gladly clear up the murky waters for you.

#3. Lack of Access to Asset Intelligence

It is important for infrastructure and transport managers to ensure that you maintain the right asset intelligence on the operation and maintenance of your assets. 

Firstly, asset intelligence matters to ensure compliance and meeting reporting requirements. 

Secondly, it is important to measure productivity and ensure optimised service delivery.  Asset intelligence provides infrastructure and transport managers with the ability to effectively manage productivity and usage of assets.

Furthermore, in instances where a principal procures the specialised road rail equipment but then provides it to a head contractor to operate and maintain, access to the asset intelligence will monitor how effective and productive your head contractor really is.

As part of our service delivery, we provide asset intelligent reports for our clients’ direct benefit.

#4. Proposed Equipment Solutions Providing Limited Thought to Safety

Road rail equipment poses its own safety risks.  For many suppliers, the focus is on cost or convincing clients that the dealerships that they represent are the best equipment solution on the market.  However, the question for infrastructure and transport managers should always be:

Do we have the best safety based solution?

As we work with preferred supplier arrangements rather than supply under prescriptive dealership arrangements, we can combine both the road rail requirements, asset intelligence and safety solutions in one package.  

We provide safety based solutions for our clients that include remotes and safety autonomy linked back to our asset intelligence solutions.

#5. Avoiding Outdated Solutions 

The lead time and capital outlay required for the sourcing and supply of road rail equipment are significant.  Therefore you would not want to invest in a solution that will not keep up with the latest technology or provide a long term solution.

How do you avoid this?

The answer is simple.

Test the suppliers on your procurement list in terms of their:

  • focus on innovation,
  • ability to come up with multi-use solutions,
  • access to asset intelligence and a database of knowledge; and
  • ability to ensure compliance.

We believe that we provide all of this and more to our clients.  We make it easy for our clients to avoid pitfalls.

Contact Uniqco Special Vehicles today to assist with selecting the right road rail suppliers and learn how to avoid the pitfalls involved in sourcing and procuring the right, mulit-use road rail equipment for your organisation.


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