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SRE: Constant support

SRE is able to service virtually any region across Australia and New Zealand. Image: SRE.

Specialised Roading Equipment’s on-going support service is helping operators and fleet managers optimise and maintain their SRE machinery, both new and old, through its servicing, training and other customer initiatives.

For many, only the best will do, particularly when it comes to the temperamental nature of spraying equipment. 

Support and servicing in this space are of extreme importance, especially with rising costs for equipment, as well as a high turnover of sprayer operators right across the sector.

Specialised Roading Equipment’s (SRE) after-sales support and training services have flown under the radar. Support is one of the core pillars of SRE, an aspect whereby the company’s reputation continues to grow.

Mark Wansbrough, Managing Director – SRE says that despite the company’s history of customer service, an emphasis on after sales support has grown in the past five years.

“A big part of our success in New Zealand has been the ability to support our sprayers. We’ve put in place a service program where effectively we can fix issues and get the machine back to work on site as quick as possible, recognising that urgency is really important,” he says.

As the SRE product range has expanded and grown within Australia, so has the company’s breadth of options when it comes to on-going support.

This support service encompasses three different models. The first is training and support for a customer’s own workshop staff, enabling its team to become self-sufficient when it comes to basic operation, maintenance and servicing.

“The interesting thing is that typically in New Zealand, no one has their own workshops anymore, instead they outsource a lot of that stuff. Whereas in Australia it appears that a lot of businesses have their own workshops,” Wansbrough says.

“So, we’ll come in and train those people up and increase their knowledge around our sprayers. The Australian infrastructure suits us because our customers get to know the ins and outs of the sprayers, even when doing their own maintenance.

“We’ve gotten feedback around how much easier our sprayers are to maintain; they’re specifically designed that way. Our own service guys say the same thing and we’ve taken on feedback, refined our design and made it more serviceable.”

SRE is able to provide maintenance and servicing on site or within its own workshop. Image: SRE.
SRE is able to provide maintenance and servicing on site or within its own workshop. Image: SRE.

SRE’s training programs for new sprayers aim to provide a thorough three-day run-through the basics of each individual spraying unit, helping operators of all ages to catch up to speed.

The SRE team is also happy to do repeat training programs at the same site, with the company understanding that retaining sprayer operators can be a difficult task, thus placing a greater importance on this knowledge transfer.

“Our point of difference is the fact that we’re able to tailor the solution to whatever the customer typically wants,” Wansbrough says. 

“Some of our Australian customers were saying that there was no handover or training with other providers. Our whole attitude is around supporting the sprayer and operators throughout the entirety of that machine’s life.

“We do a full handover to train people and bring them up to speed. On a sprayer’s birthday, some of our customers like to get us in to help them to go through the whole servicing and compliance process each year.”

Wansbrough says internally ‘birthdays’ refer to the period in which a machine is recommended to undergo general servicing and upkeep to ensure its long-term effectiveness and operation.

“From a compliance point of view, that process can get harder and harder. Therefore, the service requirements can be quite significant, so effectively its quite a big birthday. We can provide a recommended worklist that’s also tailored to the age of the sprayer and to the litres that it has sprayed. This also covers what needs to be done on an annual basis,” he says.

Wansbrough adds that these aspects are backed by SRE’s technology, which can provide real-time information and outlooks that can all be viewed remotely by SRE staff, helping to save valuable time for both parties.


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For larger problems or issues with machinery, SRE technicians can go on site to provide fixes to any issues or bring the machine back to a SRE workshop for larger maintenance works.

“We’ve got remote access, so we can hook in and actually see what’s going on with the control system. We can see if it’s a sensor issue for example and we can run some diagnostic tests to see if anything’s playing up,” Wansbrough says.

“We can also do a video call with the operator to have a remote look around the machine. Over 90 per cent of the time, we know what the issue is before we need to send out one of our team members to rectify the situation.

“We understand how valuable these machines and time is to our customers. They want to have confidence to know that we can send someone out at 3pm in the afternoon, fix it and have it good to go by the next morning.”

The third and final aspect of SRE’s support service revolves around providing spare parts in a timely fashion, no matter where the customer may be in Australia. Every sprayer comes with its own essential spare parts kit in addition to the recommended parts held by the workshop.

“When we get a workshop and the staff up to speed, we ensure that they’ve also got the basic parts that they need to support their sprayer,” Wansbrough says.

Always there 

KEE Surfacing, Roadworx and Primal Surfacing are three companies based in Australia that use SRE’s products and support service.

Teokotai Samuel, Manager – KEE Surfacing, says SRE’s support can felt on a daily basis. Particularly from Chris Kaelin, SRE Technical Manager.

“Chris has been one of SRE’s strengths for years, he’s always giving us the answers and support that we need,” Samuel says.

“We take care of most things in-house, but for anything serious we reach out to Chris and the team. We haven’t had any serious repairs needed, but maintenance is the key to these machines.”

This picture and above: SRE’s team is able to make changes to a machine’s system remotely if required. Image: SRE.

This picture and above: SRE’s team is able to make changes to a machine’s system remotely if required. Image: SRE.

Pieter Coetzee, Heavy Diesel Mechanic – Primal Surfacing, says the company has been a long-term SRE customer, with its faith being rewarded with high-quality service and machinery.

“Even with the time difference, they’re always willing to help us. If we have an issue with their PLC system, they’ll dial in and fix it for us,” he says.

“They go above and beyond. There was one time that Chris flew to Tullamarine Airport with a part that we needed, he gave me the parts and then he flew home. That wasn’t the only time he’s flown over as well.”

Primal Surfacing has another two new units on the way, with the company looking to make the most of SRE’s support service to help integrate new operators.

“Part of the deal was that they’ll come down for a week and train the operators on the new system,” Coetzee says.

“They’ve really grown and taken our feedback on board while they’ve been pushing through into the Australian market.”

Luke Hulme, Stabilising and Spray Seal Manager – Roadworx, says SRE’s support, despite being based in New Zealand, has enabled the company to receive spare parts and essential maintenance guidance in a timely manner.

“The technology in these machines is quite complex, so some of it’s beyond what my workshop normally deal with. They’re obviously exposed to high temperatures and regularly exposed to corrosive products,” he says.

“What’s good about their equipment is that they can access the computer from New Zealand. They’ve assisted us while we’ve been roadside with a crew in the middle of nowhere. All I’ve had to do is find phone service, ring them and the issues can be sorted.”

SRE have also recently assisted Roadworx to deliver a retrofit of one of Roadworx’s existing spraying units, including installing a new crumb rubber bitumen pump, new piping and a new PLC computer system. 

“With Chris I can schedule for him to have four to five days with us, helping us out with maintenance, from calibration through to compliance,” Hulme says. 

This article was originally published in the February edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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