SmartValve’s a Back-Saver at Meijer Logistics

29 Sep by Vitaliy Dadalyan

SmartValve’s a Back-Saver at Meijer Logistics

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/articles/m-meijer-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Meijer Logistics driver Ron Diamond points to the button that can save him considerable work and time — and prevent an injury — during a hookup.

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Meijer Logistics driver Ron Diamond points to the button that can save him considerable work and time — and prevent an injury — during a hookup.

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Ron Diamond is typical of the drivers who run out of Meijer Logistics’ distribution facility in Newport, Mich., south of Detroit. He drops and hooks trailers about 10 times a day, and it can be tiring. But dropping and hooking are integral to the operation of Grand Rapids-based Meijer Stores, which has 228 tractors and 2,850 trailers in its private fleet.

“Cranking the landing gear is the hard part,” Diamond says. Cranking is required not only to raise and lower the gear for travel and parking, but also to adjust the nose height of trailers before coupling onto them with the tractor’s fifth wheel.

Even if the landing gear is in low range, it takes arm, shoulder and back muscles to raise a nose so the upper coupler plate and kingpin matches the height of the fifth wheel. Of course, it’s harder if the trailer’s loaded. Dan Scherer, Meijer Logistics’ fleet maintenance manager, says back injuries can be a plague to drivers and employers alike.

But those injuries may be a thing of the past because Meijer has adopted the Hadley SmartValve, which turns the tractor and its air suspension into a jack that does the heavy work.

The Hadley SmartValve is primarily an adjustment valve that keeps the tandem suspension at a preset height. If a trailer’s nose is too low, using the normal dump valve bleeds air from the bags and lets the tractor’s rear end settle down so the frame and fifth wheel slides under the nose. If it still can’t get under, the driver backs up a bit more so two ramps atop the frame rails — specially spec’d by Meijer — wedge against …Read the rest of this story

Source:: http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/article/story/2016/09/smartvalve-s-a-back-saver-at-meijer-logistics.aspx

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