Josam Cam-aligners from AES UK are cost-saving “no-brainer” for major bus operator

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PSV operator, Go South Coast has invested in a number of state-of-the-art wheel aligner systems to provide a more accurate and faster service, while keeping workshop costs down.

Go South Coast runs 150 bus routes in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. It owns brands including Bluestar, Damory, Hants & Dorset Trim, Excelsior, Morebus, Salisbury Reds, Southern Vectis, Swindon’s Bus Company, and Tourist Coaches.

The company was using a sub-contractor to carry out about 60 wheel alignments per month for its fleet of 800 buses – the procedure being carried out as part of MOT tests and every time a replacement steering component was required.

Steve Hamilton, engineering director for Go South Coast, said: “We regularly look at ways to increase efficiencies and that includes analysing our highest spends with sub-contractors. It became apparent to us that doing our own wheel alignments had the potential to save us money. However, our in-house equipment was designed for older buses and would simply not give us the accuracy we needed on newer ones.”

Go South Coast approached Automotive Equipment Solutions (AES UK), a leading provider of commercial vehicle alignment equipment. AES provided free trials of the Josam cam-aligner upgrade kit, specifically designed for commercial passenger vehicles. Consequently, Go South Coast bought four of the machines for its depots in Eastleigh, Isle of Wight, Poole, and Salisbury.

Go South Coast also opted for the bus kits with AES’ integrated, military grade tablets. By having live adjustment data on a robust portable device the technician can take the tablet down into the inspection pit and perform adjustments with pin-point accuracy avoiding the need for further adjustment.

According to AES UK, the Josam cam-aligner enables coach and bus workshops, as well as maintenance centres, to offer wheel alignment services quickly and accurately. Easy to use, and easy to learn, taking toe, camber and out-of-square measurements in a matter of minutes. It uses wireless technology to transmit data between measuring units and the tablet, while the software guides the user through the measuring process and produces reports of before and after each alignment.

“We wanted a product that was extremely accurate and easy to use, and we found it in the Josam cam-aligner,” added Steve.

“We really did our homework, looking at various bits of kit, and found Josam to be state of the art. It’s streets ahead of what we used in the past, is straightforward to use and really reliable.

“As part of the process we did a cost-benefit analysis based on the contractor costs versus investment in the systems and how much time each wheel alignment would take one of our engineers. The payback period worked out at 2.5 years, so it was an absolute no-brainer for us.

“The training from AES was comprehensive. I asked to be trained first as I wanted first-hand experience of setting up and using the system. It’s been a long time since I was on the tools, but I got the hang of it very quickly and so did my fleet engineers.

“It was obvious from the first phone call to AES that they know the Josam product inside out and the support they’ve given us has been excellent. They proactively ring us to check everything is OK and if I ever have a question, I can pick up the phone and talk directly to their MD.”

AES UK is a leading provider of commercial vehicle alignment equipment, with over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry. The company provides a wide range of garage and workshop equipment and training on a nationwide basis. For further details, visit https://a-e-s-uk.co.uk/