27 April 2020, 10:50
“Our wheels are always turning somewhere”
Hans-Otto Trettin and his son Lukas chose the right time to reorient their company, as the future of the transport business for the mining industry looked bleak with the closure of the last mines. The mainstays of the business today are transportation, building materials and disposal. Trettin can rely on a multifunctional fleet in this context to deliver their versatile, customer-specific services.
Material transports for mining provided Trettin with a sound basis for continuous business in the past. But as closure of the mines cast a shadow over their operations, Hans-Otto Trettin rose to meet this challenge. An innovative concept for logistical operations on construction sites would generate a new customer base.
Lukas Trettin framed their aspiration as follows: “We want to relieve customers of every on-site pressure”. Today, the company focuses on providing its customers with transport services optimally tailored to suit their needs. Building materials trade and disposal services are new business segments which perfectly complement those. The prerequisite for this expanded offer is a well-structured fleet that can realise a variety of tasks.
Versatile fleet for individual operations
When it comes to diversity, a glance at the fleet with its 27 vehicles speaks volumes. It includes steel-bodied trailers, thermally insulated two-way tippers, hooklifts, low flatbeds and vehicles with a crane and all-wheel drive. The fact that all these tippers bear the MEILLER logo has tradition at Trettin. The vehicles themselves should also be suitable for flexible operations. “If, in addition to moving asphalt, the customer also wants a load of stones delivered or a kerb filled, our sturdy thermally insulated two-way tipper from MEILLER takes on the job, being equipped to carry out all these tasks”, confirms Hans-Otto Trettin.
In the case of the MEILLER RS21 hooklift, his son Lukas praises the enhanced operational options it offers the company. “Our versatile trailer body enables us to transport construction machinery without difficulty, or containers up to 30 m³. This means we can realise the most varied supply and disposal tasks on sites with just one vehicle”. The more universally individual vehicles can be used, the better it is for providing specifically tailored services.
Consistent integration in customer processes
“We’re well integrated in customer processes – just like another cog in the machine”, Hans-Otto Trettin describes his role in customer building projects. “Rail construction sites, where a degree of clout is needed to be a reliable partner aiding the client in 24-hour operations, are one of our strengths. We want to offer our customers a comprehensive package”. You have to be able to rely on both people and machinery to provide this.
Drivers and vehicles are integrated in clearly defined procedures on today’s sites. A tight schedule leaves no room for breakdowns. “The customer cannot wait during these projects for a vehicle to return from the workshop”, stresses Trettin. But vehicles with a MEILLER superstructure rarely need to be sent to the workshop – except for servicing. This is realised by an external workshop. Downtimes due to repairs average five vehicle days a year for the company. “This is extremely low for the size of the fleet”, Trettin acknowledges. “We place our faith in quality, which is why we benefit from an operationally ready fleet, motivated drivers and satisfied customers”.
More independent of external factors
The variable offer is also designed to counter a problem typical to the sector. “If, for example, you have 60 trailers in the fleet and all sites are closed due to poor weather, then the vehicles are also parked up and doing nothing. The broader your capabilities, the more prepared you are to face external factors. There’s always something needed by somebody. Our wheels are always turning somewhere”, says Hans-Otto Trettin.
Satisfied employees and target-oriented technology
Of course, the Trettins still take the wheel of a tipper now and again, just to maintain their feel for construction site operations. Their aim is to understand the challenges and needs of their team, and they face the pressure of increasing traffic during this and tight schedules on construction sites. At the same time, they need to be very familiar with the different functions of their machines, as Hans-Otto Trettin knows too well. “Where we used to have three levers, we now have a substantial number of switches”.
Trettin likes to promote good working conditions in his team. “We pay attention to practical basics and additional features when configuring the vehicles, such as effective lighting or tarpaulin systems, even on 3- and 4-axes”. Drivers need to be supported in as far as possible during their increasingly demanding work. Both the quality of work and employee retention benefit from this approach. Feedback relating to the MEILLER i.s.a.r.-control 3 remote system is also positive. Lukas Trettin makes it plain that he expects an operating concept to be both holistic and easily comprehensible, a demand implemented through the new remote control system.
Trettin has trusted MEILLER from the outset
The company has placed its faith in MEILLER for several generations. Choosing a single brand has advantages as, given the variety of vehicles, drivers benefit from consistent controls. “It’s important for us to entrust drivers with a vehicle that can be used intuitively and reliably to compensate for any outside factors that may affect them”.
The family enterprise, which is currently managed by the fourth generation, can look back at over one hundred years of company history. The cornerstone was laid in 1895 by Adam Stein, the great-grandfather of the present owner. Hans-Otto Trettin joined the family company in 1980. Having begun with only three to four workers, the team consists of 30 well trained and motivated drivers today. “An easily manageable company size”, Trettin calls it.
In the meantime, the fifth generation is ready to take the helm. In addition to his mechanical engineering studies with a focus on process engineering at RWTH Aachen University, son Lukas is already active in the company and strives to break new ground in the disposal or recycling of various products. This will create new potential to expand the current full service package and secure the future of the company on an even broader basis.
Source: F. X. MEILLER Fahrzeug- und Maschinenfabrik - GmbH & Co KG