Flexibility is Key for Enotrans – Their HAMMER Sideloader Provides them with Agility
A busy cargo hub in East Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is home to Johnson Dai, Managing Director, Enotrans Sdn Bhd in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Most of their business is machinery, building material and construction equipment. Because of the nature of these items, the loading and unstuffing of the containers may take longer than what is needed when loading general cargo. What Dai found is that due to this, his trailers and containers would need to be parked at a customer’s site for longer times, thus reducing his capacity. “Also, it is often the case that these materials cannot be unstuffed while the container is secured on a trailer. Instead, the unloading is best done while the container is placed on the ground, where it is then easier to access the goods.” A typical requirement is that a forklift would have to be able to drive into the container to discharge the cargo.
To overcome these obstacles in their daily operations, Dai opted for HAMMAR Sideloaders to better support their customers. Although Enotrans operates throughout Sabah, servicing Tawau, Sandakan and Lahad Datu, the busy Sepangar Bay Container Port is where most Sideloaders in the state are being deployed. “I estimate that there is a total population of no more than 50 sideloaders here, so ours are in demand.” However, Dai stresses that the rationale behind the use of Sideloaders in not primarily to make more money, but to allow for the provision of a better service to their customers. “Oftentimes, our customers request a sideloader and if we did not have one, we would loose the business.”
Within Enotrans, HAMMAR Sideloaders form the backbone of the operations as the 20 trucks are paired with three Sideloaders. Dai considers the business to be still a small player in the industry though and it has taken them five years to add the three units to their inventory. “We have chosen HAMMAR because of their phantastic marketing they do in connection with the service that they offer in case there are any problems.” Regular updates and services provided by HAMMAR have ensured that the units are in tip-top working condition and Dai is using them with confidence as he knows that he can depend on the trailers to perform. That said, Dai points out that HAMMAR Sideloaders may not be the cheapest solution in the market, however, in his view, this is easily justified by the return on the investment.
Having invested in the latest technology from HAMMER, his latest addition of one Sideloader is equipped with a weighing scale that would automatically weigh the container and alert the operator in case the container is too heavy, thus avoiding overloading the trailer. Training provided by HAMMAR ensures that the drivers know how to best operate and maintain the units. “We typically assign experienced drivers to the Sideloaders.” New drivers will not be allowed to handle the equipment right away and need to be gain experience in the company first.
Previously, Enotrans would engage the help of other transporters offering their Sideloaders to third parties. However, Dai found that such arrangements lack flexibility and having to book service providers in advance. With the first unit, Enotrans gained insights into the use of the equipment and within six months' time, Dai placed an order for the second unit some five years back. “The only issue that we can see now is the availability of spare parts as we are an outpost here in East Malaysia. If something goes wrong, we depend on the parts and service personnel to come on over from Peninsular Malaysia.”