At SmithCo, we’re proud to make the best side dump trailers on the market today. But being the best isn’t a one-time achievement; we are always on the lookout for ways to make our trailers better, so you can get more done in a day.
Listening is the Key
When we are deciding on our next area to innovate, the first thing we do is look at feedback from customers, dealers, and operators. We also try to get out to job sites and watch our trailers work. This allows us to see how the trailer performs and ask the right questions to get direct, helpful feedback. Our Sales team shares this with the Engineering, Manufacturing and Production teams. This gives us a clear direction on where to focus our efforts.
Trailer Improvement is a Team Effort
SmithCo has a collaborative team culture, so our ideas come from many different sources including Engineering, our workers on the manufacturing floor and customers themselves. We will get Sales, Engineering and Manufacturing members in a room and brainstorm ideas. We ask ourselves: What is the customer asking for? How can we build it better? What can we do to make something stronger, last longer or hold more payload? We find that getting the right people in a room and getting lots of ideas and concepts helps us think of the most creative solutions we might not have otherwise considered.
Designed and Tested with Customers in Mind
We typically kick off projects by discussing with the lead designers and then the other involved groups like Manufacturing, Production and Sales. Once we talk through all of our ideas, we take a hard look at which ones we want to implement. Then we bring it to the lead designers of each trailer element. The lead designers know their area inside and out, as well as how their area interacts with other parts of the trailer.
Next, we model the solutions in 3D engineering software and get additional feedback from the team. Some minor changes can be fairly quick and easy to implement. For example, we were able to implement a simple change to extend the life of our customer’s tarps. Our tarps are high quality, but customers noticed that tarps would eventually show wear at the locations of the cradles where the tarp is stored. Upon learning this, we redesigned the cradle to eliminate the edges that caused the problem. It was a relatively small change with a big impact.
For more extensive changes like structural improvements, we will run engineering analysis simulation such as FEA (finite element analysis) to validate that our changes have the desired effect.
Once we’re satisfied that the changes will improve the trailer, we get started implementing them into our production process. After that’s done, we start the process over again, because our commitment to improving our trailers never ends.
Want to know more about why a SmithCo trailer is the best side dump on the market? Get in touch with our knowledgeable sales team, and we can start learning about your specific needs. Give us a call at 800-779-8099 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.