A family business through and through

With decades of experience, The Haire Truck and Bus Repairs has become known for its first class repairs and maintenance services, along with its award winning HaireBag Suspension – a unique patented upgrade that can be fitted to any OEM truck or trailer air bag suspension.

The Haire Truck and Bus Repairs was started by managing director William (Bill) Haire, who is originally from Tallangatta in north-eastern Victoria. He is a highly experienced heavy vehicle technician and over the years has gained a reputation for his innovative problem solving skills.

Bill has gathered a wealth of knowledge through his time as a heavy vehicle driver, mechanic, designer and business owner. 

Bill and Ang Haire at their stand during a recent show.

His daughter Ang Haire grew up in the family business, joining the team in 1993 as a teenager.

“I remember back when my father started out from the back of his XY Ford sedan,” she said.

From there, Bill moved to a rented premises in Wodonga. He purchased the property in 1995 and expanded the workshop. Then in 2005, he carried out a substantial extension to the building, buying an adjoining property the following year, in 2006, to ensure the business could continue to expand through the generations that will follow.

Among Bill’s major achievements is the development of his HaireBag Suspension, which was designed right here in Australia, to suit Australian conditions. 

Bill first started tinkering with suspensions after being tasked with getting an air suspension system working on a customer’s tipper. 

“He was complaining that the truck would get hung up, or lose traction at the slightest hint of rain. At the time, his customer had invested in a new air bag suspension, moving away from the old Hendrickson walking beam suspension that was synonymous at the time for great traction, but also known for its rough ride,” Ang explained.  

Bill’s HaireBag Suspension took care of both issues. It had improved traction and stability, and was being praised for the softer ride.

With thousands of units now out on the road, a secondary benefit was discovered in the ability to offer customers an increased gross combination mass (GCM) after fitting HaireBag suspension.

Sales of the product have accelerated over the past 12 months. 

After fitting HaireBag suspension, the company says it’s able to offer customers a GCM increase (subject to engineer approval). In most cases this is an additional 20 per cent GCM. “Customers can see the cost benefits, and some are now travelling from as far away as WA to ensure they aren’t missing out,” Ang said.

With current delays in new truck deliveries and a shortfall in the number of second-hand units in the market, this increase in GCM is being welcomed with open arms by customers seeking to upgrade their existing trucks to handle the latest load ratings, particularly in Queensland for S10 stock ratings and the C-train grain ratings in WA.

The GCM increase can often be done without the need for double rails or big heavy diffs, so customers are often finding there is also a tare weight saving between changing over their trucks to more modern, higher rated units.

Haire’s customers have reported another added bonus too, with real fuel savings attributed to HaireBag suspension; as Paddy Knight attests. “Since setting up a complete three trailer road train on Haire bag suspension, our fuel consumption in a 12-hour shift has decreased by 75 litres.” 

And with the price of fuel spiking in recent months, these sorts of savings are likely to capture the attention of many operators. 

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