A passion for corrosion protection

July 1, 2003
JIMMY Yglesias spent 36 years at Great Dane Trailers, the last seven as director of product systems and components. But he wasn't just dedicated to his

JIMMY Yglesias spent 36 years at Great Dane Trailers, the last seven as director of product systems and components.

But he wasn't just dedicated to his employer. He was dedicated to his industry. Yglesias was active in the Technology and Maintenance Council's S.7 group, which studies the maintenance deficiencies and failures of materials-handling equipment and develops improved material-handling equipment practices and servicing techniques for this equipment.

It was his goal to study the adequacy of current design and maintenance practices and to investigate developments and improvements to trailers, semi-trailers, dollies, containers, container chassis, or other freight transport equipment. He recognized the need to conduct surveys, collect data, and monitor testing programs and research of affiliated industry groups in order to develop suitable Recommended Practices that fleet equipment users and manufacturers could follow.

And so it was that he came to chair the task force investigating dissimilar metals and ways to prevent corrosion.

Yglesias did the research and wrote the TMC's Recommended Practice 740: “Corrosion Protection From Dissimilar Metals.”

Tragically, Yglesias will not see the fruits of his labor. Yglesias, 57, died Feb. 27 in Savannah, Georgia. His legacy will be RP 740, which will be published for the first time in the 2003-04 edition of the Recommended Maintenance Practices Manual to be released this fall.

“I think anybody who's a technical type or an engineering type likes to think their work is important and will outlive them, so to speak — not necessarily literally, but in the sense that people do change jobs,” says Charlie Fetz, Great Dane's vice president of research and development. “Jimmy took it very seriously.

“When you've been around testing like Jimmy — when you have corrosion as a part of it, and you've done failure analysis and looked at materials that have been returned from the field where there have been problems — it certainly sticks with you. People who have not been exposed to the testing aspect and maybe just the failure aspect maybe are not close enough to the technical aspects to understand it as well as somebody like Jimmy. They don't have that perspective.”

Brent Hilton, chairman of the TMC's S.7 group, worked with Yglesias for five years. He says that when it was determined that the dissimilar metals issue needed to be explored, Yglesias “took it and ran with it.”

“When you had Jimmy doing something like that, you didn't have to do a whole lot,” Hilton says. “Jimmy was a very knowledgeable individual, very outgoing, very participative, always willing to help out. He's going to be very much missed at TMC, I can assure you of that.

“I feel like he did an outstanding job. It's definitely a good recommended practice for any fleet to look at and any manufacturer to look at when designing or building a trailer, or any engineer to know what he needs to do to avoid causing galvanic corrosion problems.”