A purchase for the future
IT’S A new year and a new fleet for national logistics business, the Glen Cameron Group, which will enter 2018 with 35 fresh Volvos.
The purchases, all made within the past year were based not just on the vehicle but as an investment in the future.
Group asset manager Shane Coates explains that the decision to go with Volvo wasn’t just about the trucks but, more importantly, it was about the aftersales support.
In 2016, Mr Coates started looking for trucks to fill a contract obligation with CHEP, collecting and delivering pallets throughout Victoria.
The trucks had to work with a specially-designed low-height trailer capable of carrying a load 20 pallets high.
“We needed trucks with low-profile tyres and a turntable height of 1150mm to fit under the trailer,” he said.
“A standard turntable height truck was not suitable for this task.”
Mr Coates engaged Volvo Trucks, which flew their engineers down to Victoria to better understand the specific requirements.
“The engineers observed the task and challenge provided to them by our client and came up with a solution,” he said.
“Having a manufacturing facility in Brisbane enabled Volvo to offer a local purpose-built, low-profile truck that would suit the application.
“Fortunately, the trucks also came with a range of safety features that our customer had mandated.”
Mr Coates ordered 14 FM450s in the low single-trailer configuration, four FM540s for B-double work, and six rigid FE Euro-6 flat tops for the CHEP contract, and several more for their interstate PUD business.
While he was happy with the way Volvo was able to manufacture the right truck, it was the aftersales support and service resources that was the most important box that needed to be ticked.
“Buying the trucks is the easy part,” Mr Coates said.
“It’s what happens afterwards that counts.
“Managing uptime is 100% critical for both us and our clients.
“It’s important to manage cents-per-kilometre and total life costs, as any value we might make on the purchase price in a bulk purchase can disappear pretty quickly if a truck is sitting off the road waiting for a spare parts.”
Mr Coates had been investigating Volvo’s servicing facilities and support resources for some time before the purchase.
Indeed getting this key resource in place was the priority because, without it, there could not have been a purchase on this scale.
“Volvo has put measures and solutions in place to maximise our uptime,” he said.
“CMV services our trucks overnight to make sure we’re back on the road the next day and they have plenty of spare parts so we’re minimising our downtime.
“In addition, they provided driver training resources, which has significantly assisted us in improving our fuel consumption across our Volvo fleet,” he said.
Since the initial purchase, Mr Coates has ordered a further 10 Volvos.
“The Glen Cameron Group has always had a commitment to provide outstanding customer service and, to do that, we need outstanding customer service and support from the truck manufacturers,” he said.
Volvo Trucks Australia vice-president Mitch Peden agreed the relationship with Glen Cameron Group was more than a transaction.
Glen Cameron Group, in Victoria, will start the year with 35 new Volvo trucks.
CAMERON GROUP: Volvo Trucks Australia vice-president Mitch Penden with Glen Cameron Group asset manager Shane Coates.