A pur­chase for the fu­ture

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

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.

PHO­TOS: VOLVO GROUP

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.

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