A new in­dus­trial area west of Mel­bourne’s CBD needed a ded­i­cated truck stop to cater for the in­creas­ing com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle traf­fic. Greg Bush calls in at the BP Tru­gan­ina

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THE MEL­BOURNE sub­urb of Tru­gan­ina has un­der­gone a change in re­cent years. Ware­houses and trans­port-re­lated busi­ness have taken over the area, re­plac­ing the semiru­ral land­scape. BP Aus­tralia re­alised the op­por­tu­nity and just over two years ago opened the BP Tru­gan­ina Truck Stop on the cor­ner of Paraweena Drive and Palmers Road.

San­thosh Anan­dan, pre­vi­ously the as­sis­tant man­ager at the BP Laver­ton Truck Stop, was ap­pointed man­ager. In­ci­den­tally, the BP Laver­ton is only a 10-minute drive away.

Truck and trailer man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­er­ships in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity to the BP Tru­gan­ina in­clude Max­iTrans, Sca­nia, CMV, Krueger and a soon-to-be-opened Daim­ler Trucks cen­tre. Vir­tu­ally across the road from the BP is K&S Freighters, and a Toll fa­cil­ity is a near neigh­bour. There’s also a Coles dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in the vicin­ity.

“It’s a new in­dus­trial area,” San­thosh points out. “There are a lot of new in­dus­tries open­ing up, par­tic­u­larly ware­hous­ing.”

As the truck stop is si­t­u­ated in a com­mer­cial area where the ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers ei­ther drive trucks or are in­volved in the trans­port area, there is ob­vi­ously lit­tle need for a sep­a­rate truck­ies’ lounge. How­ever, within the din­ing area there’s a couch, tele­vi­sion and a power hub where driv­ers can charge their lap­tops and mo­bile phones. San­thosh says future plans for the truck stop in­clude the in­stal­la­tion of show­ers and laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties.

Iden­ti­fi­able char­ac­ter­is­tics out­side set the BP Tru­gan­ina apart from reg­u­lar ser­vice sta­tions, like the 24-hour weigh­bridge, a sep­a­rate re­fu­elling area for trucks with high-flow BP Ul­ti­mate Diesel and AdBlue at the pumps.

There’s also am­ple room for truck park­ing out­side, in­clud­ing space for B-dou­bles.

In­side the premises the Road­haven Café serves up a va­ri­ety of food of­fer­ings, al­though hot cof­fee is a pop­u­lar and con­stant re­quest from 5am and through­out the day.

Ac­cord­ing to San­thosh, the big break­fast is one of the truck­ies’ favourites, while for lunch and din­ner they tend to go for ei­ther rump or T-bone steak, or chicken parmi­giana.

“We change the menu twice a month,” San­thosh says. “On the bain-marie we of­fer pasta, kran­sky, roast of the day and pork ribs.”

Through word of mouth, the BP Tru­gan­ina has built up a solid base of reg­u­lar cus­tomers from both the lo­cal area and fur­ther afield since it opened in 2015. He says the key to at­tract­ing and keep­ing reg­u­lar clien­tele is all to do with cus­tomer ser­vice. “If you give the cus­tomer what they want they come back.”

San­thosh is keen to keep his reg­u­lars happy, espe­cially those that drive big dis­tances. “We used to get one guy from Perth who would drive in here on a Fri­day, stay for a couple of days and then leave on the Mon­day morn­ing. He did that for six months; he would never go to any other place, he’d just come to us.”

The BP Tru­gan­ina is open 24/7, of­fer­ing easy ac­cess from ma­jor ar­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing the West­ern Ring Road, West­ern Free­way and Princes Free­way. And it’s only 30 minutes from Mel­bourne’s CBD.

Tru­gan­ina truck stop man­ager San­thosh Anan­dan

The Road­haven Café of­fers plenty of food op­tions

Power points and USB ports along the BP’s ‘Power Hub’

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