Kenworth keeping Frasers on the road
WHEN running the region's largest livestock transport company, it pays to ensure the machines doing all the work are being looked after as best they possibly can be.
Frasers Livestock Transport runs a fleet of 50 trucks all over the state, out of depots in Warwick, Goondiwindi, Roma and Gracemere.
These trucks travel 9million kilometres a year, transporting more than 2.5million cattle and 1.5million sheep, pigs, horses and other livestock.
In-house mechanics regularly service the machines but it's the support from the manufacturer that stands out.
Last week, representatives from Brown and Hurley Kyogle and Paccar (Kenworth parent company) Melbourne visited the Frasers depot in Warwick to touch base with their valued client.
Director Ross Fraser said the visits were crucial for both the company and the supplier.
"Our trucks are custom built to suit the work we do and the roads we travel," he said.
"We've been working very closely with Kenworth for many years to modify and tweak our specifications to suit.
"These guys come up once or twice a year to fine tune those specs and make sure it's really working for us the way we need it to."
Paccar chief engineer Damien Smethurst leads a team of 120 engineers working to make Kenworth trucks the best they can be.
"We're currently building 15 trucks a day out of our Melbourne facility, so it's important we are getting everything right," he said.
"We have a large team of field engineers working directly with clients, talking about issues and improvements that can be made.
"We rely heavily on the feedback from the end users, and very importantly the drivers of these trucks.
"From the way the trucks work, fuel economy, styling, right through to the comfort of the seat."
Mr Smethurst said their meeting with Frasers staff had given them much to take away.
"We've discussed a few things here today," he said.
"And they're things we can implement straight away on the next order.
"Customers want durability and reliability; that's the bottom line and that's what our end goal is."
Mr Smethurst said Kenworth's weren't the cheapest trucks on the market.
"But people buy them because they're a quality Australian built truck made for Australian conditions," he said.
"They buy them because they stand the test of time, but we're still working non-stop to make improvements.
"It's hard to build the prefect truck, but with feedback and field visits like this one, we get closer.
"These trucks have never been more environmentally cleaner as well, which is another area of importance to both Kenworth and our customers."
Mr Fraser said the company would be buying six more trucks in 2018.
"These trucks last about 18 years doing the work we do, and we're looking at consolidating our fleet at around the 50- truck mark," he said.
"But it's incredibly important that all 50 trucks are on the road when we need them to be.
"That's the benefit of these visits, relaying issues, no matter how small so that between us and the manufacturer we can keep our trucks on the road."