New ProStar fills big shoes at Dean Edwards Transport
The INTERNATIONAL ProStar is steadily clawing its way into fleets across the country and while many owners are first time INTERNATIONAL buyers, there are plenty out there for whom history with the brand runs deep.
Dean Edwards falls into the latter. Since 2005, he's owned four INTERNATIONAL Eagles, his most recent, a 9200, is still on fleet showing 1.3 million kilometres, with the only mechanical issue having been a turbo replacement at around the 1.2 million kilometres mark - and that's pretty good going, according to Dean.
"The ProStar has some big shoes to fill, that's for sure," he said.
"All of the Eagles I've had over the years have been fantastic trucks and have been very reliable, so when INTERNATIONAL returned to Australia, I was keen to give this new one a go."
Dean's ProStar features the Cummins X15 engine rated at 550hp (410kW) and 1850 Lb Ft (2,508 Nm), coupled to an Eaton 18-speed manual - most of the trucks in Dean's seven-strong fleet are manuals, the exception being an IVECO Stralis.
"The drivers are comfortable with this drivetrain combination and are very familiar with it," Dean explained. If it's working, why change?", he said.
Based in Flowerdale in Northern Tasmania, the ProStar sleeper cab normally hauls single and B-Double livestock crates all around the state, often picking up in the south of the state and delivering to Burnie where the trailers are uncoupled and then taken to the mainland on the Toll ships.
Aside from the stock hauling application, Edwards Transport also engages in a range of work including logging, fertiliser, machinery, oversize and fodder work, showing the adaptability that keeps Dean and his team extremely busy.
Dean said that the life of trucks in Tasmania is generally pretty tough given the state's undulating topography.
"Coming out of the south of the state with a fully loaded B-Double and heading north, you're either on the throttle or on the jack brake," he said.
"It's hard going, so you need a truck with plenty of power and torque and the ProStar is taking it all in its stride."
According to Dean, he's not yet had the opportunity to take a close look at the fuel figures but feedback from his main driver, Brett, is that the truck is driving extremely well.
With its swept back design, wrap around windscreen and streamlined bumper and guards, the ProStar is up to 10 per cent more aerodynamic compared to more traditional, square-bonneted vehicles.
"Brett says that the ProStar really cuts well through the wind and that it's whisper quiet in the cabin, a good indication that the truck is slipping through the air nicely," Dean said.
While a full sleeper cab spec. truck was not essential to have, Dean said it always comes in handy.
"Most of the trucks in our fleet are sleeper cabs - it's nice for the driver to have that extra space," he explained.
"You also never know where you might get held-up and need to rest. Sometimes if we have a job in the south of the state, Brett might leave the night before and stop to sleep somewhere along the way, so that he can get a few hours' head start on the next day's work.
"So far the truck is doing everything right and Brett is thrilled with the new workhorse."