PERFECT FIT: Tight turning circle, excellent cabin visibility and a steerable rear axle on the trailer allows for easier maneuvering at depots.
PERFECT FIT: Tight turning circle, excellent cabin visibility and a steerable rear axle on the trailer allows for easier maneuvering at depots.

Ryans Group banks on ProStars for Newcold contract

A RECENT contract win for Ryans Group has given the company the opportunity to put six new INTERNATIONAL ProStar models to work in Victoria, hauling frozen products around the metro Melbourne area and further afield to Ballarat.

Configured with day cabs, all of the new vehicles are equipped with Cummins X15 engines rated at 550hp (410kW) and 1850 Lb Ft (2,508 Nm), coupled to Eaton's intelligent 'Ultrashift Plus' automated manual transmission (AMT). The trucks are also specified with 'ADEPT' technologies - ADEPT takes engine and transmission integration to the highest levels to deliver even better fuel efficiency returns.

The vehicles haul refrigerated, quad axle single trailers with steerable rear axles to allow easier maneuvering into loading docks at Newcold Advanced Cold Logistics' facility, as well as at manufacturing facilities belonging to Peters and McCains.

Ryans Group Manager, David Howell, said that the ProStar's specifications were a strong fit for the application.

"The ProStar provides a solid overall package - depending on the route the trucks will be travelling around 5,000 kilometres each per week in metro conditions as well as some highway work, they're on-call around the clock,” he said

"They have a proven driveline and they're hearty trucks so we have every confidence that they'll stand up to the rigours of the job.”

(From l to r) Newcold Site Manager, Cameron Traum; Ryans Group Melbourne Deport Manager, Ben Hopgood and Adtrans Truck Centre, General Manager, Marcus Prato.
(From l to r) Newcold Site Manager, Cameron Traum; Ryans Group Melbourne Deport Manager, Ben Hopgood and Adtrans Truck Centre, General Manager, Marcus Prato.

Although at present the ProStars are on single trailer work grossing around 55 tonnes, with a 90 tonne GCM, they have a broader scope to also undertake B-Double and even two trailer road train work if required, providing Ryans Group with additional flexibility.

And while Ryans Group has opted for a proven, traditional prime mover, the trailing stock and freight management technology on board is anything but.

The trailers feature roll-on, roll-off systems that allow them to be fully loaded in as little as four minutes, providing huge efficiencies and decongesting loading docks, as the trucks are loaded and back on the road faster.

All drivers are also equipped with 'Epod' systems, this technology was developed in partnership with Honeywell and Peacock Bros, two businesses with extensive expertise in productivity and scanning/mobile computer technologies.

The handheld Epod device provides the drivers with real-time job information and delivery ETAs for the recipients of the goods, allowing them to better schedule their workflow. Furthermore, the driver can also photograph the load once on-board and sealed - all this information is processed via the Epod gateway computer at the Ryan's depot and easily available if required via a website using a consignment number.

David said that driver acceptance of the new ProStars had been excellent, with them all commenting positively on the cabin appointments and how well and they drive and feel on the road.

"The drivers certainly appreciate the automated transmission, especially considering the amount of time they spend in traffic crossing from the east to the west of Melbourne,” he said.

"It's a comfortable cabin environment and the visibility is excellent, which again is an extra benefit in city conditions.

"You can have all the technology in the world but our professional drivers still play an enormous role in ensuring our freight movements run safely and efficiently, so we like to provide them with equipment that they want to drive.”

The ProStars were purchased from favoured, long-term commercial vehicle supplier, Adtrans Truck Centre, who will also handle maintenance of the vehicles.

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