Trailer Magazine: Shared Vision
Determined to raise the productivity levels and safety standards of its fleet, Cartage Australia is now using six-axle side-tippers fitted with SAF-Holland running gear.
Melbourne-based Cartage Australia has established itself as one of the most recognisable names in Australia’s bulk haulage sector by maintaining a tireless work ethic from top-level management through to those behind the wheel.
Operating around Victoria 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Cartage’s resolute attitude stems from its two passionate and highly adaptable founders, Ray Cauchi and Wayne Vella. While some business owners still argue
against changing successful business models, Ray and Wayne say not embracing the concept of continuous improvement would be doing a disservice to its staff, customers and the industry at large.
“Regardless of how busy we get, Wayne and I always get together once a week to talk business, address certain issues and discuss what we can do to improve, whether it’s our equipment or how we manage our drivers’ health,” Ray explains. “I’ve been in the industry for almost four decades and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can never get complacent. Wayne and I must continually push the boundaries and we’re determined to look at all opportunities involving quarry products, port services and bulk storage.”
Almost a year ago over lunch, the two discussed the state of the Cartage Australia fleet, with productivity and safety high on the agenda. “Wayne suggested the idea of using side-tippers instead of the end tippers that we were accustomed to,” Ray says. “The idea had come up once or twice before, but we never really talked about it in great detail.” The discussion then took a critical turn. “It wasn’t just about bringing in a standard side-tipper; Wayne wanted the design to have two side-tipping bodies built on the one chassis and have it approved under the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme,” Ray says.
But there was even more to come: “Wayne wanted the side-tipper to run in a six-axle layout and have it towed as part of a rigid and dog combination,” Rays says. “That would address two areas of concern: One, having it as a PBS-approved truck and six-axle dog would allow us to increase our payload and two, a six-axle side-tipper would give us increased stability and be much safer than an end tipper, which is always at risk of a tip over. It would also allow access to almost any warehouse for our growing bulk storage business.”
“It’s a smarter vehicle, which helps us to reduce the number of vehicles on the road while increasing both productivity and safety.” Ray Cauchi
The idea of using PBS-approved equipment isn’t new to Cartage Australia – in fact, all of the company’s rigid and dogs are PBS-approved – but never before has the company had a PBS six-axle dog. “PBS has been absolutely crucial to our operation as it has given us productivity gains between 10-25 per cent on each combination,” Ray says. The challenge then became finding a trailer builder and equipment supplier to bring Wayne’s vision to life. “I spoke to a few manufacturers about our design and Muscat Trailers in Sydney was the first to put its hand up. Once we completed all the paperwork, including liaising with VicRoads and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to have it PBS certified, we placed an order for two rigid and six-axle dog combinations at once.”
According to Ray, the custom-made six-axle dog side-tippers – towed by two new Volvo FM rigid end tippers operating with Euro V engines that significantly reduce emissions – the combinations are capable of carrying a 47-tonne payload, which Ray says is two to three tonnes more than a B-double with the same gross weight would be able to haul. “It’s a smarter vehicle, which helps us to reduce the number of vehicles on the road while increasing both productivity and safety.”
Having arrived in September, the new six axle dogs have been spec’d to cart quarry products, and while Cartage Australia has used several suppliers in the past, the one major component brand that the company sticks with is SAF-HOLLAND – from its axle and suspensions, couplings and tow eyes through to ball races and EBS braking systems.
Like Cartage’s previous rigid and dog combinations, the six-axle units feature SAF-HOLLAND’s Intradisc plus Integral axle and suspension system. “There’s never been issues with SAF-HOLLAND,” says Ray. “Its components are very light, the service and support is outstanding and, most importantly, when our drivers need to apply the brakes, the whole combination will quickly stop – just like a car.”
Despite the immediate benefits of the two rigid and six-axle dog combinations, Ray and Wayne will continue open talks on a week-by- week basis as a means to improve and further grow the business. And, Ray says it’s a safe bet SAF-HOLLAND and Muscat Trailers will factor into those discussions as well.