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Prime Mover Magazine

Smooth operator

Smooth operator

Protection and performance are two key factors when operating a fleet across Australia’s vast distances, extreme climates and at times challenging infrastructure. For freight provider, GKR Transport, getting the most out of its fleet by using high-quality engine oil and lubricant is key to its success.  

GKR Transport has been operating since 1983 as a supplier of premium transport, storage and logistics services across a range of sectors. After initially setting up business in Perth, GKR now boasts a depot in every capital city in Australia. The company’s primary offering is in providing an express transport service from eastern-state capital cities to Perth, and return – although it does also offer selected services between east-coast capitals.

Recognising the importance of optimum performance when running a fleet, GKR Transport seeks to work with only the best suppliers in the industry – a philosophy that started more than 20 years ago with its choice of oil provider, Valvoline.

Valvoline first introduced its lubricant over 150 years ago, when Dr John Ellis developed a petroleum-based product for steam engines. Since then, the company has been innovating, creating and reinventing high-quality lubricants and cleaners.

Valvoline is now a global producer, distributor and brand of lubricants and specialised automotive, racing, commercial and industrial solutions. The company prides itself on its ongoing commitment to improving maintenance, adding performance and reducing ownership costs for vehicle owners, including Australia’s logistics businesses, which Volvoline provides with reliable, high-performing and low-maintenance lubrication solutions.

Valvoline supplies GKR Transport with quality engine oils and lubricants to service its 70-strong fleet. Delivering for more than 1,000 customers across the automotive, industrial, heavy haulage, oil and gas, mining and manufacturing sectors, GKR Transport provides practical and affordable solutions to each and every client. A key factor in its ability to offer high-quality services in what is now such a competitive industry is the maintenance and care it takes of its entire fleet, explains Garry Walsh, National Linehaul and Western Australia State Manager, GKR Transport.

“We are getting over one million kilometres out of our motors, this is largely due to Valvoline’s synthetic oil,” he says.

Garry’s role at GKR Transport is to manage all of the trucks and drivers, as well as oversee the company’s operations across Western Australia. His task – managing and maintaining more than 150 trailers and 48 linehaul trucks – is challenging, though he notes that knowing that the trucks are well maintained and performing to the highest standard – due to using an oil provider he knows he can trust – makes his day-to-day job more manageable.
“We’ve partnered with Valvoline for more than two decades because they have always done the job,” says Garry. “We have a great relationship with them and their prices have always been competitive. If there has ever been any issues, Valvoline has always provided a solution quickly, honestly and efficiently – they are very easy to deal with.”

With Australia’s often volatile, extreme and challenging conditions, logistics providers are facing tough environments, Garry explains. This, paired with an increasingly competitive market, adds to the need for reliable, well-maintained trucks.

“When you are travelling the 42-hour trip from Perth to Melbourne across the Nullarbor Plain, your truck is up on its weight, you are averaging 98km/h and it’s warming up to 45 degrees, that’s putting a lot of pressure on your trucks,” he says. “In this strenuous environment, we need a reliable oil to make sure that our trucks don’t break down, Valvoline has always promised this and done the job for us.”

This relationship reaches beyond the use of Valvoline products in its trucks. GKR Transport also kits out its workshop with all Valvoline pumps and lubricants, and all engines are manufactured by Cummins, who has had an alliance with Valvoline in Australia since 1994.

In addition to this, the relationship has gone one step further – GKR Transport is the delivery partner for Valvoline in Perth, providing the lubrication company with distribution solutions throughout the city.

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