Appearance is crucial at Kerden Haulage and remains a key factor for why it partners with paints, coatings and speciality materials supplier, PPG, to ensure a consistent, high quality finish across the entire fleet.
It’s not just its ability to tackle specialist tasks with no-fuss efficiency that has helped Kerden Haulage carv out an impressive reputation over the past 27 years.
From the very first truck – a second-hand 1986 International S-Line – which Dennis and Kerry Radburn used to establish the business back in 1992, there has been a steady focus on projecting a smart, professional and eye-catching appearance. It’s a strategy that continues to pay dividends, according to Kerry.
“We are very proud of our fleet and we get a lot of work out of the appearance of our trucks. Turn up with a tatty looking piece of machinery and that customer is not going to be too enthusiastic about giving you more work.
When we turn up at a customer’s place, they often tell us how good the trucks look,” she says.
Based in Nowra, on the NSW south coast, Kerden Haulage is still very much a family business, with Dennis and Kerry’s son, Damien, having joined to help run the growing company.
After cutting its teeth in a variety of state-based work, such as supporting the construction of venues for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Kerden Haulage has spread its wings along the east coast and across the country.
Today, it’s engaged in a wide variety of work, including over-dimensional haulage for Qantas, storage and distribution for Todae Solar, express freight for DHL and haulage of precast concrete components for BCP Precast.
It’s all about meeting the customer’s needs says Kerry. A lot of what it does is specialised work.
As they cart products for Cromford Pipe Holdings, a poly pipe manufacturer, the company uses extendable trailers, drop-deck extendable trailers and crane trailers specifically to help transport their products.
Kerden Haulage’s fleet has grown to 45 trucks, mainly made up of Kenworths, and most are finished in the company livery, consisting of gunmetal grey and contrasting white.
With increasing vehicle numbers, however, came a growing issue with fleet presentation.
While the liveries of different trucks often looked fine in isolation, when they were parked next to each other, noticeable differences became obvious and, in some cases, paint jobs were not to the company’s high standards.
According to Tony Naughton, PPG NSW Commercial Transport Manager, PPG was approached by Kerden Haulage to reduce the varied colours and appearance of their fleet.
“They take a lot of pride in their fleet and they wanted continuity of colour and finish because the look of their trucks reflects back on their business,” he says.
“The service we were able to offer is called PPG FleetSpec. It’s a free service where we worked directly with them to precisely match their fleet colours and then prepare a PPG FleetSpec handbook dedicated to Kerden Haulage.”
Inside the handbook are all the fleet’s colour codes and colour samples, the products and detailed processes to be used to paint the various substrates the vehicles are made from (steel, fibreglass, aluminium, etc), along with detailed views of the company’s livery and how it’s applied to different types of vehicles in the fleet.
Copies of the PPG FleetSpec handbook get distributed to each Kerden Haulage depot, as well as the PPG FleetPool network of independent Commercial Transport repairers and refinishers.
When a Kerden Haulage vehicle goes to any PPG FleetPool shop or PPG user around the country, they have everything needed to achieve the same colour and consistency of finish.
“The Kerden Haulage colours are all listed on our PPG PaintManager XI software system so it’s simple for a user to look up the precise formulations,” says Tony.
“In the same way, local trailer or truck manufacturers using PPG, such as Volvo, Mack, Kenworth and Iveco, can also access those colour formulations. Importantly, they get the uniformity of colour and finish that shows off their organisation in the very best light.”