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Prime Mover Magazine

Shoobridge Transport invests in Scania NTG luxury

Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Scania Australia, has provided New Truck Generation prime movers to the growing fleet of linehaul specialist Shoobridge Transport.

The family owned Murwillumbah-based business in the Tweed Shire of NSW employs more than 90 staff and runs a mixed fleet of 40 commercial vehicles.

Brothers Barry and Peter Shoobridge run the company whose origins trace back to banana farmers who purchased a truck to transport their produce to market in the 1970s.

Growth in the linehaul operation was sudden and supplanted the farming as a main priority.

Today it operates single trailers and B-doubles carrying refrigerated and dry goods between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

As truck drivers that have worked across most facets of the business including warehousing, maintenance and logistics, recruiting and mentoring staff, Peter and Barry bought into Shoobridge Transport in 1994.

Two of the latest Scania NTG R 620 V8 trucks mark the most recent purchases for the business as they chase improvements in overall efficiency and driver comfort.

“So far the fuel economy is proving to be very good, although it’s early days, with the trucks being about six weeks old. Driver acceptance has been exceptional and they have all remarked on the new levels of comfort,” said Peter Shoobridge.  

“I’ve driven the new R 620s myself on a couple of trips and am, very impressed, particularly with the revised transmission, which works seamlessly.”

The first Scania purchase was made from Kevin Schuhmann of K&J Trucks in Coffs Harbour in 2011.

According to Shoobridge the company has since bought another 12 Scania commercial vehicles.

“The drivers really enjoy driving them. They constantly tell me how easy they are to drive and so comfortable, which reduces stress and fatigue. As an operator that makes us happy.”

As the Scanias operate more than twice the distance of the other commercial vehicles, amassing 300,000 kilometres annually, Peter is impressed by safety features such as the rollover side curtain airbags fitted as standard to all Australian market NTGs.  

“It’s not only comforting to the drivers but equally comforting as the transport operator to know my drivers are in the safest possible truck on the road today,” he said.

“We’re happy with the overall running costs of not only our new Scanias but the older ones as well. The cost of ownership has been very cost-effective and significantly lower than the American trucks we have.”

Alan McDonald from Scania has provided Shoobridge Transport with driver training.

Scores among the drivers are improving week by week according to Shoobridge who said his operators, after some initial hesitancy, have been warming to taking up the driver-monitoring program.

“I have been taking screenshots of my trips as a reminder to the blokes of what can be achieved. It’s a great system and promotes professionalism as well,” said Shoobridge.

Shoobridge Transport also offers mass management accreditation in addition to Truck Safe accreditation and its own in-house maintenance management and fatigue management programs.

“Any business is only successful because of its staff, and none of this would be possible without the great team. We have many long-term committed employees here and that is a key to our success. We also have a very good and loyal customer base so I guess they are the two ingredients necessary for success in this competitive business,” he said.

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