Keeping it in the Family
Allied Transport Services is a family owned company whose alignment with PACCAR Australia has helped it to achieve efficiencies in its heavy haulage business while maintaining its strong core values.
The story of Allied Transport Services, an owner-operator company based out of Geelong, an hour south of Melbourne, is one of people power and palpable family values. Operating a growing fleet of nearly 40 vehicles, Allied Transport Services has evolved quickly from its initial days as a panel shop in 2004 when it purchased its first truck to complement the business. In 2005 the panel repair business was sold and the couple commenced towing services, with just a staff of two, owners Angelo and Leah Lociuro.
Today, they employ more than 50 staff to handle 18,000 transport moves a year and run an over-dimensional heavy haulage service across the country with a fleet that can carry loads grossing up to 170tn that includes platform trailers, 45m steerable triple extendable trailers, low ride height vessel trailers and other high load carrying capacity trailers. In addition to big loads, Allied Transport Services also operates 17 heavy rigid tilt trays, crane trucks, ute services and has its own pilot vehicles so they can continue to service the equipment hire and plant transport market.
Allied Transport Services first began its association with PACCAR Australia, through dealer Kenworth DAF Melbourne, in 2011 with the purchase of three T358 rigid trucks from Kenworth Sales Representative Ron Ludbrook. Allied Transport Services Managing Director, Angelo Lociuro, confirms that using PACCAR’s range of services has enhanced the agility required of his operations to ensure it rises to the challenges inherent in the fast moving transport industry.
“We associate Kenworth with reliability and quality service,” he says. “Their customer service levels are superior. We’ve seen it on a regular basis.”
For the Lociuros, people are much more than a means to an end. They’re proud of their staff, and don’t claim to take anything for granted. Relationships are one of the underpinning forces of their approach to business. According to Angelo, the quality of the partnership with Kenworth DAF Melbourne is defined, as much as it is determined, by the loyalty and close relationship it shares with its Kenworth sales representative Ron Ludbrook.
“Ron Ludbrook, doesn’t just sell a truck and leave it at that. He has built a relationship with us,” he says. “I’ve called him plenty of times to ask for advice or for support when we’re out on the road, in the middle of nowhere, and the level of service he gives his customers is sensational.”
It’s the sort of association that can’t be underestimated for fleets whose regular task is to cross the expanses of Australia. Having an 80-hour journey over the desolate Nullarbor Plain interrupted, halfway into it, can make for a major disruption to operations and a foreboding experience for the driver.
“Having a dealer you can rely on, and who will sort out an immediate solution for parts and services, and using the nearest available resources down the line has been one of the many benefits Kenworth has delivered to us in those rare times of need,” Angelo says.
Allied Transport Services, Financial Controller, Leah Lociuro says having Kenworth DAF Melbourne provide a utility of services including dedicated financing solutions has allowed the business, especially in aftersales, to move with the demands of the market.
“When we were looking to add to our fleet reliability was a priority and with Kenworth it is undeniable,” Leah says. “In terms of positives there are many of these, such as the resale value, which it must be said, is very good.”
In 2009 after several years of transporting both machinery and cars, Allied Transport Services honed its operations exclusively for the transportation of machinery. The shift in focus coincided with a boom in construction around Melbourne. Once they broke away from towing and moved into hauling machinery, predominantly in a low loader and tilt tray application, the demands on their business soon changed and having a fleet that could service customers with a broad range of equipment became key to their success says Angelo.
“Now that we have a range of equipment for specialised requirements Kenworth DAF Melbourne has been the main provider of the trucks, which pull the heavy machinery for us all over Victoria and the country.”
Angelo confirms Kenworth DAF Melbourne offers his business a complete in-house solution. Allied Transport Services relies on Kenworth DAF Melbourne, in the most part, for financing and services in which they purchase products from the parts department in the aftersales and service area. Because they have their own workshop they don’t always require servicing from the dealership. They supply, however, everything else such as parts, filters and finance. Angelo says the familiarity between the two companies has been conducive for helping influence key efficiencies in his business.
“They build us trucks and they build us what we want to spec,” he says. “We haven’t bought any trucks through anyone else. We’ve just gone to them for the complete package. There’s no going back and forth. They know what we’re after and it gets delivered to us.”
According to Leah, it helps to have had a long-standing relationship. The ongoing partnership has had a flow-on effect across her business, right down to Allied’s own fleet colours. Their business motto, ‘we will travel anywhere required’, remains an enduring part of their legacy since they first found their niche, providing towing services in the machinery sector.
Trailer applications may require Allied Transport Services to transport anything from crawler cranes, dump trucks, dozers, harvesters, bridge beams and more recently, large engineered fabrications and pressure vessels for local and overseas projects. Late in 2017, the company purchased three new trucks, a pair of Kenworth K200s and a T610. The T610 underwent an intensive test period of seven weeks.
Leah says having access to new model trucks that can be test run is a crucial part of the purchasing process, whereby Allied’s experienced drivers can assist them to make informed decisions on the required specifications.
“There was never any problem with gaining extended access to a test truck and that’s important for a business like ours,” she says. “The drivers loved the demo model of the 610.”
Because the T610 is 130 tonne rated it makes for an ideal solution for carrying low loaders into some of the most isolated parts of Australia such as Western Queensland where temperatures often reach 47°c.
“The 610s are quiet,” Angelo says. “Driver comfort is very impressive and the enhancements made in the ease-of-vision made a big impression.”
Kenworth DAF Melbourne even took the made-to-measure service it provides one step further. It helped build a custom truck for Allied Transport Services as a tribute to Leah and Angelo’s son Nicholas, who was born with the severe heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart syndrome.
In 2013 they had a Kenworth T909 prime mover manufactured to spec as part of a dedication to the courage personified by Nicholas and others born with congenital heart defects (CHD).
“We named the truck Heart Warrior because children living with congenital heart defects that have survived surgeries are known by that term in our world of CHD,” she says. “The truck features a photo of Nicholas when he was a baby on the back of the truck. Ron at Kenworth DAF Melbourne was instrumental in helping us put that together.”
“He’s absolutely a part of why we keep going back to Kenworth,” Leah says. “We’re really blessed in that regard. That also speaks for our own success and our staff, because our staff stand by us and we stand by them.”