Leading Queensland freight specialist, Followmont Transport, has taken delivery of six new Kenworth K200 cabovers primarily for B-double refrigeration linehaul across the country.
The latest additions to the company's expanding 1000 strong truck fleet follows on from its opening this week of two new depots, at an estimated cost of $15 million each, in Mackay and Cairns.
According to Followmont Transport Managing Director and CEO Mark Tobin, the new trucks will feature diesel air-conditioned trailers with an Alemlube grease system option and a shielding wrap from Brisbane company Slick Azz, to protect the paint and fuel tanks against stone chips to help maintain their value.
A 2.3 metre aeroroof sleeper will make life easier for drivers to live in them while on-highway.
"They have a deserved reputation for durability and they offer for a business like ours a lower total cost of ownership over life," he says.
"We like to hold onto them for four or fives years and there's never a reason to get rid of them in my view."
Powered by Cummins X-15 Euro 5 rated engines with ADEPT for fuel efficiency and an 18-speed Ultrashift automatic transmission, the K200s join another 60 Kenworth commercial vehicles currently in use in the Followmont Transport national fleet which accesses 18 depots 24 hours a day, nationwide.
Followmont has installed the Guardian driver monitoring system and its own satnav tracking system.
As road freight businesses contend with a growing surge of demand amid escalating buying from the public, Tobin wasn't too fazed by the heightened climate of coronavirus fallout.
He said Followmonth Transport will concentrate on what it can control and continue to make shrewd investments in assets and infrastructure where it was fitting.
"You've got to keep reinvesting and deal with what's going on. Play it by ear. There's no use shutting up shop," Tobin said.
"Ignore the doom and gloom and focus what you're good at and keep doing it. That's our focus," he said.
"What the next month holds I don't know but we're not doing too badly. It's all about trying to protect your people. There's a lot of industries worse off than road transport right now."
According to Tobin, every bit of profit is going back into the business to help ensure what he values as the crucial 'long term succession of the network'.
"It's been inspiring to see how businesses come together in times of hardship and pull together for long term succession. That's one of the observations I've made. We're all about to take a hit," he said.
"It's how you deal with it."
The recent decision by the Queensland State Government to relax truck curfew laws to assist with overnight stock arrivals was unlikely to diminish the main obstacle at present for commercial transport operators, valiantly trying to find gains moving in and out of traffic congestion.
"It's not the final leg that is holding things up," he says.
"But at a time like this everything is going to help."