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Scania goes beyond the call of duty

The quality of the service is remembered long after the purchase price.

No one wants to be off the road for two days waiting for a part, but the reality of the Australian experience is that such occasions may arise.


Tallebudgera-based owner-driver John Irwin carts heavy machinery around Queensland, using a Scania R 580 V8 XT (now with 334,000 km on the clock), towing a quad, super tilt spreader trailer with an all-up weight of 29-tonnes and a 60-tonne GCM.


Aside from moving big machinery around for a well-known hire company, Irwin Logistics also has a contract with the LinFox Defence Commercial Team and is currently transporting Bushmaster vehicles from Brisbane to RAAF Amberley from which they are flown to Ukraine.


On a return trip through Townsville late in the evening recently, John encountered an orange warning light on the dash, prompting a call into Scania Assistance, the 24/7 helpline for all Scania drivers.


Scania Assistance dispatched a service vehicle, and the technician diagnosed a fault in the gearbox. The nearest replacement part was in Brisbane, and it was expected that this would take two days for the part to arrive and be fitted.


However, true to the Scania core value of always putting the customer first, John found to his delight the required part was flown in express the next morning and by mid-day he was well on his way south, once again, and full of admiration for the Scania Queensland team.


“I was very emotional,” John says. “I couldn’t believe that Scania had gone to so much trouble for me to get the part to Townsville so quickly. I had expected to be off the road for two days. The service and the dedication to getting me back on the road was exceptional.


“We’d been driving south, two up, when there was a warning light up on the dash and a message saying, ‘please visit the dealership’.


“This truck is a relatively new R 580 V8, and it is very quiet. My co-driver was in the bunk, and he said he could hear something unusual from the gearbox. We pulled up at the BP truck-stop and called Scania Assistance who arranged a service van call out from the Scania dealer, Honeycombes.


“When the technician arrived, I was blown away by the sophistication of the diagnostics. Not only did the computer pinpoint the fault, but it opened an onscreen window showing the part and a schematic of how to replace it. I was amazed at the details.


“I had already been on the phone to Scania’s Kevin MacDonald and then my account manager, Rowan Bouwmeester at Scania Richlands in Brisbane, and despite it being around 8.30pm, Rowan’s first two questions were: ‘What’s the problem?’” and ‘How can I help?’” John says.


“I explained and told him I couldn’t afford to lose two days parked up in Townsville, because we need have time-sensitive jobs.


“Rowan said to call his boss, Anna Marie Taylor, the State Manager for Queensland, but it was by then 9.00 pm, so I texted her and I was shocked when she called me back immediately! She confirmed they had a part and then at 9.55pm she called again to say she’d had had the part picked and that it would be taken to the air courier service by 0800 the next day.


“The next morning, the part arrived at Honeycombes in Townsville by 10am and I was back on the road by 11am. That’s when I was a bit emotional,” John says.


“I couldn’t believe the lengths to which Scania had gone to get me back on the road so fast; that the Queensland State Manager herself had called me and fast-tracked the part from Brisbane to Townsville and into the truck, so that just about 15 hours after the warning light came on, I was back on the road,” John says.


“When I first wanted to buy a Scania one of my mates tried to put me off, but I’m glad I didn’t listen. For a start this R 580 XT was built to exactly my specification, including a full leather interior, plus Adrian Erzetich, the Scania Finance Business Development Manager in Queensland made the process of paying for the truck very easy. The Scania Finance team really supported me through COVID as well. They have been phenomenal, incredible to work with, even though I am only a micro business.


“Scania’s R&M Contract takes all the stress out of keeping the truck on the road. And as this breakdown shows, it’s excellent insurance for when things go wrong, especially to have this team behind you,” he says.


“The power of the Scania experience shows just how customer service should be delivered. Another piece of equipment I have that cost about the same as the prime mover developed a fairly major problem, and I called their account manager, and still several days later I had not had even a call back. Scania obviously operates at a different level.


“I grew up in Northern Ireland, and have been driving Scanias and other European trucks for a long time, so when I was looking for a truck in Australia for my business, I considered most of those brands,” John says.


“It was the service I got from Scania that tipped me over the line. I turned up at the dealership and talked to the account manager and the first thing he said was take a demonstrator for a week and see how you go. It was a V8, which I liked so we settled on an R 580 XT. I love it so much, I bought another, a G 450 XT 8x4 twin-steer in a lovely metallic blue and I have an R 770 Long Cab on order as well. I’ve also got three lighter-duty Hinos, and a DAF CF75, plus one sub-contractor with a Scania R 620 and another with a Hino.


“My experience with Scania has been incredible, from the first contact with Rowan and the loan of the demo truck, to the support and service of Kevin MacDonald and the workshop team at Richlands, and of course the State Manager fixing a problem in the middle of the night.” John says.


“Scania is always willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” says Anna Marie Taylor, State Manager for Scania in Queensland.


“It not an empty platitude, but a core value we live by. When you’re faced with a situation where a customer is looking at significant time off the road, and we can do something to fix the problem, we’ll do it,” she says.


“Maintaining our customers’ uptime is what drives us. And it brings us satisfaction knowing we’ve got them back on the road by using a bit of imagination, but most importantly, being open to finding a solution, even if it is late at night. We put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and we know how we would feel in their situation.


“We were very happy we could get John out of Townsville and back home with only a short delay. I’m proud of my team that made this happen. This truly is the Scania difference,” Anna Marie says.