Regional food distribution fleet thrives on efficiency and safety
Murwillumbah, NSW-based Shoobridge Transport is a key logistics supplier to primary producers and businesses as well as providing local distribution to retail outlets across Northern Rivers and South East Qld regions.
Operating a mixed fleet of 20 rigids and 28 prime movers, eleven of which are Scanias, as well as 40 trailers, Shoobridge has adopted many up-to-date fleet management systems to ensure efficiency, safety and uptime.
A new Scania R 650 V8 prime mover joined the fleet in October, with a brace of new six-cylinder 560 hp 6x2 prime movers to follow in 2023.
“We have been running the 540 hp six-cylinder Scania for a while now and the fuel consumption has been excellent,” Peter Shoobridge says. “It’s been pulling a single trailer at 43.5-tonnes on Mass Management and has performed very well, and is very smooth on the highway, with a full airbag suspension. We’ve been getting 2.9 km per litre from it and it runs up on its weights in both directions, covering around 250,000 km each year. The success of this model has encouraged us to go for the new 560 hp model for 2023.”
In addition to the six current Scania prime movers in the interstate fleet there are four 8x2 local distribution Scania rigids fitted with refrigerated bodies with tailgate loaders that have been in the fleet a while, and which have won over drivers with their quietness. They say the comfort is at the next level.
“We’re big fans of the Scania NTG range. There’s high quality fit and finish and the interior is brilliant,” Peter says.
With R 620 Euro 5 V8 prime movers on the fleet delivering impressive fuel numbers, Peter has previously added a Euro 6 R 650 V8 which replaced the company’s long-lived R 730 V8 which clocked up 1.3m km as a B-double.
“When we started buying Scanias we were moving a lot of produce out of the region to capital cities, but now we’re also transporting craft beer and manufactured food products,” Peter says. “We send trucks as far afield as Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney as well as Brisbane and Sunshine Coast daily”.
“With a mix of interstate and local deliveries we stay right on top of compliance issues and we have installed Seeing Machines and cameras on all the new trucks as well as using Scania’s Driver Training and fatigue management to ensure our drivers have the best tools and knowledge to keep them and other road users safe,” Peter says. “We all want to be able to sleep at night and get our drivers out and back safely.
“We also have GPS tracking of the vehicles and keep a close eye on the fleet management data to watch for exceptions on fuel use.
“For maintenance we trust the Scanias to Midcoast Trucks because they give us excellent service. I have found country dealers give superior service, and are committed to the professional relationship with their customers. At Midcoast we have had good sales support from the team and Brendan Chape has been very supportive with after sales issues and earlier on, also from Kevin Schuhmann at K&J Trucks in Coffs Harbour. It was actually Kevin that got us into Scanias because he was such an excellent businessman offering good, old-fashioned values. We enjoyed a very long partnership, until his retirement.”
As a family-owned and run business, Shoobridge Transport began in the 1970s when banana growers Glen Shoobridge and Des Stafford purchased their first truck and began carrying their own produce to market. Other growers quickly helped the transport business take precedence and now there are more than 100 staff on board.
Today, Peter’s family members are all involved in the business. Peter’s wife, Kay, manages the administration while daughter Emma works part-time, along with Peter’s mother Gwenda who still does admin work on Sundays even though she has retired. Peter’s son Ryley has worked in the business in a warehouse and load planning role and now has his B-double license and is undertaking local and changeover work occasionally. Peter’s brother Barry is also a partner in the business.
Shoobridge prides itself on operating modern vehicles, carting refrigerated, ambient, and general freight, delivering frozen and chilled products, fruit and vegetables and general grocery daily to major food chains. Having started out as farmers, Shoobridge continues to transport temperature controlled fresh produce throughout Australia, and for export, from Northern NSW.
“We are committed to maintaining the quality of our client’s products, while offering competitive, safe and reliable transport services,” Peter says.