You seem to be located in .

Go to your Scania market site for more information.

Scania in pole position with Herb Blanchard Haulage

Grafton, NSW-based, Herb Blanchard Haulage is a family run business that has successfully carved itself a niche role, hauling Clarence Valley-produced timber electric light poles throughout the First State, as well as Queensland, and as far afield as Western Victoria.

Herb Blanchard’s three sons, Michael, Robert, and Christopher along with daughter Donna and brother-in-law Greg run the haulage firm, which has been a long-time devotee of Swedish trucks. Previously opting for Scania V8s, the company has just taken delivery of a new 560 R-series SUPER prime mover, featuring the CR23 extended cab.


“Our core business is transporting light poles, which can range in length from 6 to 26 m, carried on flat-tops and/or extendable trailers,” explains Robert Blanchard. “We cart from the light pole manufacturers’ depots located in the Clarence Valley to the energy companies’ depots, and as far as possible try to ensure we have a full load for the return, usually bricks, timber or other palletised or packed and wrapped materials.


“We have been in business long enough to have figured out what works for us, both in terms of efficiency, productivity and how to keep our drivers happy, and we are expecting good fuel performance from the new 560 hp six-cylinder 13-litre engine in the new prime mover,” he says.

“Professionally run transport businesses such as Blanchards, which has an excellent reputation and operates quality gear are exactly the type of customers we like to trade with,” says Butch Quin, Scania NSW New Truck Account Manager. “Blanchards has been buying Scanias for around 15 years and they really look after their trucks.


“I’m really pleased that we can add another new Scania to their fleet, especially as it is a new SUPER with the high output 560 hp inline six engine. This configuration has already proven itself to be exceptionally efficient in Australian operating conditions for many customers, and I am confident that this truck, painted at the factory in Blanchard’s iconic light blue with royal blue chassis, will be a perfect fit for the fleet.


“We have supplied the CR23 long cab which will give the driver plenty of space inside to stretch out on the ultra-wide and comfortable pocket spring mattress. And the high torque engine and fast, smooth-shifting gearbox will make light work of his loads,” Butch said (pun intended).

“We like European trucks. Their quality, safety, technology and comfort give us peace-of-mind, and our drivers like them, too. We have a general rule that drivers won’t be behind the wheel past midnight, mainly because the freight is not time sensitive, and we want to keep our drivers safe.


“Lately, we have transitioned to electronic work diaries, and use fleet monitoring, as well as onboard cameras, but only to have a record in the event of an incident. The Optix forward-and driver-facing cameras use AI to alert us if a driver has forgotten his seatbelt or is holding a phone to his ear,” Robert says.


“The Scanias go to Mid-Coast Trucks for major servicing but do intermediate service at our own workshop. Mid-Coast has been very accommodating and we have a good relationship with them. They’re only an hour away so quite convenient,” he says.


“It is important today to keep costs to a minimum, but we don’t simply buy the cheapest of anything. We look for good quality and value. Cheapest is not always best. We reckon if you can get at least two of service, quality and price in the equation, you’ve done well. Tyres are a good example. If you can get 240,000 km from a set of drive tyres, they’ll be more cost-effective in the long run than a cheaper set that only gives you 140,000 km, not to mention the reduced downtime changing them over more often,” Robert says.