Running a Green Fleet
Delivering a premium product with a premium product ensures this operator meets customer expectations every day.
“Our drivers are pulling 42.5-tonnes on a tandem axle 20-pallet trailer with the 2.5 tonne Moffett included, and the tri-axle sets can carry 45.5-tonnes,” says Steve Cole, General Manager of Lilydale Instant Lawn.
“We are at full weight every day with a diminishing load, so we need to manage that carefully. Each pallet carries up to 1.1 tonnes to cover 50 m2, our average delivery now is around 40-50 m2, though bigger houses can take up to 350 m2.”
The Lilydale Instant Lawn fleet comprises seven prime movers, one rigid and a tipper, and presently two of the fleet are Scania, with a new G 500 delivered in April.
“We have built the business on the basis that we are supplying a quality product and we want to use the best machinery possible. We have learned the hard way that something that is cheap initially generally turns out to be expensive, as it won’t last or will be unreliable,” Steve says.
“We have had European trucks for many years and started buying Scanias as we were facing too many unplanned breakdowns and delays sourcing parts from our previous supplier, which kept trucks off the road for up to a month at a time,” he says.
“In our business we can’t have trucks off the road, because we’ll be letting our customers down. Our premium turf lasts a lifetime now, so we need to get the job done right, first time. If we have a breakdown, that’s 10-12 customers we have disappointed in one day.
“Normally we’re cautious about buying anything new in the first year, but these (Scania NTGs) have been on sale in Europe for a while, and all the reports were positive.
“Since we started with the G 500 the response from the driver, Reece Lines, has been very positive and the truck has been good from day one.
“With the G 480 we saw pretty good fuel, but the G 500 has bettered it by 10%. When I looked at the Scania connected drive data, the best I have seen so far is 2.9 km per litre, which is far better than the older European trucks we used to run.
“The visibility improvement from moving the seat closer to the door and windscreen is a bonus because we’re constantly driving through tight suburban streets where there are lots of cars and overhanging trees, so we need to take extra care,” Steve says.
“The new G 500 has just had its first service and we have ordered another G 500,” Steve says.