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Safety is job one

Active and passive safety as well as systems to reduce driver fatigue steer Multiquip to Scania.

When Sydney-based Multiquip required two new prime movers to cater for expansion and to develop increased productivities within its poultry operations, the long-term Scania customer chose to add to its already substantial Scania presence – comprising in excess of 100 trucks – with the addition of two new Scania R 650 NTG trucks.

The role of the new R 650s is to transport live, day-old chickens from Multiquip’s purpose-built hatchery facility, at Maldon (around an hour south of Sydney), to farms in the NSW Riverina area of Griffith.

Each of the new R 650 trucks are scheduled to complete four 1000 km return trips per week, which will see each truck cover around 200,000 km per year.

The trucks are loaded with freshly hatched, day-old chicks at the Maldon Hatchery for trips usually carried out in the cool of night. The chicks are then delivered to farms as a day old birds and grown to processing age. The trucks then return with empty chick crates to be washed and re-used for the next load.

Critical to the welfare of the chicks are consistent optimal temperatures and a smooth and quiet journey. With that in mind, the decision to run with Scania NTG vehicles provides the quiet and comfortable ride, which when amalgamated with two new, battery/diesel - hybrid “Hatch Traveller” trailers that Multiquip has imported from The Netherlands, ensures the optimal transport environment to the benefit of the chicks and poultry producers. The improved design also accommodates an additional 21,000 chicks per load.

Multiquip purchased their new vehicles from Scania’s Sydney dealership in Prestons, with the sales experience managed by Senior Account Manager, Kaashief Boonzaier.

Multiquip’s General Manager, Jason Mikosic describes his relationship with Kaashief and the Prestons team in general as a good one. “They listen to what we need. The sales experience is just one part, the after-sales service is equally important to us. The after sales service we are getting from Scania is really good right now, and they are continually looking at ways to improve on that,” Jason says.

“Most of our Scania products are now on Repair and Maintenance contracts with servicing carried out by dealers that are located nearest to our individual operations. The Prestons dealership handles our Sydney based fleet, while our substantial vehicle presence in the Griffith area sees City Truck Repairs look after trucks in that area of our operations, a service we are very happy with,” he says.

It was a natural progression for Multiquip to move to the Euro 6 R 650 NTG models as the company’s previous R 620 units have, and are, performing well. The decision to opt for the V8 16.4-litre, 650 hp engine for single trailer duties was one of versatility, according to Jason.

“We have Scanias running in road train applications around the Griffith area as well as B-doubles transporting eggs, so it didn’t seem practical to add a smaller capacity truck which would not suit duties across all of our operations.

“While it’s early days yet as far as fuel economy comparisons go, and different work tasks produce different figures, we can already identify fuel savings from the new trucks, of which we have another two working in A-double configuration within our quarry sector, for which our drivers are reporting reduced fuel consumption over the older models,” Jason says.

Climate change and global warming are hot topics right now, so Euro 6 emissions standards put in place, prior to official mandating within Australia, should be seen as a positive step for both Scania and Multiquip. Fuel savings from the improved economy of the NTG trucks coupled with reduced reliance on diesel power by utilising batteries for the trailers’ cooling/ heating systems will no doubt return substantial savings for the company over previous equipment.

Jason Mikosic cites safety as a critical deciding factor when making equipment purchase decisions.

The fitment of multiple SRS air bags within the cab, active emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and the provision of automatic park-brake application, when combined with the company’s standard fitment of infra-red, fatigue detection systems and dash cameras all collectively contribute to increased safety for Multiquip’s drivers.

Fatigue cannot be overlooked in any safety evaluation. The in-cab working environment of the Scanias have also been well received by Multiquip’s drivers.

Long hours in any vehicle can certainly take its toll. Thanks to the comfy ride, cabin spaciousness, low noise levels and ease of operation, positive benefits are being provided to combat driver fatigue. 

“The vision we have for Multiquip’s future is to increase our focus on safety within our transport operations. I believe that any successful operator needs to have this philosophy as a main focus,” Jason says.

As Scania continues to lead the way for driver safety in Australia and across the globe, setting new benchmarks for others to follow, safety savvy operators are recognising the benefits of Scania NTG trucks, which continue to offer sensible equipment choices at the cutting edge of engineering safety.