Hauling Fuel Made Safer with Freightliner
White might be the colour of choice for plain fleet trucks, but a small amount of stainless steel and Dura-Bright alloys mean Greg Garrett’s Freightliners make white look good.
It too helps that the CST fuel tankers, which run up the Pacific and New England Highways from Sydney and Newcastle to Tamworth and coastal towns of Port Macquarie, Macksville and Kempsey, are as clean as the day they were handed over at Mavin Truck Centre.
Big Rigs met driver Ian Wright in Tamworth and was taken aback by how sparkling the truck was. A chat with Ian’s boss, Greg Garrett, revealed why it was so well presented.
“All of our guys look after their trucks and Ian is particularly dedicated to keeping it clean,” he says.
“He will get under there and clean everything, even the diffs. Every inch of the truck is spotless, just like his own HSV, which is always gleaming.”
The Greg Garrett Transport fleet consists of four Freightliner Century Class CST112s and they are all the same specification. They run the Detroit DD13 that pumps out 450hp and is linked to manual RoadRanger gearbox.Greg had a few Freightliners with CAT engines and liked them, but switched to Detroit when CAT withdrew from the market.
He’s happy with the performance and reliability of the DD13 engine and RoadRanger combination.
“It is all single trailer work grossing 43 tonne at 450 horsepower and that is ample for the work we do,” he says. “The fuel economy and reliability with Freightliner makes it a good package and the support we get from Mavins is a huge factor.” It also helps that Garrett has known Mavin Truck Centre salesman, Steve Pinkston, for 30 years, back when Steve also ran trucks, as well as the dealer principal, Dean Mavin.
“I can’t think of a single truck that is better suited to this application,” Ian Wright
The latest trucks are equipped with a suite of safety features including Traction Control, ABS, Roll Stability Control and Trailer Response Management, which sends signals to the trailer’s Electronic Braking System. Garrett says safety is a big priority for his business and adds that it is critical for the fuel haulage industry given the consequences of accidents involving vehicles carrying flammable goods.
His company delivers fuel exclusively for the network of BP Service stations along the Mid North Coast and New England region run by Webbs Petroleum. He has known the family for more than 40 years and has worked with them for 20 years.He started off his driving career in a very different field.
“When I was 20 years old I started off in logging, my father had log trucks and bulldozers and saw mills and stuff like that,” he says.
Garrett bought a late 60s Flintstone Mack with about 200hp, which he described as being a “good banger in their day.” He then moved on and carted bricks, woodchips and “pretty much everything” before switching to fuel haulage for Brambles. Not long after he started his own business carting fuel to Macksville.
Greg has a team of long-term drivers, who have all been working for him for between seven and 10 years. He says having good, experienced, drivers very important in his business.
This also means Greg can select manual transmissions for his trucks instead of the optional UltraShift automatic.
“I’ve always liked the (Eaton) 18-speed manual, it has a nice clutch and gearshift feel. It’s a proven combination and we never have any trouble,” he says.
“I know a lot of companies are going for autos, but that is probably only because of the lack of experienced drivers and means you can stick anyone in any truck and you know you won’t have a problem with them driving a manual.”
Driver Ian Wright is thrilled with his Freightliner, which runs a 34-inch sleeper and is around 18 months old. “I’ve driven a lot of trucks and I can’t think of a comparable truck that is more comfortable than this and has such a large cab,” Wright says.
“You can walk through the cab thanks to its flat floor and you can stand up to get changed.”
He is also very pleased with the fuel consumption it achieves in addition to the ample performance.
“I can’t think of a single truck that is better suited to this application,” Wright says.