On April 29 2016, McColl’s Transport took delivery of its 200th Kenworth truck, which was painted in the company’s traditional Rich Blue and Ice White fleet colours to commemorate the milestone.
The K200 was handed over at the Kenworth plant in Bayswater, Melbourne by PACCAR Australia’s Managing Director Andrew Hadjikakou. The production line was stopped while the Kenworth staff, along with McColl’s Transport executives, gathered for the official ceremony.
Andrew Hadjikakou thanked McColl’s Transport for their business and made note of the important history between the two companies.
“We are very proud of the long history between the two companies and particularly honoured to have been able to assist McColl’s in their endeavour to support their customers in the best way they can. We are pleased to be handing over this 200th truck today, and we look forward to working together on the next two hundred.”
Jamie Bolton, Chief Executive Officer of McColl’s, received the keys from Andrew and acknowledged the Kenworth Trucks staff for a job well done.
“For 20 years McColl’s Transport has been buying new Kenworth trucks. Over that period the quality of the trucks and the support experience we’ve had with Kenworth has been extremely good for us. Kenworth builds trucks to suit the conditions we work in, and they have always been reliable – that’s why we are standing here today taking ownership of our 200th vehicle.”
During the official presentation, a 200th commemorative decal dedicated to both companies was applied to the side of the K200, which will now start its service in McColl’s chemical line haul operation that runs along the eastern seaboard of Australia.
Features of the 200th Kenworth include a 2.8 metre Sleeper Cab with a king single bed. The cab-over model is driven by a Cummins ISXe5 engine rated at 550HP, and comes with a manual RTLO20918 Eaton transmission, a 4500 wheel base with a Jost ballrace turntable, Meritor RT46-160 rear axle, and Alcoa Dura-Bright rims. Kenworth Electronic Brake Safety System (EBSS) has also been specced with the truck regulated for Class 3 Dangerous Goods, and set up for a GCM 97 tonne limit.
“This truck is certainly all about safety,” said John Hovey, General Manager of McColl’s Fleet Division.
“We spend a lot of money on quality and reliability, now more than ever, and that goes for just about everything we purchase. We buy quality trucks and quality tankers to get the safest and best lifetime out of the vehicle.”
The K200 will be pulling a mixture of Byford and Tieman B-Double tankers, and will clock up 240,000 kilometres a year, hauling between 64 and 68 tonne loads on trips throughout Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
“Our company runs on cents per kilometre,” explains Hovey. “We measure most of our costs by cents per kilometre and compared to other manufacturers, Kenworth stacks up the best in terms of maintenance, overall life of the truck and resale value.”
Ron Ludbrook, new truck salesman at Kenworth DAF Melbourne in Laverton, facilitated the 200th sale in late 2015, which was part of a 15 unit order earmarked for delivery in April this year to replace some of the older vehicles in McColl’s fleet.
“I took over the McColl’s account in 2003, and from 2008 to the start of 2016 the company has ordered 126 Kenworth trucks,” said Ron. “I met the previous owner, David Stevens in 2003, and around that time David said to me: ‘Ron, if you look after us, we will look after you.’
“Here we are, 130 plus trucks later, and we’re still doing business with McColl’s and we’re still discussing new concepts with them. It’s not just about the sale. It’s the after-sale support, the finance, and working with McColl’s to custom-build specialised equipment to suit their different requirements – it’s a whole package approach.”
McColl’s specialises in bulk tanker haulage with three main divisions including bulk food transport, farm pickups and bulk chemicals. Their trailer and truck inventory tally up to more than 600 tankers and more than 200 vehicles, employing 400 staff plus 60 subcontractors to tow the tanks.
The first Kenworth truck McColl’s took ownership of in 1996 was a K100 cab over model. Their 200th vehicle, the K200, happens to be another cab over. In addition to this, McColl’s also runs four bonneted models in their fleet including T359s, T409s, T409SARs and T609s.
“Ever since I began at McColl’s 20 years ago we’ve had a great relationship with Kenworth Trucks and PACCAR Australia. We use PACCAR Financial to finance our prime movers and trailing equipment, and we use PACCAR Parts to supply all our workshops across the country,” said Hovey.
Hovey signed off on the 200th truck and was sentimental about shifting back to the traditional McColl’s fleet colours; a design that stretches back to 1952 when Stuart McColl founded the company.
“I’d like to thank Kenworth Trucks for the effort they’ve put into this 200th truck. We’ve gone back to our traditional blue and white fleet colours to revisit our history. This 200th Kenworth not only looks great, but it symbolises McColl’s true identity.”