as featured in The West Australian June 14th 2007
South West Express’ high tech fleet is delivering for clients and the company
By David Meredith
The first Euro VI fleet in WA is based in Bunbury and combines efficiencies from both the truck and trailer world to optimise productivity.
Scania’s emissions technology is a core component of Mark Mazza’s South-West Express but it’s as much for fuel efficiency as it is for clean air.
SWE sets its rates with a fuel baseline price of 105.75¢/litre. For every cent the diesel price exceeds that baseline, SWE wears three-quarters of it, while the customer gets billed the remaining quarter as a levy.
That’s why Mark’s customers are as interested as he is in the fuel gains the Scania technology brings to the transport task.
SWE’s Scanias were the first Euro V fleet in WA and that trend has continued with its latest fleet additions. Four G490 Euro VI prime movers joined up recently, replacing R500s that had completed their five-year tenure in largely metropolitan work.
The new trucks are capable of handling occasional regional work with multi-trailer rigs but most of those tasks will be allocated to the fleet of R-Series trucks.
As well as being a banner fleet for Scania in terms of on-the-road exposure, the company’s service contracts are also establishing real-time evidence of efficiencies. Mark and co-owner, wife Andrea, have opted for Platinum service contracts with all their trucks, and they are one of the first operators to sign full-service contracts for the entire fleet.
The contracts deliver bumper to end-of-chassis service and backup for the five years each truck remains on fleet. The average cost is about $1,800 a month per truck but it varies according to rating and distance travelled.
Towing expenses are covered if a truck has a major failure, although Mark has structured the fleet to allow for one truck to be in service at any time. The contract also requires Scania to fix an unscheduled breakdown in 24 hours. If it can’t, it pays SWE $500 a day until the truck is back on fleet.
Certainties such as these have allowed Mark and Andrea to commit their trucks to the tight schedules demanded by customers with perishable supplies.
SWE’s eye-catching yellow logos and signwriting are a common sight on highways south of Perth. The company Scanias tow 48-pallet capacity B-double and dog combinations that stretch out to 38.5m, 36 to 46-pallet capacity road trains, 34-pallet capacity B-doubles, a 32-pallet rigid truck and dog trailer and 22 and 24-pallet semi-trailers.
Recently Mark has been able to optimise SWE fleet utilisation with the addition of a backloading contract for refrigerated freight back to Perth.
Critical to that contract has been the configuration of his fleet of trailers.
FTE in Dandenong has supplied the 46 freezer trailers in the fleet, and half of them have three multi-temp zones configured with individual temperature control, allowing a freezer section, a chiller section and a section at ambient temperature, or just cool.
SWE is one of Scania’s key fleets, particularly as Mark Mazza’s insistence on keeping latest technology on the road has been maintained during the worst of the market downturn.