For leading road freight companies such as Direct Freight Express, a breadth of service offerings means that goods may need to be delivered just down the road, across the country or anywhere in between.
This can lead to a wide range of equipment on fleet, from vans and light trucks right through to line-haul B-Doubles and even road trains, but it’s the middle distance deliveries into the major eastern seaboard capital cities where IVECO has proved itself with Direct Freight Express.
Just recently, the company has added a further 10 IVECO Stralis 4x2 low roof AT models to its intrastate fleet, using them to haul a range of palletised goods – this brings the total number of Stralis Direct Freight is using to 15.
Direct Freight Express National Operations Manager, Jason Elliott, said that for single trailer urban and metro delivery, it was difficult to go past the Stralis.
“We’ve operated Stralis for a number of years now in single trailer work around town and have been impressed with how they’ve performed, this was one of the main reason why we again went with Stralis with the latest trucks,” Jason said.
The trucks feature Cursor 10 engines producing 460hp and 2100Nm of torque and are matched to 12-speed Eurotronic Automated Manual Transmissions, it’s a driveline that when combined with rear 4-bag ECAS (Electronically-Controlled Air Suspension), provides a solid platform for the application.
“These trucks normally operate towards the top of the weight ranges (up to 44 tonne GCM) but have more than enough power to do the job. They also have a fantastic turning circle which is important for deliveries around town,” Jason said.
Another two key considerations in the purchase of the Stralis models were driver comfort and safety features, areas in which the vehicles perform strongly, according to Jason.
“The Stralis are well equipped with safety features and are really comfortable to drive in city conditions, our drivers really like them,” he said.
Direct Freight Express service and maintain their vehicles internally and prefer to keep equipment on fleet for the longer term, gradually changing a vehicle’s work demands as it ages; it’s a policy that ensures the company gets the most from every truck without taking a big hit on resale value once the shine wears off a truck.
“We might have a prime mover that is on interstate work for several years, as it ages we could reassign it to metro work where it will cover less kilometres, and ultimately it might end up being used as a terminal tractor at one of our depots,” Jason said.
“If a truck has been well maintained and looked after it makes sense to do this and you can get a lot of life out of them.”
Jason also said that the Stralis’ are straight forward to maintain.
“The Stralis are easy to work on, and we’ve not had any issues with them over the time we’ve run them,” he said.
“For what you get in the Stralis, which is a well-rounded overall package for this sort of application, they provide us with so much ‘bang for our buck.’”