For Gold Coast market gardeners, ‘Salad Makers’, the decision to add a new Stralis ATi 6x2 to its distribution fleet was an easy one, especially given the excellent performance of its other Stralis models, the oldest which was purchased in 2012.
Salad Makers General Manager, Belinda Adams, said the company had exclusively used IVECO trucks since this time and saw no need to consider other brands.
“We currently have three IVECO Stralis models. This latest truck replaces another older IVECO – given the driver acceptance, the comfort of the trucks, and the fact that we’ve never had any issues with them, it was a logical choice to again select a Stralis,” Belinda said.
Having worked for 11 years at the company that was started by her parents, Barry and Lyn Moss in 1983, Belinda oversees a staff of approximately 35 people while helping to manage several properties, a production facility and associated compliance tasks.
Along with growing a variety of salad mixes, whole lettuce and herbs on its own properties, Salad Makers also source additional produce from approved suppliers, before delivering to a range of supermarkets in the region using its refrigerated-bodied Stralis trucks.
A typical working shift would begin with the IVECOs being loaded with the palletised produce at around midnight before travelling to their destinations about 45 minutes away. The trucks are then often back loaded before returning to base where the procedure can be repeated up to two or three times depending on demand, before finishing at around 9:00am.
The new IVECO features the Cursor 8 engine producing 360 hp and 1500 Nm from a low 1125 rpm and is matched to a 12-speed Eurotronic AMT. The new truck and the earlier models are also equipped with rear Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS), ensuring a smoother ride for the produce and the driver.
“The trucks don’t usually cover high kilometres, but there’s a lot of start and stop conditions, and for this it’s important to have a safe and comfortable vehicle,” Belinda said.
“As well as being comfortable and easy to drive with the automated manual transmission, air suspension seat and climate control, the trucks have a good size sleeper (2020 x 620mm), meaning that if the drivers are out and there’s a delay in loading, they can rest for an hour or two.”
Belinda said that each driver is assigned a truck and that they are responsible for cleaning and maintaining it.
“We’ve found that if each driver is allocated his own vehicle, the truck is better cared for and there’s familiarity with the vehicle,” she said. “They keep tabs on when the truck needs to be serviced and if there’s any other preventative maintenance needed.”
Enjoying a good relationship with selling dealer, Brisbane IVECO and Gold Coast (Arundel) IVECO service and parts outlet, Gibbs Truck & Trailer, provides Salad Makers with additional peace of mind in knowing that support is not far away if required, according to Belinda.
“Given the sensitive nature of the produce that we transport, it’s good to know that if we did have issues with a vehicle, help wouldn’t be far away,” she said.
“Brisbane IVECO operate a 24 hour call-out service and Gibbs Truck & Trailer is close by.
“The Stralis models have everything we need in a truck and the drivers really like them. The driver of this latest truck has thanked me so many times for getting him the new one.”