‘More payload and more productivity’ were the two main objectives Adornato Sand & Gravel Supplies set itself when it recently began sourcing a new rigid and dog combination. The civil and earthmoving specialist turned to PBS specialist, Hamelex White, to ensure it would make the right choice to achieve both goals.
Located 181km northeast of Melbourne, Shepparton is one of Victoria’s largest regional cities and home to Adornato Sand & Gravel Supplies – a transport business specialising in the civil, earthmoving, building and construction sectors that has been in operation for the past 40 years.
The company is owned and operated by Ross Adornato, who, after spending six years as a police officer, permanently took over the reigns in 1999 from his father, uncle and two brothers. While the move from catching criminals to carting raw materials might appear extreme from afar, he says the timing was right to shift industries.
“While I enjoyed my time as part of the police, I had always envisioned a career in commercial road transport,” Ross recalls. “I’ve always had an interest in trucks and earthmoving equipment as well, so it wasn’t too difficult adjusting to the new environment since I basically grew up in the transport business. In fact, I was often helping out my father from the age of 10 and that’s sort of where it all started for me.”
Just like the high-ranking policeman he was once on course to be, Ross has become the commander and chief of his own precinct, servicing more than 200 customers around Victoria and parts of New South Wales.
Adornato currently runs a fleet of 12 prime movers, two rigids, two water tankers and one low loader. The fleet also includes Hamelex White-built trailers including one B-double and three truck and dog combinations. “I purchased the ‘Hunter’ B-double tipper combination from Hamelex White four years ago and just recently, they supplied the two latest rigid and dog trailer combinations – both are currently in operation,” Ross points out.
“To me, the biggest factor the two bring to the table is that Hamelex White designed them around the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme, which is a huge plus for us. Now, we have lightweight trailers capable of hauling huge payloads, without compromising on road performance.”
By making use of the Performance Based Standards scheme, Hamelex White was able to adapt the dimensions of the combination to outside the standard legal limits in order for Adornato to carry more payload per trip.
“Hamelex White was also able to eliminate unnecessary weight from the trailer, giving us an extra 4.5 tonnes of load across the whole combination,” says Ross. “In our industry where the drivers need to make the most of every trip, we now have the equipment in place to maximise our productivity.”
Ross is one fleet operator who likes to keep up with the times, which is why he is a keen advocate of the PBS scheme. “I have kept an eye on PBS advancements since its inception and even did a bit research myself when I attended the 2013 PBS Conference back in March at Lifesaving Victoria. I believe this concept is going to change the industry.”
For added safety and to save on maintenance, Hamelex White also built in lift axle capability on both dog trailers. “While we cart many materials on a daily basis, that’s only half the job,” Ross says. “The other 50 per cent of the time these combinations are running empty, so having that lift axle option allows our drivers to save on both tyre wear and fuel consumption.”
While the task of managing his family’s business and delegating tasks to his drivers comes as second nature to Ross, he prefers to stick to what he knows when choosing new transport equipment. “Good people relationships and solid performing products are what I base the company’s choices around, which is why I’ve been sourcing most of my trailers from Hamelex White since I started as Managing Director in 1999,” he says.
“Very rarely have I encountered issues with their trailers and to be perfectly honest, when you deal with Hamelex White they always seem to make you feel important. To me, that’s what doing good business is all about and to have partners such as Hamelex White’s Michael Booker goes to show that good relationships can go a long way in the transport industry.”