Operating predominantly in Victoria, along with some trips into New South Wales and South Australia, S&S Henderson specialises in the bulk transport of agricultural products – such as grain, hay, fertiliser and lime.
Based in the small town of Derrinallum in south-western Victoria, local crop farmer Scott Henderson decided to expand into the transport game in November 2011, purchasing a second-hand truck and trailer. With luck on his side, the Mallee region was experiencing an excellent grain harvest season. “That year I was able to really get a good foothold and make some good contacts, and the business started growing from there,” he says.
Within a few short years, one truck grew to two, and then three. “We started off really well and still try to keep local base, doing as much local work as we can. I have three exceptional drivers and saw an opportunity to expand. I was having to knock back work so saw the need to add a fourth B-double,” Scott explains.
In February this year, the business took delivery of its new Lusty EMS Stag B-double, and already it is achieving significant results. Key to the Stag’s design is its ability to unload both trailers without uncoupling, providing greater efficiency and productivity.
The Stag is achieving a maximum payload of 44.5 tonne, around half a tonne more than the other conventional B-doubles in the fleet, yet the big saving comes from its added capabilities.
Farm access has also seen a positive impact thanks to the Lusty EMS Stag B-double, which has a much greater turning circle than his other B-doubles. It can be hard work getting into some of the tighter dairy farms with the conventional B-doubles but with the Stag they have no worries, because it has the longer trailer at the front and less drag with the shorter trailer at the back. It’s given the business a bit more versatility and allowed them to be a lot more time efficient.
“With the time we’re saving from not having to couple and uncouple the trailers, we are gaining an extra load a week. It’s also a lot less physically demanding for our drivers. When using our conventional B-doubles, they have to unwind the legs, couple and uncouple the trailers, which is a lot more work. We cart a lot of lime locally, so the driver could be doing up to three loads in a day. A lot of time is wasted having to hook and unhook trailers, so we’re saving around an hour a day in wages too, and over the course of the month that adds up, so it’s a big saving,” Scott adds.
“This is the first Stag I’ve ever bought and I’ve been very impressed with it. It’s resulted in big savings so I’m glad I’ve gone for this option. I’m very, very impressed,” says Scott, revealing plans to add another identical Lusty EMS Stag B-double in the near future.
Miles Transport was established in 1991 by Geoff Mile’s parents, Nick and Mary Miles. In the beginning, the company transported garden and nursery stock from Melbourne to all over Tasmania, however in 1999 they were asked to cart fresh-cut flowers from Melbourne to Sydney – something Miles Transport has been doing ever since.
The company still operates out of its depot in Monbulk in Victoria’s scenic Dandenong Ranges, although the size of the depot has expanded fairly from its first set up.
When Nick established the company he had just one International prime mover and a trailer that he purchased through his old employer. From those humble beginnings the company has come a long way to now owning 12 trucks, mainly Kenworth with a couple of European makes in the mix, and 13 trailers, 12 of which are from MaxiTRANS.
The latest B-double replaces the first similar set Miles Transport bought in 2009. There have been many improvements on the Maxi-CUBE Classic Vans since then. For instance, the new Hi-CUBE van provide superior thermal efficiency – capable of maintaining temperatures to minus 18 degrees celsius. What’s more, the inclusion of a full length chassis, as well as a reinforced floor and rear frame, offers greater strength and durability without impacting on tare weight. A key feature of the Maxi-CUBE Hi-CUBE van is its thinner side walls, floor and roof that helps optimise cubic capacity, useful for when the load is slightly over standard pallet size.
“The quality of MaxiTRANS trailers is second to none. They are constantly working to better the product and as a result, with every new trailer there has been an improvement,” Geoff says. “Refrigeration is always a key consideration in the construction of these trailers,” he says. “Freezer burn can damage fragile goods such as freshly cut flowers. The design of chutes from the fridge plays a big role in the even distribution of air within the trailer. “This feature also comes in handy for storage and transport of other perishables such as fresh strawberries and other local produce that we also cart,” he says.