Cold Front

Set to celebrate its 30th anniversary later this year, Scully RSV, Australia’s largest dedicated refrigerated truck and trailer hire business, is, thanks to its deeply entrenched relationships, always market-ready.

Lasting relationships with key partners and the longevity of its manufacturing base has kept Scully RSV in good stead no matter the flux of external influences that can impact the economy and, by extension, its customers.

Based in the Archerfield area of Brisbane, the company is a stalwart of the truck and trailer hire segment, providing dedicated refrigerated leasing across a range of products from one-tonne utes to interstate specc’d B-double combinations.

Using the latest Carrier and Thermo King refrigeration units, Scully RSV enjoys, given the breadth of its fleet, the ability to supply bespoke product to the hire market.

Its two major chassis providers Isuzu and Hino supply a range of rigid vehicles from 2- to 14-pallets and everything in between.

“Working right across the gamut we are able to meet the needs of the most diverse customer base and provide trailer configurations as well,” says Scott Davidson, Scully RSV Managing Director.

“Certainly, in the rigid truck body we’ve got the ability to meet those needs on a short- and long-term basis. We’ve a proven flexibility with the depth of our bench I suppose.”

Part of that depth means also accommodating the one-tonne utility vehicle sector with Hiluxes supplied by its other partner in Toyota.

Entering its 30th year of operation, the Scully customer portfolio encompasses a truly national footprint and includes the largest of logistics and 3PL providers in the country and scales down to the smallest startup venture that needs a refrigerated vehicle.

Now with two facilities in its hometown of Brisbane, Scully RSV has, in recent years, expanded down the east coast with depots in Melbourne and Sydney.

Given the current economic climate in which a business might be more reluctant than usual to commit to owning mobile assets, not knowing if a surge in work will last, Scully RSV offers great flexibility in determining whether an operator requires a unit for one or two days, a week or a five-year engagement.

“If their workload increases they can increase vehicle size, they can go from a two-pallet up to a six-pallet or eight-pallet if their work expands and conversely if that work drops off it certainly enables them to hand that vehicle back at the end of the hire agreement,” says Scott. “Offering our customer base flexibility in terms of vehicle size and length of tenure is a key pillar of what we do, and we enable our customers to focus on their core business and we take all of the noise away from the transaction.”

On this front, Scully RSV will manage the service, maintenance and the insurance.

All of it goes through a cutting-edge digital platform which is about to be augmented by an innovative telematics system that is currently in the process of being rolled out across the entire fleet.

This according to Scott makes it a one-stop shop.

“Customers that way come in and have a very simple transaction process and then they’ve got flexibility to scale as their business peaks and troughs,” he says. “Our platform enables our vehicles to plug and play with any of the suite of products that are out there in the marketplace.”

Operationally, with 24/7 callout support in place, all scheduled maintenance for truck, trailer and fridges is carried out by OEMs in the truck space or by a dedicated national provider.

Scully RSV handmakes the refrigerated bodies at its Brisbane facility.

Scully RSV offers a replacement vehicle should a vehicle, for any reason or length or time, encounter an issue.

As Scott sees it, the customer should have full confidence in knowing that Scully’s vehicles comply with the highest national heavy vehicle standards (HVIS).

“That’s something we take very seriously within our role of chain of responsibility,” he says.

Scully RSV was well placed to accommodate the increases in both food deliveries in last mile logistics and the shuttling of ambient freight to distribution centres, as supermarkets have tried to stay on top of demand during two years of lockdowns.

Through the COVID period the food services category, a large customer pool for Scully RSV, has undergone a major re-emergence.

“It’s a market we have a lot of exposure to,” says Scott. “We’ve been able to flex with that market as it’s grown. We’ve seen phenomenal demand through Valentine’s Day and into Mother’s Day with florists and associated sectors. More broadly, last mile deliveries are picking up pace again.”

Post-COVID demand, meanwhile, shows no signs of abating.

Despite the throttle of imports on commercial vehicles and parts, Scully RSV according to Scott, remains in a strong position thanks in large part to the longevity of its strategic alliances.

“Those entrenched relationships over 30 years certainly put us at the forefront of our OEM partner’s purchasing patterns,” he says. “We have very solid banks of inventory right through 2022 into 2023 which enables us to meet the short- and long-term demands of our customer base. We still handmake these vehicles with a team of highly skilled craftsmen.”

Old and new customers, more recently in response to the impact of floods across the east coast of Australia, have sought out Scully to provide immediate solutions in a period of business crisis.

“One of the true benefits of our hire business is that ability to meet immediate and urgent demand,” says Scott. “We’ve been able to pick up some fantastic new customers and also support our existing customers as they’ve needed us to keep vehicles on the road in that really valuable crisis time. That’s something we really thrive on.”

Scully RSV has also been able to help out on a number of social endeavours where third parties have required short-term hire, not only for delivery, but for storage when stock in commercial kitchens, disrupted by floods, was under threat.

“People used our assets under these challenging circumstances also for short-term immediate storage,” says Scott.

As for the next phase of the business, Scott explains there are more sites under consideration for expansion. This includes Western Australia.

“It won’t be long before we’re on the West Coast and able to support our growing market out there,” he says.

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