SRH Milk Haulage operates daily bulk milk cartage from farms in the Hunter Valley, Manning Valley and Tamworth to Dairy Farmers plants at Hexham and Sydney, running 35 prime movers and 56 tankers in B-double and single trailer operation, and employing 80 drivers and staff.
The company is based at Rutherford, near Maitland in the Hunter Valley, and commenced business in 1994 with just one truck and milk tanker carting to the Dairy Farmers Hexham plant at Newcastle. Scott and Regina Harvey acquired cartage contracts over the years, building the business into a major milk transport company boasting reliability, efficiency and cleanliness in a finely-tuned operation.
The business constantly upgrades both trucks and tankers, keeping abreast of new technology advances and concepts to ensure it maintains a leading role in the critical milk haulage sector of transport.
The new truck to join the fleet is the Scania R 730. Boasting 730hp with 3500Nm of torque on tap from 1000rpm, this is the most powerful truck available for sale in the world today. The 16.4 litre engine drives its tough power through the automated Opticruise transmission with smooth changes regardless of location or road conditions. It delivers high performance combined with ease of operation for the driver behind the wheel.
“I heard the Scania R 730 was coming to the Brisbane Truck Show in May and I went to see it and I really liked what I saw. I drove it at the Scania customer drive day in Newcastle and liked it even more. I talked to Scania about it and now, after its promotional work is over, it’s mine,” Scott says with a smile.
SRH typically keeps its trucks for three years and they can rack up between 800,000 and one million kilometres over that period in a highly efficient operation renowned for unfailing service in a time critical haulage role.
“I like high horsepower trucks,” he says. “It is better to have a bit more power than you need, and the drivers also like this. I do favour European trucks and with high power I think you get better fuel, faster trip times, and the truck is not so stressed.”
When Scott started the business with his wife Regina 17 years ago, the first truck he ever drove was a Scania. “This was a major factor resulting in my preference for European trucks and they are very popular with the drivers who appreciate the comfort,” he says.
“Our job is time sensitive. We start a new day every 24 hours – you can’t stop the cows producing milk, so the trucks have to pick up on time from around 280 farms each day. The trucks would cover around 1000 kilometres every day in our operation.
“This truck will be utilised on the run from Walcha to Sydney via the Thunderbolt Way several times a week,” Scott adds.
Typical SRH B-double sets gross 64.5 tonnes on average, carrying 37,500 litres of milk under mass management. The terrain covered varies greatly, with much of the roadway in less than ideal condition in rural areas and on farms serviced by the vehicles.
SRH Milk Haulage is fully accredited with TruckSafe, National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, Mass and Maintenance Management and HACCP (Food Safe). All drivers have food handling accreditation and attention to detail in compliance is a prerequisite across all operational activities.
Scott ensures all equipment is kept in first-class condition and the Scania V8 R 730 will be no different, as he has signed up for a Scania Repair and Maintenance contract, which means he can also accurately predict his running costs over the life of the vehicle.
“I think the truck looks very good,” says Scott. “Most of the fleet is white, and there have been some blue ones recently, but the red R 730 will really stand out, not only due to its performance but the striking colour.”
Account Manager New Trucks at Scania Newcastle, Gail Giles was delighted to have sold the R 730 to SRH Milk Haulage. “Scott has been very enthusiastic about this truck and we are very pleased to see it in his livery. It will make a statement about his business and will quickly become very well known on his routes,” she says.
“Scott is committed to running new vehicles. He looks after them and looks after his drivers. We look forward to a successful relationship with Scott and the R 730 over the next few years.”
The R730 is currently the only vehicle of its type in Australia. It was imported for the Brisbane Truck Show where it took out the Truck of the Show accolades before embarking on a lap and a half of Australia from Melbourne to Adelaide and Perth where it featured at the Perth Truck Show in July. It then went on to visit Alice Springs at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame induction weekend in August and then to Brisbane via Mt Isa, Longreach and Toowoomba before returning to the Victorian capital via Newcastle, Dubbo and Sydney.
Over this journey the powerful prime mover attracted plenty of interest but none more so than that shown by Scott who was more than keen to get his hands on a first for Australia.