Kellara banks on MAN

MAN’s TGX 540 is proving its mettle as a long haul truck with a range of operators across Australia now coming on board including Kellara Transport, a specialised transport company based in Launceston, Tasmania run by owner Ken Hughes.

Ken has a long history in the transport business and was involved with the company run by his father and brothers, Trans United Transport, up until the late 80s. He started Kellara in the early 90s, when he sensed an opportunity existed in the area of specialised and over-dimensional transport – something which has been proven correct given the growth of the company since its formation.

Today Kellara transports products all over Tasmania as well as interstate – across the Tasman and the Nullabor to Western Australia and all the way up to Queensland.

The variety of loads carried and transported by the company is extensive. In addition to general cartage the loads often comprise over-sized and heavy duty equipment, machinery, houses, portable office buildings and boats. 

Kellara also specialises in long haul transport and it was this that prompted Ken Hughes to look for a prime mover with a sleeper cab, given the long interstate trips.

One of Ken’s drivers, Wally Allen, was so impressed when he tried out the MAN at Agfest, it prompted Ken to take a closer look and consider the purchase of an MAN.  After considering their requirements and looking at the alternatives, Ken selected a TGX 26.540 with an XL sleeper cab. The TGX sleeper cab has one of the largest storage areas and bed sizes of any European cab and this was a key attraction.

“With a combination of high power, low tare weight, excellent fuel economy and cab comfort the MAN ticked all the boxes,” Ken says. “The added benefit of 60,000 km service intervals was another attraction.”

The TGX 540 features a 4-valve in line engine with common rail injection, turbocharging and intercooling, providing 540hp and 2,500Nm torque at 1,050-1,350 rpm. Coupled to MAN’s 12 speed Tipmatic transmission it is suitable for gross train weights of up to 70 tonnes – and occasionally up to 90 tonnes plus upon application.

To say Ken’s driver Wally is happy with the MAN is something of an understatement. With 47,000kms under his belt in just a few short months, Wally is over the moon with the new MAN TGX which he gets to drive.

“One of my first big trips was to Perth and I found out quickly she’s a beauty to drive. The comfort and quietness is just outstanding – the controls are easy to reach and the driving position spot on. The climate control keeps the temperature just right – all in all it’s just a beautiful cab environment,” Wally says. “I’m absolutely rapt with it.

“However, it took a bit of getting used to an automatic transmission given I’ve been driving manuals for years but it didn't take me long to appreciate how good and intuitive the 12 speed auto is,” Wally adds.

The MAN auto switch is located conveniently close to all other driver function controls, and includes the ‘M’ setting which provides precise low speed manoeuvering whilst a fingertip lever allows shifting from automatic to manual mode easily.

Given the MAN’s proven performance to date and the feedback he has received from drivers, Ken will certainly be considering additional MANs for his future fleet requirements at Kellara Transport.  “In short, there are just so many reasons for me to keep purchasing MAN,” Ken concludes.

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