Total Logistic Solutions boosts fleet with nine new A-doubles

A new Scania 590 SUPER A-double.

Total Logistic Solutions (TLS) has deployed nine new A-doubles.

The high performance freight vehicles will be spearheaded by a significant order of 13 new Scania R 590 SUPERs with another 12 on order.

The nine new A-double skels manufactured by Vawdrey will operate along the eastern seaboard in a trial with flooring company Godfrey Hirst.

“They’re running Melbourne-Brisbane and Melbourne-Sydney return,” said Jason McHenry TLS Chief Executive Officer.

“The high performance units were ordered specifically for Godfrey Hirst as a carpet linehaul solution,” he told Prime Mover.

“We’ve got customised containers made for them as well because carpet rolls push hard against the sides of the trailer, so a Pantech was never going to be a great solution.”

One of the TLS directors conceived of the idea to use containers. TLS then engaged SCF Container Solutions to build the 18 newly arrived high cube custom boxes replete with fleet signage to launch for the application.

The main thrust of the TLS business is interstate freight.

As a national transport distribution carrier it goes all over the country including Perth, as well as Tasmania.

Known for their rolling billboards, TLS, as a business, does pride itself on the detail that goes into the curtainsiders and mezzanine dropdeck sets in its heavy assets.

The company was an early adopter of high performance freight vehicles having been one of the first fleets nationally to invest in Super B trailer combinations.

“When the Super B-doubles came out we bought the first lot of these from Vawdrey,” said McHenry.

“We’ll work through an evaluation period with the customer to see how the new skels and containers perform to determine if they are a better solution for this particular task than the Super Bs.”

McHenry said the A-doubles were providing the fleet with operational flexibility, especially when catering for heavier freight requirements.

“We won’t switch out using the Super Bs altogether because we use them for specific customers who don’t have the weight requirement — they’ve got a bigger cubic mass.

“But the A-doubles for our immediate purposes are probably more suited to the higher weights.”

The A-doubles are rated to 90 tonnes.

“From our perspective Vawdrey makes a very good product. They’re the best trailer builder in the country,” said McHenry.

“All of our equipment – and that comprises around 200 pieces of trailering equipment – everything we build is built with Vawdrey.”

A new Scania 590 SUPER prime mover A-double in Melbourne.

Indicative of the TLS commitment to higher productivity solutions there is 35 PBS working units in the fleet.

It’s a category they have upscaled in recent years as the efficiencies have fast materialised according to McHenry.

“Once we saw those efficiencies it was a no-brainer and it feeds into our green policy as well, lower emissions, less trucks on the road,” he said.

“It makes sense as a modern transport business to be heading that way.”

As a result, TLS is partnering as much as it can with its customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

“That’s across multiple streams of the business,” said McHenry.

“We won’t have any prime movers that are older than five years. That’s evident with our most recent Scania order and the proactive replacement of our fleet.”

Even the Mercedes-Benz Actros units the fleet acquired in 2021 will be replaced by Q1 next year.

New assets will feed into the business expanding upon its larger trailer offering so that it can get more on each truck and reduce truck movements.

In addition to this, TLS has switched over to all electric forklifts within its own depots.

“And we’re working with Scania on our first electric rigid as well, to see how it would suit our model and work within our business,” said McHenry.

“Many of the bigger companies that we partner with such as Coles and TK Maxx are vigilantly pushing for a reduction in their own emissions, so we assist where we can,” he said.

“Of course, they’ve got their own targets within their business like we have ours, so you need customers to have buy-in and you need to be able to work with those guys because it won’t matter how much we try, it’s more about our customers accepting it and working with us on it.”

The early signs from the new Scanias are encouraging.

“These new trucks that are replacing some of  the fleet are great,” said McHenry.

“The driveability, as to be expected, is fantastic. The drivers love them,” he continued.

“We’re getting better mileage out of them as well as the gains in our fuel efficiencies. Overall, they’re proving to be a far superior truck.”

Aside from the 55 working prime movers in the fleet, TLS runs another 40 rigids, mainly from Isuzu and Fuso, in a localised last mile application.

The business hasn’t aligned itself too closely with one particular OEM for the smaller trucks following COVID when lack of availability largely determined its purchasing regimen.

“That forced our hand to a certain extent as we didn’t have the option to pick and choose,” McHenry explained.

“It was, in a nutshell, the quickest to the road.”

While the main focus is, generally, on the heavier equipment, four new custom-built 12-pallet curtainsider Fuso Fighters with tailgates arrived earlier this year for retail freight deliveries.

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