Cold summer

As Darwin braces for the annual dry season from May to September, Adelaide-based freight company ABC Transport has already equipped itself with the necessary equipment to supply the Northern Territory with fresh produce – Vawdrey’s ‘Iceliner’ model.

Darwin has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons and the average maximum temperature is similar all year round. The dry season runs from May to September, during which nearly every day is warm and sunny, and afternoon humidity averages around 30 per cent – a challenging environment for the transportation of refrigerated freight.

To ensure perishable food will withstand such a trying environment, family owned ABC Transport has recently purchased nine new Iceliner freezer vans from Vawdrey South Australia. Five of them are replacements for aged equipment, while four were ordered due to growing demand Australia-wide to work on the straining Adelaide-Darwin run.

“Currently, we have all nine units in service. When we purchased the trailers from Vawdrey’s State Sales Manager Chris English, our objective was to use them in a road train configuration to deliver frozen food to Darwin and bring back fresh produce, fruit and vegetables on the return leg, which then go to clients in Adelaide and in Melbourne,” says Managing Director Andrew Cogan.

Supplying communities in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia – plus the odd run into Victoria – ABC Transport services both supermarket chains and open-air markets. Since 2005, the company is also using Vawdrey equipment to get the job done.

“We’ve been using Vawdrey for the past eight years. Since our partnership began, we have been impressed with the quality and reliability of each trailer,” Andrew says, pointing out that the each of the new Iceliner units can run at a temperature of -28°C.

“Each new Iceliner is based on a full length lightweight steel chassis to give it the strength and durability needed for heavy-duty applications – all that without adversely affecting the payload. That way we can run it both in a road train configuration or in a B-double setup.

According to Andrew, the 10’-1” spread axle configuration was a popular diflucan canada pharmacy choice. “The spread helps the trailers to track better, particularly since we run long hauls interstate where the highways are wider and longer,” he says. “This lessons the wear on the tyres and running gear as opposed to traveling on metropolitan roads where this setup would not be suitable.”

To ensure optimum protection, each Iceliner can boast a heavy-duty front wall with 100mm Styrofoam insulation and an internal and external reinforcement envelope for extra strength on the long roads crossing the SA/NT border, combined with 40mm Styrofoam insulated side walls fitted with seamless aluminium pallet protection, 120mm Styrofoam insulated roof and a 120mm insulated floor with a High Profile Air Flow floor overlay.

However, Andrew is convinced that the key to a good business relationship goes way beyond technical excellence. “One of the key values we have at ABC Transport is trust, and that’s certainly something we feel we share with Vawdrey,” Andrew explains. “We have always been impressed with Vawdrey’s attention to detail, and the quality and reliability of the end product.”

Given the busy schedules of ABC’s refrigerated fleet, particularly when driving in hot climates, the company has an in-house workshop to ensure that each unit undergoes mandatory servicing once a month. “When it comes to monthly maintenance, we make sure we check the brakes and wheel bearings first and foremost. Then we have a full service every six months where the trailers’ under carriages are stripped down, checked, cleaned and repaired if required,” Andrew says.

“Considering the demands of all the trailers, it is vital we have five mechanics in the workshop who can look after the equipment all the time ensuring there is no unwarranted downtime.”

Established in 1998 in Alice Springs, ABC Transport is predominantly a general road freight logistics service for dry goods and refrigerated food supporting mostly the SA and NT states. In 2006, ABC relocated to a new depot in Adelaide. According to Andrew, the new Iceliners will bring ABC’s fleet to more than 120 trailers – with most of the new purchases in the past few years manufactured by Vawdrey.