A very cool solution

Greater payloads, reduced downtime and ongoing cost savings are proving to be a winning formula for Hawk Logistics, which has just taken delivery of its first PBS-approved quad axle Vawdrey Iceliner freezer van.

Thanks to its latest purchase, Hawk Logistics’ Melbourne to Sydney run delivering chickens for Australian poultry business Baiada is achieving efficiency gains of around 15 per cent, when compared to other semi trailers in the fleet, according to Regional Manager Wilander Saldanha. “For every six loads we would do on one of our semi trailers, the new PBS-approved 26-pallet Vawdrey Iceliner only needs to do five,” he says. “Approximately 40 per cent of our fleet is made up of B-doubles and the other 60 per cent are single trailers. To access many of our customer sites, we need to split up the B-double sets, which results in about 45 minutes of downtime to unhook and then hook the trailers back up. With the PBS-approved trailer, we are getting additional pallet space without the restrictions of a B-double. As well as being time saving, having a single trailer instead of a B-double means we save on registration, insurance and maintenance costs as well.”

In just a short space of time, Hawk Logistics has grown from a one truck operation to a fleet of almost 100 trucks and 82 drivers, operating from three depots – Truganina in Melbourne, Huntingwood in Sydney and Griffith in regional NSW.

Started by friends Amrit Singh and Harmanpreet Singh in 2014, Hawk Logistics subcontracts to some of Australia’s largest transport companies, as well as catering to its own customer needs. Meat transportation is its specialty, and the new Vawdrey PBS-approved Iceliner was purchased to service the company’s growing freight task.

Amrit says that around 99 per cent of the company’s operations are now refrigerated transport. The latest trailer purchase brings the Vawdrey Iceliner trailer count up to eight, however this represents the first brand new purchase from the trailer manufacturer and the first PBS-approved unit to enter the fleet.

“We have various trailers in our fleet, but when we purchased the first Vawdrey trailer, we really liked the way it was built and the fact that it is made locally in Australia. Our Vawdrey trailers have really lasted the distance. It’s great to be able to support a local manufacturer that understands our market and what we need – that’s why we’ve now purchased this new 26-pallet Vawdrey Iceliner,” explains Amrit.

Operating under Higher Mass Limits (HML), the Iceliner can carry payloads of up to 28 tonne, maintaining temperatures as low
as -28°C.

“In Griffith, it can get very hot there in summer and we’ve found our Vawdrey trailers have really good thermal performance, even in extreme heat. This is something we’ve had issues with in some of our other trailers,” reveals Amrit.

The trailer also features an Allsafe ATD-F Double Loader System recessed into the walls. As Hawk Logistics charges using a space rate and carries pallets that are of regular dimensions, this combined with the extra weight has resulted in further cost savings. “Being able to carry extra weight and extra pallets is extra money for the business. We are still using the same amount of fuel and there is no extra workload for the driver. It’s just more efficient,” Amrit explains. “With refrigerated transport, I personally believe that a B-double is hard work, because you’re having to use a much larger combination, which is why we’ve gone with this PBS-approved option instead.”

The new Vawdrey Iceliner features a quad axle group with a forward self-steer axle for optimised weight distribution. According to Vawdrey, this results in better utilisation of the trailer as a freezer as it ensures even pallet weights are maintained throughout the whole trailer. By fitting a lift axle to the steer axle, the trailer can operate on the Level 1 General Access network when the axle is raised. The functionality of the self steer and lift axle is controlled through the WABCO Electronic Braking System.

As the quad axle Vawdrey Iceliner freezer van is the first PBS-approved trailer to enter the fleet, Hawk Logistics valued the level of support and assistance provided by Vawdrey throughout the approval process. “Vawdrey not only helped to determine what solution we needed, they also stepped us through the design process and worked through the approval process, which was a big win for us, because the Vawdrey team was able to take care of all of that themselves. They have a lot of expertise in the PBS arena. They looked after everything from documenting all of our routes to submitting documents to council,” says Wilander.

“Vawdrey has made so many design innovations in the past 12 months, so now this gives us an opportunity to test many of these out.”