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Big moves in the west

To master the ever-growing freight task in Australia’s vast west, Toll Express WA decided to add 40 new trailers to the local line haul fleet. Vawdrey Australia has accepted the challenge, enabling the Perth based company to keep expanding.

Yet the art of engineering is only one reason why the renowned company decided to purchase 40 road-train rated semi-trailers bearing the Vawdrey seal. On behalf of Toll Express, Vawdrey’s design department created a range of innovative transport equipment.

In course of upgrading the local line haul trailing fleet, Toll Express decided to involve tried and true affiliate Vawdrey, who has supplied Toll WA with state-of-the-art equipment since 2001. On the back of 13 refrigerated vehicles delivered in late 2010, Vawdrey supplied 30 robust open deck trailers and ten drop deck Titeliners, including mezzanine floors and hand picked components. The 45’’ trailers commute between Toll Express’s new facility and WA’s regional areas.

“We wanted to create a vehicle that combines sophisticated engineering and simplified usability,” says National Sales Director Paul Vawdrey. “And I think both the flat top and the drop deck model will set a new benchmark.”

The new Toll open deck unit was built to endure the strain of working nonstop in Western Australia’s harsh environment. Therefore, Toll chose tried and true axle/suspension combinations by SAF-Holland and BPW to cover even the most extreme road conditions Toll’s fleet faces in WA.

“A Vawdrey trailer is just a good product,” says Sid Moore, Toll Express’s Regional Manager WA. “It’s reliable and robust, and Australian made. We cart about 11,000 tonne of freight a week, and we can’t avoid material that cannot endure such a strain.” Regarding transport equipment, Western Australia is a unique area. “The distances are enormous, and nowhere else people use triple road trains,” says Sid. “In the prawn season, for instance, we pick up seafood from Queensland and go back all the way to Perth, which is a 12,000 km, eight day trip.”

“High strength and durability are essential requirements for this type of product and have always been the mainstay of Vawdrey’s design policy,” says Paul. “You need to know where the equipment’s going to deliver a perfect product. You can’t buy diflucan just buy something generic from the rack, an environment like WA would simply break it in half. It’s the harshest location in the world. If you really want to trial equipment, use it in Siberia or WA. Therefore, all trailers are both dangerous goods and road train rated.”

In addition, the 30 trailers Toll ordered to operate in WA’s regional areas all received new livery, showcasing the company’s refreshed colour scheme that has replaced the previous orange logo. Designed to represent strength, reliability and operational excellence, the refreshed logo is symbolic of Toll’s current growth and enhances the company’s brand equity – the value of the Toll brand.

Toll Express’s new Perth depot located in Hazelmere, one of the city’s fastest growing industrial suburbs in close proximity to the Perth Airport Precinct, continues the ongoing upgrade of network facilities to ensure improved productivity and enhanced service. Since listing on the ASX in 1993, Toll has progressively built and grown its logistics model in response to increasing customer demand for a complete end-to-end logistics solution, incorporating the critical components of operational expertise, scale, diversity of services and technology solutions.

At the moment, 320 people are working on the vast Toll Express premises, to keep up with the increasing workload. “We did feel the GFC to a certain degree, but the mining boom made us forget about the recession,” says Sid. “In WA, the GFC has only been a hick up instead of a major problem. If there’s more mining, there’s also more infrastructure needed to supply the remote towns in the outback. It’s a natural progression.”

The Toll facility in Perth is an architectural reflection of WA’s economic boom. Endless halls accommodate the venue’s heart, the bustling distribution centre.

Forklifts rush around, past a myriad of pallets, ceaselessly servicing an endless row of loading docks. Sid Moore though, does not lose track amidst the bustle.

Sticking to a simple, yet distinct work philosophy, Sid keeps striving for excellence, regardless of the freight being carted. “Everything should be 100 percent accurate all the time. If someone is paying for a service, 100 percent is what the customer will receive. Nothing less.”