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Spreading the word

For Australia Post, safety is at the heart of all of its operations, and the safety of its people comes first. With its latest delivery of B-doubles from Vawdrey Australia, the company is taking this message to the streets, aiming to spread the word and encourage safe driver habits among road users around the nation. The freight task of Australia Post is enormous. The company sends millions of letters and parcels to millions of people across Australia and around the world. Australia Post, together with its StarTrack business, operates a fleet comprised of over 16,500 pieces of equipment, including prime movers, rigids, vans, motorcycles and approximately 4,500 trailers. A number of posties are injured in motor vehicle accidents each week – and Australia Post aims to bring that number down to zero. Its new ‘Stay alert – There’s a life riding on it’ campaign is urging the public to be more vigilant in a bid to curb the number of posties injured on their motorcycles at work, encouraging drivers to slow down and remove distractions while they are behind the wheel. Australia Post’s recent trailer order of 10 new B-doubles from Vawdrey, delivered in September, are serving as mobile billboards, spreading this message as they travel along their routes between Brisbane and Sydney, and Sydney and Melbourne. “There is a large number of posties on the road every day, delivering our mail on motorcycles. And there are many injuries that are occurring on a regular basis. Australia Post has decided to use these new trailers to spread our road safety message to the public, serving as a reminder to help keep our motorcyclists safe. These are the first trailers to wear this new safety message, but people can expect to see a lot more of it in coming months,” explains Terry Bickerton, National Manager of Fleet for the Australia Post Group. Vawdrey has built more than half of the national Australia Post trailer fleet, and is the manufacturer of choice when it comes to tautliners. It’s a business partnership that has stood the test of time, extending for more than 30 years. “Vawdrey understands our business and Australia Post understands theirs, in terms of what we can achieve from a productivity perspective and from a timeframe perspective,” adds Terry. “Safety is our number one core value and we don’t compromise on it. That’s part of the reason we only purchase equipment from major manufacturers. We choose our suppliers based around the safety features they can incorporate into our equipment, the large volumes they are capable of producing and their ability to satisfy all of our requirements. “Vawdrey is quite a progressive company from a safety and an innovation perspective. They are always pushing the boundaries in terms of what can be done. They are a very progressive business with regards to producing higher productivity and PBS trailers. With more and more online orders, our freight task continues to grow, so we are moving very large volumes of product.” Thanks to PBS, Australia Post has been introducing a growing number of higher productivity vehicles into the fleet. “This sort of innovation means we can move more freight with less vehicles, helping to get more vehicles off the road. We work within the limits of what the current legislation allows, but we need manufacturers that can support and work within those areas as well, and Vawdrey does just that,” adds Terry. Australia Post’s commitment to safety has never waivered, with the business constantly taking advantage of developing safety technologies to ensure its fleet is as safe as can be. In 2012 for example, Australia Post began implementing anti-lock brakes and stability control across the fleet. “We use Volvo prime movers which we consider to be the safest on the market. The prime movers have anti lock brakes and stability control, so it makes sense to pair that with a trailer that has the same capabilities,” says Terry. As well as ensuring its fleet is built to the highest safety standards, reliability is paramount too. “And that’s part of the reason we use the manufacturers we use. We choose suppliers that we believe are the best in their category,” Terry adds. “Australia Post has a great partnership with Vawdrey. They are very accessible and understand our requirements. If I need trailers produced in a hurry, they always try and accommodate that wherever possible. The longevity of the Vawdrey product is also testament to the build quality. We do very little work to the trailers apart from regular maintenance. And on the flip side, when a trailer comes to the end of its life in our fleet, a Vawdrey trailer maintains great resale value too.”

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