Trailer Magazine

Boosting efficiency

  • From the August 2018 issue.
Boosting efficiency

For construction company, C&C Howard Contracting, the recent purchase of a drop-deck trailer from Panus Oceania has allowed the business to consolidate its equipment, with the new addition doing the work previously done by two different types of trailers.

Started in 2009, family owned and operated construction business, C&C Howard Contracting is based in Port Macquarie, on New South Wales’ mid-north coast. Though its core operations are centred around the building industry, C&C Howard operates a rigid truck and a Panus drop deck, which are used predominantly to transport building materials and tools, but are also used for a wide variety of other general freight as well, including hay.

Chris Howard, owner of C&C Howard, had been looking to purchase a new drop deck trailer. He regularly drives past Panus trailer dealer, K&J Trucks Coffs Harbour. Having heard good things about Panus’ trailers, he decided to have a closer look. “I drive past Coffs Harbour all the time and noticed two drop decks in the yard. Someone I know has a flat top from Panus so I knew it was a good product. He had the trailer working pretty hard and it took it really well.

I was looking for a drop deck and the price was right, so I decided to give it a go. It already had all of the gear on it – three way container pins, dump valves, hydraulic ramps – at a reasonable price,” he explains.

Due to the versatility of the new Panus drop deck, which was delivered in February and put straight on the road, C&C Howard has been able to carry an even wider variety of general freight. “Previously we had two trailers. We had a low loader and a flat top that were used to carry machinery. We sold both of these because the drop deck can do the work of both of the trailers,” says Chris. “We can carry up to 24 tonne on the new trailer. Having the drop deck makes it much more versatile. Now we only need the one trailer.”

C&C Howard carries freight throughout New South Wales, as well as into Queensland and Victoria. Chris began driving trucks when he was 19 and continued until he was well into his twenties. “I’ve come in and out of it,” he says. “Then I bought the first truck for the business in 2013. Before that we were only doing construction work.”

Though he hasn’t carted a great deal of hay in the past, dry conditions in New South Wales and Queensland have led to increased levels of supply. “I’ve been carting a lot more hay this year, due to the drought there is a lot of demand for stock feed,” says Chris.

According to Neil Zantuck, General Manager of Panus Oceania, the abundance of hay has also led to an increase in demand for the company’s drop deck trailers. “Operators have been carting hay extensively and that’s helped drive demand for our drop deck model. Panus Oceania has achieved record sales for this type of trailer since it first started its operations in Australia in 2014,” he says.

Since its Australian debut, Panus has also gained traction in several other areas of the local trailer market too. As well as its recent increase in drop deck sales, its skel models are also continuing to grow in popularity. Panus Oceania has already brought in a variety of PBS skel applications, with several of these units now being used at the ports in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Panus Oceania has dealers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, all backed  by a strong service network.

Fast Fact
Panus Oceania is the Australian division of Panus Assembly, Thailand’s largest trailer OEM. Its trailers are manufactured at Panus Assembly’s Thai production facility, and are designed and developed specifically to meet the needs of its Australian customers.
At just under 14 metres in length, the Panus drop deck semi trailer model is designed to maximise cubic capacity, with optimal space on both the lower and upper decks. It features full three-way twist locks and hydraulic ramps at the rear for added versatility.

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