Trailer Magazine

Community driven

  • From the August 2018 issue.
Community driven

Cabonne Shire believes that community is at the heart of everything it does, including the purchase of new equipment. When the time came to replace a skip loader, the council turned to West-Trans – a brand it knows and trusts.

Located in the central western region of New South Wales, 3.5 hours west of Sydney, Cabonne Shire is a picturesque region renowned for its food, wine, agriculture and mining.

The area is bursting with natural wonders, including national parks, reserves, caves, waterholes and Mount Canobolas, which soars 1,395 metres above sea level.

Cabonne Shire encompasses a vast area that stretches 6,108 square kilometres, covering the towns of Canowindra, Cargo, Cudal, Cumnock, Eugowra, Manildra, Molong and Yeoval. Given the shire’s size, its not uncommon for its trucks to travel in excess of 100,000 kilometres a year.

“The whole shire is made up of little towns and you’ll see beautification in every one of them,” says Dean Hegarty, Plant Super Intendant at Cabonne Shire. “In Cudal for example, they’ve been putting new plants in. It’s not like a big city. Everyone takes great pride in their own little town and they want their towns to look pretty. If it weren’t for the residents, we wouldn’t be here – they are our customer.

“The council works closely with the community. We go in with skips so customers have somewhere to put their rubbish, and then cart it away for them at a fair price.”

The council operates a fleet of approximately 50 pieces of equipment, including truck and dogs, low loaders, front-end loaders and more.

Cabonne Shire prides itself on maintaining a modern fleet and makes its purchasing decisions based on quality before price. 

“We look after the community and they look after us,” Dean says. “The council has a good budget, so we buy really good equipment. “When you purchase modern equipment, it all comes back and makes our jobs easier. We buy the latest stuff, so the workers get the benefits. I’m of the philosophy that if you buy the best, you won’t have a problem.”

Among the newest pieces of equipment to be added to the fleet is the West-Trans DS120S Skip Loader. Designed and manufactured in Australia, the West-Trans range of skip loaders are constructed from high tensile structural steel. They feature high quality components and are produced using the latest technology and production techniques. Each skip loader goes through extensive static and dynamic load testing before being handed over to
the customer.

Cabonne Shire’s new DS120S Skip Loader has been spec’d with all of the latest bells and whistles, featuring a weighing system on the chains, which Dean says is an important addition that helps to ensure the council maintains its Chain of Responsibility requirements. “This is especially critical because we often have to travel so far away when we pick up our bins and there aren’t any weigh bridges around so you need to have a weighing system built in. All of our existing trucks are currently being retrofitted with weighing systems, and any new trucks are being fitted with them before they come into the fleet.”

Cabonne Shire’s new DS120S Skip Loader also incorporates a new compact oil tank with an integrated filter, a radio remote control, and a tarping system that offers additional OH&S benefits.

“The DS120S Skip Loader is a really good fit, especially with the amount of kilometres we do. For us, it’s all about safety,” adds Dean. “It’s like with anything, the more you invest, the easier it becomes for the workers. The tarping system covers the bin up perfectly so there is no way anything can fall out.”

Skip Loader Operator, Mick Hignett, who has worked at Cabonne Shire for the past 20 years, adds: “Our trucks are about working with the community. If we’re up to speed and have the best equipment, it flows onto the community and they can see that we are doing the right thing. We want to be able to set an example, set a standard, because it not only benefits us but it benefits the whole shire. If rubbish were to escape from our trucks, we’d have to pick it up anyway so we’d only be causing more work for ourselves.”

As well as being impressed by the product, Dean says that he has also been impressed by the high levels of service offered by West-Trans. “It does pay to buy the best and that’s why we went to West-Trans. We’ve had West-Trans before and I know it lasts. The other stuff we looked at just wasn’t in the same boat,” Dean says.

“You go down to the West-Trans workshop, and it’s unbelievable. Mark Micallef knows the ins and outs and is really easy to talk to. If you’re not sure of something, he’ll sit down and explain it to you. He doesn’t talk down to you and is always on the same level, which made us feel really comfortable. Nothing’s ever a drama and that’s what you want. His enthusiasm is contagious. The amount of innovation West-Trans incorporates into its equipment is brilliant. In the end, we knew the DS120S was the one we wanted.”

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