Prime Mover Magazine


Hire and ice

  • From the June 2017 issue.
Hire and ice

Krueger Freezer Vans have not only become the reefer of choice for many fleet operators across Australia, but also companies in the commercial vehicle rental market such as Skel Hire.

Even after 40 years of operation, commercial vehicle rental company, Skel Hire, maintains that having a sustainable business model is not an excuse to coast.

Established in 1976 by Lou and Jan Naylor, parents of Todd and Warwick, who manage the business today, Skel Hire is a family-owned company specialised in renting out commercial vehicles from its site in Ingleburn, 50km south of Sydney.
Competing in Australia’s vehicle rental industry requires Skel Hire to sustain a diverse, 300-unit-strong fleet that can cater to every request. It includes a wide variety of vehicles from semi-trailers to skels, low loaders, swing lifts and curtain-siders, as well as prime movers.

“We service any business, large, small and also outside of NSW. For instance, we have clients in Melbourne and Brisbane who also use our equipment,” says Todd. “We provide a 24-hour, seven-day service, so if a vehicle breaks down, we make sure we have the people and the equipment to deploy at any time.”

Krueger Transport Equipment has been Skel Hire’s number one trailer source for close to three decades. The company has purchased numerous skels, flat tops and curtain-sider models from the Melbourne outlet, sometimes in B-double configurations, which have been used for several short-term and long-term contracts. “Our clients look at us to guide them in their purchasing decisions,” explains Todd.

On top being a rental brand, he says Skel Hire is also a testing ground for his clients’ future investments. “In some instances, we’ll have businesses that are considering buying specific trailers, but need to test them in action to see if that model is the right fit for their operation.

“In recent years, for example, we’ve been getting constant requests about when we’ll have refrigerated trailers available. At the end of last year, we decided the timing was right to expand the portfolio.”

He adds, “In today’s business climate, you need to be proactive in your approach to customers and make sure that there’s always a solution on hand. And if the solution isn’t readily available, then make sure you have a supplier that can answer the call immediately.”

In February 2017, Skel Hire took delivery of two tri-axle Krueger Freezer Vans built in partnership with European reefer specialist, Schmitz Cargobull. “Krueger has been instrumental in the success of Skel Hire and helping us to meet the needs of our customers,” Todd says.

What impressed Todd the most about the Krueger van range was the thermal efficiency of Schmitz Cargobull’s Ferroplast panels. “The panels’ sealing is exceptional and offers up to 30 per cent more insulation than traditional refrigerated models, without compromising weight,” he explains. “The more insulation the operator has, the less prone they are to having temperature issues on the road.

“The vans can hold 22 pallets, which helps our customers run more efficiency and gain that productivity edge in the field. If needed, we can double the pallet capacity to 44 using Schmitz Cargobull’s built-in double-stacker bars. Both the vans are also fitted with Thermo King SLX refrigeration units.”

Todd says the company will continue to source from Krueger given its vast trailer portfolio. “We’ve been working with Krueger for almost 30 years, from trailers to aftermarket parts,” he says. “Since the business represents the Schmitz Cargobull brand in Australia, it just made sense to continue leveraging that partnership. In many ways, Krueger has been pivotal in helping Skel Hire become one of the leading rental equipment brands in the country.

“With the Krueger Freezer Vans, we are proud to say Skel Hire is now a major rental player in Australia’s cold chain sector, with a product that is built specifically for Australian conditions, which is a luxury that the business didn’t have in years past.”

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