Trailer Magazine

Keeping the wheels turning

  • From the July 2019 issue.
Keeping the wheels turning

Seeking superior performance from its trailers, Blenners Transport started using BPW components more than 30 years ago. Having had very few issues since, the company has now standardised on BPW axles and suspension across its substantial trailer fleet.

Established in 1988 by Les and Judy Blennerhassett at Tully in far north Queensland, Blenners Transport specialises in the haulage and storage of chilled, frozen and dry goods.

From humble beginnings the company grew quickly and additional depots in Brisbane, Cairns, Innisfail, Mackay, Townsville and Mareeba were progressively established.

In addition to its specialty of line haul and local temperature-controlled transport, Blenners’ suite of services includes long- and short-term storage of frozen and chilled products utilising temperature-controlled loading docks to ensure cold chain integrity.

In fact, coinciding with the company’s 30th anniversary, an all-new state-of-the-art Brisbane storage facility for frozen, chilled and ambient goods was recently commissioned. With capacity of over 6,000 pallet spaces, 11 temperature-controlled docks and three dry docks, it was designed to deliver maximum efficiency in the flow of goods and services whilst ensuring product integrity at all stages.

As a prominent carrier for fruit and vegetable wholesalers in Townsville and Cairns, during peak banana season up to 195 Blenners vans are loaded per week, delivering the produce in pristine condition to the major capital cities around Australia.

With such a time-sensitive operation, it’s hardly surprising that ultimate uptime of every piece of transport equipment is of utmost importance to Blenners.

For this reason, the company now operates a full complement of 240 BPW-equipped trailers.

It’s a strategy that has paid dividends, says John McKnight, Business Enhancement Manager at Blenners Transport.

“We chose to standardise on BPW components for their reliability, simplicity and durability,” John explains. “And also because of the exceptional after sales service.

“We view our relationship with BPW Transpec as a key partnership that has contributed to the success of our company over the years,” he says, adding that the company’s philosophy is to find the best product for each application and then stick to it. “In all honesty, once we have determined which product is most suitable to our requirements we generally do not specify other brands within our fleet. We have a keen belief that ‘if it works, it works’.”

According to John, Blenners conducts 99 per cent of all maintenance activities in-house.

“We have two fully equipped workshops in Brisbane and Tully and close to 60 maintenance staff keeping it all running,” he says. “The aftersales service and support we receive from BPW Transpec is first class,” John reiterates. “They provide in-house training for our technicians and offer technical support with any complex issues that arise. They have always been there for us when we’ve needed them.”

On the subject of the company’s most recent BPW-equipped trailer acquisitions, John says the 16-strong order earlier this year included seven 34-pallet B-double sets and one 44-pallet road train combination.

Blenners has a uniform undercarriage specification across the entire trailer fleet which comprises BPW AU D36 and AM D36 air suspension for B-double lead and tag trailers respectively, drum brake axles and Haldex EBS.

According to John, equipment orders are confirmed at the beginning of each year with the number determined by the company’s needs for replacement and new growth.

The units are subsequently delivered throughout the year in line with Blenners’ requirements and the manufacturers’ production schedules.

Speaking on a personal note, John says he has been with the company for six years and continues to enjoy the challenges and rewards that go hand-in-hand with his role.

“I know it sounds like a cliché, but it really is like one big family,” he says. “I previously worked in the corporate sector, but would probably never return based solely on how well I have been treated by the Blennerhassett family.”

John goes on to relay his belief that the secret to the company’s growth and success over the last three decades comes down to the fact that it remains family-owned, meaning it is more dynamic and responsive to changing customer needs.

“And 31 years of experience in refrigerated transport doesn’t go astray either!” he quips.

As for what other factors set Blenners apart from the competition, John says the company has a firm belief in traditional values and promotes a very customer centric approach to everything it does.

“There is also a ‘no compromise’ mantra when specifying the equipment we use in our fleet – we will only operate the best of the best. If it doesn’t perform, it doesn’t belong,” he asserts.

Turning to the topic of safety for Blenners employees and other road users, John remarks that the Australian transport industry is constantly evolving, and in recent times there has been a much greater focus applied to advanced driver aids and safety features in trucks and trailers.

“We are all striving to make our roads safer and reduce risk throughout the supply chain,” he says. “There has been an overwhelming change of priorities over the last three decades. As an industry our focus has shifted from ‘Get the freight there at all costs’ to ‘Get the freight there safely – regardless of the cost’. And that has to be a good thing for everyone.”

Fast Fact
According to John McKnight, Business Enhancement Manager at Blenners Transport, the company has a ‘no compromise’ mantra when specifying the equipment it uses in its fleet, including BPW axles and suspension.

“We will only operate the best of the best,” he says. “If it doesn’t perform, it doesn’t belong.”

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