Meet Maxi-CUBE’s Slide-A-Side trailer
- From the April 2016 issue.
Servicing blue chip grocery clients means DJG Industries understands the importance of meeting strict schedules – a task it achieves with the help of Slide-A-Side trailers from Maxi-CUBE.
The old catchphrase ‘time is of the essence’ has arguably inspired many a transport operator, but for Charlie Micali, Owner of Sydney-based family business, DJG Industries, it is at the very heart of his professional ethos.
With much of his work in transporting fresh produce from the Flemington Markets to the distribution centres for major supermarket chains Coles, Woolworths, IGA and ALDI, Charlie says that efficiency is key to meeting the stringent times demanded by blue chip customers. In order to service his time-conscious clientele with confidence, Charlie has invested in six Slide-A-Side refrigerated trailers from Maxi-CUBE, with the latest unit delivered in February this year.
Each Slide-A-Side reefer is constructed with an insulated polyurethane floor and roof, as well as walls that have a unique sliding door design in order to provide full access to either side. “It enables you to have the excellent thermal capabilities of a refrigerated trailer with solid walls, but still unload efficiently like a curtain-sider,” explains Maxi-CUBE General Manager, Kevin Manfield.
Instead of manually opening curtains, the Slide-A-Side’s doors are activated at the push of a button, which Charlie says saves his drivers around half an hour each time they load or unload a trailer. “In our current application we do a lot of side loading, and the Slide-A-Side is so much quicker to operate,” he says. “There are no curtains to pull or buckles to deal with, the driver can just press the button and slide open the door.”
When the sliding doors are closed, Charlie says the trailer has virtually the same cooling efficiency of a van. “With a curtain-sider you’re always going to let a bit of air out, but the Slide-A-Side is much more airtight,” he explains. “This means the Thermo King fridge unit gets the trailer to the right temperature pretty quickly once the sliding doors are closed.”
Charlie adds that the load restraint characteristics of the doors also mean that his drivers don’t have to strap down pallets, they can just ‘put them in and go’. “We do a lot of local deliveries so we’re unloading six or seven times a day. I reckon all up, the Slide-A-Side design saves us three to four hours a shift – that’s enough time for a whole extra trip,” Charlie says. “I’m already out the gate when people with a traditional curtain-sider would still be pulling curtains closed.”
As well as being faster to use, Kevin explains that replacing manually operated curtains with a single button to release all doors makes the job less strenuous for drivers. “The door release is air operated, so there is no weight for the drivers to bear, which helps to look after their backs and shoulders,” he says – adding that the additional mechanism doesn’t necessarily mean extra maintenance.
“The Slide-A-Side trailers have been tried and tested for a long period of time and have earned their stripes, so to speak. There is very little that can go wrong with them, all they need is to be brought in to MaxiTRANS NSW in Smeaton Grange at the regular scheduled service intervals and we take care of the rest.”
MaxiTRANS’ newly opened facility is only half an hour away from the DJG headquarters in Kemps Creek, with Charlie noting that it’s ‘really good’ to have a local dealer. “Now, I know that if we have a little problem, from a wheel alignment to a fibreglass repair, they can take care of it really quickly. They also do the servicing there, which we do three times a year, based on the needs of our operation.”
When the trailers are in for a service, Charlie says MaxiTRANS’ Smeaton Grange workshop works around his timetable. “They understand that our business needs to keep running,” he explains. “Our runs usually start at midnight, so they accommodate to our needs and have the vehicle ready for us when we need it. This all makes sure there’s no unnecessary downtime and we can keep to our clients’ strict schedules and deliver on time, every time.”
The specification of DJG Industries’ Slide-A-Side refrigerated trailers has undergone a continuous progression on each order from DJG Owner, Charlie Micali. “We have made adjustments in things like step and grab handle placement,” says Kevin Manfield, Maxi-CUBE General Manager. “Some of the modifications have since been made standard for all Slide-A-Side trailers, so all Maxi-CUBE customers can benefit from Charlie’s feedback.”