Trailer Magazine

Reaching the next level

  • From the May 2019 issue.
Reaching the next level

From humble beginnings in 1984, SoilWorx has grown into one of the larger suppliers of quarry and landscape materials in Victoria. Its latest purchase of a Bulk Transport Equipment rigid body and five-axle dog outfit reflects the company’s aspiration to take efficiencies to the next level.

In a similar vein to many family-owned transport operations, SoilWorx has evolved from a small Melbourne-based landscape supply yard into one of the largest purveyors of quarry and landscaping materials in Victoria.

The company’s Managing Director, Chris Ristovski, left school at the age of 16 and joined the family landscape supplies business which at that stage was owned and operated by his parents.
Chris bought his first truck when he was 18. He now has over 30 years of hands-on experience in the supply chain that services the landscape, building, civil construction and utilities industries.

The current SoilWorx fleet comprises nearly a dozen heavy truck and trailer combinations and a number of smaller rigid tippers.

“Our success is a direct result of our commitment to our clients, stakeholders, staff and the communities in which we operate,” Chris explains.

“As a team we are continuously learning and adapting to the changing business environment with the goal of exceeding the expectations of our clientele.”

As the conversation continues, it’s clear Chris is justifiably proud of the service his company offers to customers in the retail and commercial sectors.

“They rely on SoilWorx to supply quality products that are competitively priced and delivered fast,” he says. “So in order to keep raising the bar we are always looking for ways to improve the efficiencies in our operations.”

A big step forward in this respect occurred recently with the April commissioning of a BTE truck and five-axle dog outfit that is Performance-Based Standards (PBS) approved to operate at 63-tonnes gross combination mass (GCM) on Level 2 roads.

This allows a combined payload capacity of 42.5 tonnes carting a range of materials including soil, crushed rock, sands and mulch on Level 2 access routes around greater Melbourne.

The trailer has a 9500mm long aluminium body and is fitted with SAF Intradrum drum-braked axles with air suspension.

Air Brake Systems supplied the WABCO electronic braking system (EBS) complete with roll stability program (RSP).

The truck and trailer bodies are fitted with QuickSilver low friction liners, Alcoa Dura-Bright wheels and Bridgestone tyres.

“This is our first five-axle trailer and, indeed, the first BTE combination to join the fleet,” Chris confirms. “We definitely went all out and had a lot of extra equipment and custom features added to this unit.”

A standout feature of which he is keen to sing the praises is the QuickSilver liner.
“The liner not only provides faster load release, it also minimises floor damage, reduces the chance of tip over, lowers wear on hoists and is self-cleaning which reduces downtime.”

Chris goes on to describe the reasons surrounding his decision to buy the BTE equipment.
“Choosing the best supplier for our particular needs and creating a strong, long-standing relationship with that supplier is paramount for our operation,” he affirms.

“We previously ordered a smaller rigid tipper body from BTE and were very impressed with the experience.

“BTE’s attention to detail, professional service and quality workmanship brought us back for the truck and dog combination.

“Darren Jean (BTE Area Sales Manager) and the entire BTE team were amazing and showed a great deal of care and respect for our needs and requirements.

“A lot of time and attention was spent on the details and BTE went above and beyond with recommendations on the design and functionality of this combination. 

“We have purchased many vehicles over the years, and our experience with BTE is by far the best,” Chris states. “Rest assured that when we decide to purchase again, we will be heading their direction.”

While having brilliant equipment is vital, using it to the best of its capabilities completes the success story for SoilWorx.

To this end, Chris says over the past two years the company has invested heavily in optimising its delivery service. 

“We enlisted the help of a software solution called SubTrux to help give our customers full visibility at every step of the delivery process,” he explains.

“Each customer receives three SMS notifications: Upon the order being allocated to a truck advising of the estimated time of arrival; when the order is on its way; and finally, when the delivery has been completed. 

“We view leveraging off technology like this as integral to improving processes, reducing paperwork and managing regulations,” Chris adds.

“We were lucky enough to find a delivery management software provider (SubTrux) that is constantly evolving and growing with both us and the ever-changing demands of the industry.
Speaking about the wider transport industry and how it has changed over the years, Chris insists the far more demanding nature of modern business due to increased regulations surrounding compliance and chain of responsibility means companies can no longer afford not to leverage the available technology to assist operations.

“The increased cost of running a transport business today creates the corresponding imperative to seek improved efficiencies wherever possible.

“I believe the key to our success into the future is the combination of the most efficient and cutting-edge equipment, as exemplified by our latest BTE acquisition, with the systems technology to ensure maximised operational efficiencies.”

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