Trailer Magazine

When serviceability is key

  • From the June 2018 issue.
When serviceability is key

A family run business for over 65 years, Simpsons Fuel prides itself on its high levels of service and seeks equipment partners who can do the same. Impressed by the product quality and aftersales support offered by BPW, Gordon Simpson specifies BPW running gear across his fleet.

Based in Alexandra, Victoria, Simpsons Fuel was started in 1953 by husband and wife Ian and Mary Simpson. Their son Gordon and his wife Janene took over in 1976 and have grown the business considerably.

Simpsons Fuel is an authorised distributor for Caltex, providing fuel, diesel and LPG, as well as lubricants and additives across regional sites throughout north eastern Victoria, including the Murrindindi Shire, Mansfield and Mt Buller. The company also carts fuel to farms, logging coupes and into metropolitan Melbourne.

Gordon developed a passion for trucks from a very young age and joined the family business as soon as he finished school. “I’ve been around trucks all my life. I would go out with dad in his truck when I was only three or four years old. You couldn’t get me out of them and all I wanted to do was work with trucks. My kids have also grown up with the business. Simpsons Fuel is now in its third generation. I have two sons and a daughter that work in the business,” reveals Gordon.

Simpsons Fuel has a fleet of five tanker combinations – three are dedicated to regional work, while the other two mainly cart into Melbourne.

“We predominantly use Tieman tankers. For us, it’s about finding the biggest payload possible, because we are paid by the litre. When we wanted to develop our first PBS approved combination a few years ago – a 20m rigid and dog combination, they were the only manufacturer we spoke to that said it could be done. Now, it’s the norm, but back then they took on the challenge and did it. Tieman is a family-friendly business like us, they started the same year as us and have a third generation coming through now too,” says Gordon.

This is the largest tanker combination in the fleet, achieving a Gross Combination Mass of 57.5 tonnes, which equates to approximately 46,000 litres of diesel per run. With this rigid and dog, Gordon says he needed a combination that could not only deliver high volumes of fuel but also be used as a rigid for accessing smaller farms and logging coupes. “This works perfect for us, because we can unhook the dog trailer and do farm work as a rigid truck, so it carts as much as a B-double and we can use it as a rigid too.”

Like all of the tankers in the fleet, it is equipped with BPW running gear. “We only put BPW running gear on our tankers. We have such a good relationship with BPW. They have reps that come down to see us regularly and an ideal service network,” Gordon says.
The tankers use BPW’s AL2/D36 Series tandem axle airbag suspension complete with a draw bar and welded tow eye, and on the rear trailers the suspension also features vertical rear mounted shock absorbers. This is coupled with BPW Disc Brake axles and BPW 24-volt EBS braking system, complete with BPW EBS Info Centre.

Gordon has been specifying BPW running gear on his tankers for close to a decade, after seeing how well it performed out in the field, particularly when carting into logging coupes. “I knew how good BPW gear was working in the logging areas. The logging operators I spoke with were predominantly using BPW – and if it can handle logging, then it will definitely work well out on the highway. The gear is strong, we don’t really have any issues, and when we need something, they always have spare parts available,” Gordon says.

He adds that Simpsons Fuel takes great pride in its fleet and maintains its vehicles to a high standard, therefore serviceability is key. “The people we deal with at BPW are tremendous. They ask what we need, what they can do, and offer service advice. I reckon we have it right with our partnership with BPW – and I constantly stress that to my kids. We always have the back-up service we need – they are only a phone call away.”

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