Trailer Magazine

Inland Petroleum

  • Posted on Thursday 12th, April 2018
Inland Petroleum

Australia’s tyranny of distance presents some specific challenges to the fuel distribution industry, forcing experts like Inland Petroleum to think outside the box to keep the Australian economy humming along.

Inland Petroleum has long enjoyed a solid reputation in the fuel and petroleum haulage space, but it wasn’t until Dubbo ceased to receive fuel deliveries by rail in 2007 that it evolved into one of the most progressive specialist transport business in the fuel game.
The end of the rail service prompted company principal and Dubbo local, Paul McCallum, to rethink his entire supply chain from end to end – and eventually saw him establish a new truck connection between his hometown and the terminal in Newcastle, some 340km to the east.

Instead of running empty tankers on the return legs, however, Paul managed to reshuffle the fleet in such a way that the tankers were loaded in both directions with various liquid cargoes – and as much of them as possible.
The key to success, he says, was the advent of High Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFVs). Regional fuel distributors traditionally require a diverse range of reasonably versatile vehicles – ranging from line haul combinations through to rigid tankers – and need to be able to perform multi-drop deliveries to mines, farms and retail service stations, so the move into the more application-focused HPFV field proved somewhat revolutionary at the time, he explains.

Incidentally, the retreat of the rail service from Dubbo also coincided with the birth of Performance-Based Standards (PBS), so the scene was set for Paul to completely reimagine his operation.
One ‘smart’ unit designed under the PBS scheme is a BA-triple fronted by a Kenworth K200 Aerodyne that regularly travels to Eromanga, a small town west of Charleville in central Queensland. Eromanga is not only the largest oil producing area in mainland Australia, but also the location of a boutique refinery run by outback fuel specialist, IOR Petroleum, which refines about 1.5 million barrels of oil per year to produce automotive distillates, jet fuel and specialty chemicals.

“We work very well with IOR,” says Paul. “We both understand the outback and both have a keen interest in technology and doing the job right – as demonstrated with our BA-triple.”

The BA-triple combination has been running for over two years now and is broken up into a standard 19m B-double and tri-axle trailer on return to Dubbo. From there, it supplies the mines in the Illawarra/South Coast area with IOR’s underground mining fuel (UMF), which is stored safely in underground bulk tanks at Inland’s Dubbo facility. The depot layout permits easy access for the BA- and AB-triples, and the pumping system can unload a 25m B-double in just 15 minutes.

“It’s remarkable that mines on the south coast burn fuel from Eromanga, which claims to be the Australian town furthest from the sea,” says Paul, revealing that the 19m B-double brings petrol from Sydney back to Dubbo on the return leg.

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