Trailer Magazine

Longevity matters

  • Posted on Tuesday 14th, February 2012
Longevity matters

“Trailers will always be an asset,” says Michael Rowell, Director of Rowell Freight Lines – a family-owned Australian transport company that has forged a strong partnership with renowned trailer brands.

Recognising a growing need for providing a professional transport service on a nationwide level, Michael has formed Rowell Freight Lines as a high-quality service “with a minimum of fuss.” Based in Stapylton, Queensland, the family company now employs 30 drivers, providing a personalised, professional service all around the country.

“We are continually sourcing and updating our methods of operation and procedures with a view to constantly improving our safety and service level in all aspects of our operation,” says Michael.

“Rowell Freight Lines currently operates 23 Western Star 4800 models, seven Kenworths and one Freightliner Argosy, says Michael. And, while he settled on Kenworth and Western Star long ago, the trailer fleet has consistently sourced Freighter’s unique willingness to maintain that high quality standard. Although Rowell uses other brands, too, Michael stresses the quality of the Freighter brand, citing their ability to adapt to his specifications.

“Because of the reliable backup service, modern designs and their willingness to suit our needs such as maximising the height of the openings. We mainly use standard trailers such as flat top taut liners, but some loads demand a specific design – and when we contact Freighter, they know straightaway what to do and are prepared go past the normal needs to look after us.”

According to Michael, Rowell orders a stable amount of trailers each year to keep pace with new technology and maintain high reliability levels. “On an annual basis our fleet increases by six to 10 B-doubles,” says Michael. “Right now Freighter are building three sets of trailers for us – all 36 pallet B-doubles that we will be using for a specific job.”

One of those specific jobs is carting paper of all different reel sizes. As Michael points out, Rowell has their trailers custom built to give maximum aperture between the combing rail and the pelmet rubber along the sides.

“In maximising the aperture opening, we’ve changed the profile on the front base of the trailer by using higher-grade steel,” says Michael. “That enables us to have a wider opening without having to reduce the size of the tyres. Freighter have proven that they can make these adjustments without compromising the rest of the truck.”

Michael acknowledges that without these particular designs that Rowell would not be in the prime position that it currently sits in.

“It’s our company vision to provide customer service that is second to none, that’s what we are passionate about and that’s what we expect from our suppliers as well,” he adds.

“If you are doing a job for somebody you must make sure it is done with as little fuss as possible. That means making the delivery or pickup on time and in a very professional manner, ensuring everything is done correctly,” Michael says while deferring back to company’s balance sheet.

“The trailers we use must last up to 15 years, they not only need to be light and strong, but have sustainable roofs and curtains. The suspension underneath needs to withstand the constant pressures of the loads and roads so that it doesn’t crack, which is time wasting and counterproductive.”

In order to sustain longer serviceability from the suspension on their trailers, Rowell uses parallel inner and outer wheel bearings. Michael refers to them as ‘million kilometre hubs’. This enables Rowell to up the ante in transporting their cargo.

“The overall goal is to maximise payload - and with partners like Freighter and other industry experts, we can add at least two extra tonnes to our trailers,” says Michael. “That amount makes a huge difference when it comes to staying ahead of the competition. If I had to order 10 more trailers tomorrow, I wouldn’t think twice about it. I’d go straight to Freighter to build them for me.”



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