Every transport operator has specific requirements and parameters subject to the nature of the operation. When it comes to choosing a brand of trailer to purchase, these criteria, among others, come into play.
For Aaron Fischer, Managing Director of Fischer’s Haulage, ultimate durability of the trailers over a very long lifespan on interstate haulage is the number one priority.
Aaron points out that his first trailer, purchased second-hand four years ago when he started the business, is a 1984 model flat-top that to date, he estimates, has travelled between six and seven million kilometres and is still going strong.
He says he expects a similar length of service from his new Panus trailers – including a flat-top and drop-deck – and he reckons they have the goods to do it.
“We switched to Panus because of the build quality and pricing – which is very competitive,” Aaron says. “We looked at other brands and found that the crossmembers for the chassis were only welded on one side whereas the Panus crossmembers are welded on both sides.
“And some trailers have gaps between the welds whereas with Panus all the welds are complete and tied together all the way through.”
Aaron accepts that the Panus trailers are a bit heavier than some other brands, but says the added strength they possess makes this a worthwhile trade-off.
As previously mentioned, the operational requirements and freight carried plays a big part in purchasing decisions and, not surprisingly, much of the freight Fischer’s Haulage carries is of a bulky rather than overly heavy nature.
“We want our trailers to not only last for five years after they’ve been paid off, but then after replacing the brakes and bearings we want them to run for a further 10 to 15 years, at least,” Aaron says.
Another factor he rates highly with Panus is the personalised service and the fact that he can talk directly with Panus General Manager, Ron Gysberts.
“When I ordered the first trailer I said to Ron, ‘if you make this one right I’ll stick with you because I reckon you’ve got a good product here,’ and a few weeks after I started using the first one I ordered the second one,” Aaron says, adding that he specified both trailers with two large toolboxes on each side to ensure there was ample room for straps, chains and dogs.
Speaking of toolboxes, Aaron says when a forklift operator damaged one of the toolboxes when loading the new trailer Ron was quick to rectify the issue.
“Ron had a new toolbox painted in my fleet colours and installed on the trailer in next to no time,” Aaron says. “It’s that kind of personalised service that I really value; Panus goes the extra mile to make sure everything is done right, down to the smallest detail.
“Overall, I’m extremely happy with my Panus trailers and my drivers are happy with them too. This is important to me because if the drivers are positive about a product they tend to look after it better. That is why I intend to purchase two more Panus trailers in the coming year.”