Trailer Magazine

SAF-Holland reaches a milestone

  • From the July 2015 issue.
SAF-Holland reaches a milestone

Refrigerated transport specialist Americold Logistics has just passed the five-year mark on a batch of Southern Cross refrigerated trailers equipped with SAF-Holland running gear without ever making a single axle or suspension-related warranty claim.

Durability has become somewhat of a buzzword in the ancillary equipment market recently, with many a company trying to take ownership of the term, but for Melbourne’s Americold Logistics, there has been only one standout component that has truly lived up to the guarantee – the lightweight Intradisc air suspension system from SAF-Holland.

“I can confidently say that absolutely none of the SAF-Holland equipment across all 17 Southern Cross Vans in our Victorian-based fleet has seen a warranty claim over the past five years,” says Debbie Reich, General Manager Transport at Americold. “The suspension has been absolutely faultless.”

As Debbie puts it, half a decade without any trouble at all is “quite remarkable” in the Australian transport environment and a strong indication that SAF-Holland’s six-year/ one million kilometre warranty* is more than just a marketing ploy. “I think the secret of why the SAF-Holland gear lasts so long lies in the quality of the engineering behind it, and the fact that it has been designed for purpose. The Intradisc is certainly a robust piece of equipment that has no issue handling the line-hail work we put it through.”

As the Australian arm of a powerful US company, Americold specialises in refrigerated logistics in the highly competitive retail market, with a special focus on blue chip businesses like Coles and Woolworths. “They are demanding clients that have very strict time schedules, so it’s incredibly important that we have reliable equipment that won’t let us down,” explains Debbie – saying the actual trailers proved equally reliable over time.

Built by Melbourne-based Southern Cross Vans, they are used to service urban areas around the nation, connecting cold chain distribution centres and some 1,000 retail food outlets between Perth and Brisbane.

“It’s great to hear that the equipment we built for Americold five years ago is still going strong. It’s testament to the work ethic of the team here at Southern Cross and a sign of how well we work with SAF-Holland,” comments Southern Cross Vans’ General Manager, Alf De Fazio. “It just goes to show that choosing the right equipment from the start will save you a lot of trouble down the line.”

Agrees Peter Corcoran, National Fleet Manager at SAF-Holland, “Americold service some of the most respected retailers in the country, so they need a solution that will perform without fuss. With our equipment running so smoothly for half a decade, that’s exactly what they need. It’s just a natural fit.”

Debbie explains that the food retailing business is a “tough market” that has a unique set of complications that are more than enough to handle without having to worry about specific components on a truck. With each delivery, Americold’s drivers have to manage a tight schedule while navigating tight truck yards, she says, which is where SAF-Holland’s lightweight suspension systems really shine.

“One application where the Intradisc system really shows its value is when backing up to a supermarket dock,” she explains. “Even when they encounter potholes, roundabouts and speed bumps along the way, our drivers say the combination will always be easy to align with the loading bay.”

Peter adds that the same quality is useful on the road too, where a smooth and safe ride will prevent unwanted damage. “The refrigerated transport business can be extremely demanding, with tight deadlines and strict KPIs putting you under pressure, so there’s no room for equipment failure. Americold’s example shows that when you choose SAF-Holland, you will dramatically reduce the risk of unwanted downtime, allowing you to focus on the main job instead.”

But according to Debbie, the SAF-Holland experience extends even further than technical soundness. “The team at SAF-Holland Australia, and Peter Corcoran in particular, I just can’t fault. Even though we never really have call him up with any complaints on the gear, he will check in regularly to make sure we don’t have any issues and see if there’s anything he can do for us,” she says.

“His understanding of the technology is superb, and his aftersales service and genuine customer care has been impeccable, which is what I think is the most important aspect of any organisation. Without a doubt, I would recommend SAF-Holland gear for any of our trailers going forward.”
Receiving such high praise from a demanding customer like Americold, Peter can only add that, “It’s amazing to see our equipment perform in a highly demanding industry for five years without a single warranty claim.”

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