Brisbane cold carrier, JD Transport, started out in 2011 with three-pallet trucks made by Fuso servicing home deliveries. That soon transitioned into a 14-pallet vehicle and was for Managing Director Joe Joseph, all the proof he needed to confirm the business could consolidate its freight task. Since then operations have gone to another level.
Joe recently took delivery of a newly specc’d Kenworth, the first ever used in the operation. It will be matched with a brand new Mirrorless Mercedes-Benz Actros 2663 on a 1000-kilometre linehaul task. From Bowen, the vehicles will carry fresh produce to the Brisbane markets at Rocklea, where JD Refrigerated Transport maintains a storage facility and depot. The administrative headquarters of the business are located not far away in Newfarm.
Designed and built by FTE Trailers, the B-doubles will be loaded with equipment on the return leg. Most of the JD Refrigerated Transport fleet consists, to date, of Actros 2653s pulling single trailers. For the longer trip, however, Joe saw the need to invest in more raw power.
“I’d always wanted a Kenworth and I thought if we’re ever going to do it with one of their trucks then the time is now,” he says. “Ever since it arrived the feedback has been fantastic. Our biggest form of advertising is the fleet and our people. Our drivers and fleet look sharp. That’s our greatest billboard.”
The Kenworth T610SAR marks the first bonneted American truck purchased by the business and in a subtle change of branding, reverses the company colour scheme in a unique blue livery provided by Fleet Imaging.
JD Transport tracks and monitors its trailers via satellite and uses wireless probes to report core temperature of the produce for the entire journey. Prior to the new contract most of the work for the rising business was confined to southeast Queensland and parts of northern NSW.
For the second B-double, JD Refrigerated Transport has also added a new Mirrorless Actros 5663. It makes the sixth Mercedes-Benz in his operation and is running head-to-head on the linehaul run with the Kenworth T610SAR.
“We’re running both vehicles doing the exact same thing to assess their operational efficiency, driver satisfaction, safety, fuel economy and we’ll be able to line up all of these different operational parameters like for like,” Joe says. “The time for talk is over. I’ve listened to all the reps and the theory. Now I get to line up the trucks side by side and make up my own mind based upon real world conditions.”
According to Joe, the contract will dovetail into another season for the remaining five months servicing a supplier in Glen Innes and regional northern New South Wales.
“Those trucks will be working all year round. I’m super proud of the new B-doubles. They’re high trailers with 34 spaces each of produce,” he says. “There’s a hell of a lot of work that has gone into those new trucks both behind the scenes and over the growth of the business.”