Kim McDonald grew up in the transport industry with his family running milk tankers for a local dairy company. He started his truck driving career at the age of 18 and has been operating and maintaining heavy vehicles ever since.
In 2014, an opportunity arose for Kim to purchase Lanteri Haulage in Bairnsdale, Victoria, from former owner Sab Lanteri. Kim has seen the business grow from two trucks in the fleet to nine – all coupled to 24- or 26-pallet refrigerated trailers.
“I take great pride in running a well-maintained fleet of trucks and trailers,” he says. “In addition to providing a consistent and reliable service, we have also been complimented by our valued customers for our immaculate fleet presentation.”
Lanteri Haulage’s principal depot is based in Lindenow, East Gippsland, and the facility has all weather access along with warehouse and cool room storage for all refrigerated produce.
The company also has warehouse and cool room facilities in the Melbourne fruit and vegetable market, enabling Kim’s team to maintain temperature control on the produce it stores.
“We have a strong regional and metropolitan network,” Kim says. “We are positioned as a highly regarded distributor and a much-respected logistics partner to our customers. Fruit and vegetables are our main freight we transport along with dry freight when required to service our clients.”
The Lanteri Haulage fleet comprises nine Volvo prime movers.
“Four FH540 I-Shift dual clutch, three FH540 with I-Shift along with one FM540 with I-Shift all being Globetrotters with the final one in the fleet affectionately known as ‘The Old Girl’ doing most of her work locally after being retired off the long runs,” Kim says. “We have found that the Volvo trucks are most suited to our business and with having a local Volvo dealer and Volvo servicing on hand, our fleet is serviced regularly, well maintained and any issues that may arise our Volvo dealer and representatives are ready to provide the answers.”
As for the reefers, Lanteri Haulage has three 26-pallet Schmitz Cargobull units and one 24-pallet Schmitz Cargobull trailer.
“All of our trailers are kept cool by Thermo King trailer refrigeration units to ensure the produce is kept at consistent temperatures from loading to unloading at their destinations,” Kim says.
The company fleet runs daily to Melbourne metro and into the Melbourne fruit and vegetable market at Epping.
“Our fleet also runs Melbourne to Sydney five times a week transporting refrigerated produce into one harvest for processing to all the major supermarket chains throughout Australia,” Kim says.
“We proudly support our local vegetable growers from far East Gippsland through to Central Gippsland providing on farm pickup for all produce heading into both local and metropolitan processors and markets.
“Our growers appreciate the respect and constant communication given to ensure that all their transport requirements are met in a timely and professional manner.
“This in turn allows our valued customers/growers/clients and logistics partners to be reassured that their freight gets from A to B without any interruption.”
Given the extreme heat conditions these trailers must withstand while in transit between Melbourne and Gippsland, Kim says the Schmitz Cargobull trailers hold up in the hot and ambient temperatures.
“The Schmitz Cargobull trailers are very well insulated and therefore once down to the desired temperature maintain that temperature with ease even on the warmest of days during our growing season,” he says. “All our trailers are pre-cooled during the warmer months prior to produce being loaded as this helps greatly in keeping the pre-set temperature at a constant without the Thermo King units having to work overtime to bring the temperature down.”
The latest addition to the Lanteri Haulage trailer fleet is a 26-pallet double loader.
“The Schmitz Cargo Bull fridge van features BPW air suspension over a tri-axle configuration “ Kim says. “The other two 26-pallet trailers in the fleet are of similar configuration apart from one having a constant tyre inflation system on the BPW axle.
“Our original and first Schmitz Cargobull 24-pallet trailer has proven its worth in the fleet and a pioneer in the company’s investment into the 26-pallet version.”
Kim says the most important feature of these trailers is the flat flooring which makes it easier to guide a pallet jack to load and unload refrigerated produce. “The width of the van is generous without being oversized, enabling pallets and bins to be loaded with ease,” he says. “Having that extra ‘wriggle room’ to work with can cut down on loading and unloading times – rather than struggling with pallets.
“The trailers are very well insulated and keep the temperature constant without the need for the Thermo King units to be working at full capacity trying to keep the produce at the desired temperature.”
To date, the service and aftersales support from Schmitz Cargobull has been on-hand when required according to Kim. “The team are only a phone call away for all our enquiries and should we require spare parts – they are sent up express or if we have a truck in the area – we pick up direct.”