Steelbro combines innovation and tradition

At Hilton Haulage, everything is focused on providing the best possible customer service, so choosing the right equipment is essential for the long-standing transport business. As a result, it is not surprising that Steelbro’s SB362 unit is the latest addition to Hilton’s fleet of eleven side lifters, as it can combine both innovation and tradition in one easy-to-use unit. Plus, it is New Zealand-built.

“Our association with Steelbro goes back a long way”, says Bruce Anderson, Fleet Manager at Hilton Haulage Transport. “We have used Steelbro side lifters in our business for over twenty five years. Over time, the number of machines has increased as new and existing customers have realised the convenience and efficiencies of using a side lifter to handle containerised freight.”

The South Island transport company has seen some changes itself since it was established back in 1994. Formed after a management buy-out of the former company Hilton Haulage Ltd, which had been in the market for over 25 years, the company has gone to great lengths to become a well-regarded name in New Zealand’s transport industry.

Today, it is specialised in transport and storage solutions for a range of large national and international organisations, and its client base is growing steadily – mainly because the 200 staff (230 during the harvest season) in Timaru and Christchurch don’t mind going the extra mile.

Drawing on a fleet of over 110 trucks and 150 trailers that is operating on a 24/7 schedule – even on public holidays – exceeding customer expectations at any given time is high on the agenda at Hilton Haulage.

But, you don’t achieve such a standing by cutting corners, according to Bruce. “We work hard to maintain our success by delivering great service every day,” he says, making a tough task sound easy.

After all, Hilton Haulage is the preferred transport partner of many food producers in the Canterbury area, who depend on delivering perishable freight just-in-time. But with the introduction of containerised transport solutions over two decades ago, Hilton Haulage has realised early on how Steelbro side lifters could help them improve on productivity and make a real difference in the local marketplace. That head start is now paying off.

“Today our side lifters are mainly used on short haul freight from customer’s premises to the port, a rail terminal or vice versa. We also use them extensively to transfer from truck to skel for better efficiency,” Bruce adds.

To be able to provide the best possible service at any time, Hilton Haulage always keep the company fleet up to date and well maintained and don’t think twice when it comes to routine upgrades and replacements. As a result, much of the equipment is less than four years old. 

For the last few years, the company have invested in two or three Steelbro side lifters every year, as well as additional skel trailers, so ordering the new SB362 model was just the next logical step.

According to Bruce, the SB362 combines the best of both worlds – low tare weight and proven strength and durability – in one unit. “We chose the SB362 because of the 36 tonne lifting capacity, which can cover all of our requirements while being lightweight enough to carry a 26-tonne container under permit, which is crucial to us.

“Therefore, we are already very impressed with the new SB362, which is operated by one of our long term employees. According to him, the machine is quicker and more stable – even when carrying extra heavy containers. It can also boast extra reach, which is an added bonus,” says Bruce. “For us, this is a great step forward in performance.”

Subsequently, Bruce describes Christchurch company Steelbro as a, “good local affiliate who have supplied us with very good equipment over a long period of time, keeping up to date with the latest technology and innovation. Plus, they also provide us with an excellent back up service as well.”

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