For truss manufacturer Alpine Truss, a challenging Christmas led to a new obsession with Mack trucks.
Founded in 2002 by George Prothero, he looked to contract transporters to move his truss and wall frames to his customers, but that fell through in dramatic circumstances.
Prothero was left rushing to try and find workers over the busy Christmas period one year.
“I had a transport contractor ring me one Christmas Eve to tell me he’d had enough and didn’t want our work anymore because he couldn’t find capable drivers,” he says.
“I had a few mates in the industry who lent me their trucks. We all went and got licences, including myself, the production manager and the operations manager.”
That was when Prothero would receive a visit from a Mack sales consultant from CMV Truck & Bus Albury/Wodonga. Once the partnership started, that was it.
“Within 24 hours I’d placed an order and I haven’t looked at anything other than Mack since, and I’ve probably bought 20 Tridents in all,” he says.
“They’ve looked after me through good and bad times. The trucks do the job nicely and because we’ve got the big cranes on them, they handle the weight.
“We bling them up and I do it for the drivers. My truck drivers are my sales reps. They go on site and have to be our sales people. Basically, if I am going to get and keep good drivers, I need to have good equipment.”
Alpine Truss’ fleet has now grown to 28 trailers and 16 prime movers, most recently bringing in a Mack Anthem.
The Anthem was the first in Australia to be fitted with a crane and was also optioned with eight bag air rear suspension and square fuel tanks.
“They work well and we’ve not had a bad experience,” Prothero says.
“That’s what it’s all about. We could buy cheaper trucks but again, are we going to get the service we get now? I have people call me and ask if I have any trucks for sale because they know they’re good trucks and we look after them.”