In Pictures: The 2015 Perth Truck and Trailer Show

By: Greg Bush, Photography by: Greg Bush


A Toll triple road train greeted visitors to the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre A Toll triple road train greeted visitors to the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. A Toll triple road train greeted visitors to the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Euro 6 was the number at the Scania stand Euro 6 was the number at the Scania stand. Euro 6 was the number at the Scania stand
Goldstar Transport bought the new Cat CT630 HD before the show opened Goldstar Transport bought the new Cat CT630 HD before the show opened. Goldstar Transport bought the new Cat CT630 HD before the show opened
The DAF XF105 but no sign of the new DAF LF though The DAF XF105, but no sign of the new DAF LF though. The DAF XF105 but no sign of the new DAF LF though
The Penske stand featured Western Star and MANs The Penske stand featured Western Star and MANs. The Penske stand featured Western Star and MANs
Samantha Maree, left, and Danielle Henrick were singing the praises of Knightcorp Insurance. Samantha Maree, left, and Danielle Henrick were singing the praises of Knightcorp Insurance. Samantha Maree, left, and Danielle Henrick were singing the praises of Knightcorp Insurance.
Jayla, left, and Larissa were giving away a free holiday, courtesy of Graham Knight Insurance Brokers. Jayla, left, and Larissa were giving away a free holiday, courtesy of Graham Knight Insurance Brokers. Jayla, left, and Larissa were giving away a free holiday, courtesy of Graham Knight Insurance Brokers.
Tegan Martin, left, and Russian-born Svetlana Propovednikova brought more glee to the Gleeman Truck Parts stand. Tegan Martin, left, and Russian-born Svetlana Propovednikova brought more glee to the Gleeman Truck Parts stand. Tegan Martin, left, and Russian-born Svetlana Propovednikova brought more glee to the Gleeman Truck Parts stand.
Paris, left, and Storm promoted Automate Gate’s swinging gates, patented by Adam Napoli of Adams Haulage. Paris, left, and Storm promoted Automate Gate’s swinging gates, patented by Adam Napoli of Adams Haulage. Paris, left, and Storm promoted Automate Gate’s swinging gates, patented by Adam Napoli of Adams Haulage.
Western Exposure Perth Truck Show TradeTrucks12 Western Exposure Perth Truck Show TradeTrucks12
Peter Calligaro, right, business unit manager at WesTrac Kewdale Highway Truck Centre, was happy to chat about Cat Truck’s new CT630 HD to our Greg Bush. Peter Calligaro, right, business unit manager at WesTrac Kewdale Highway Truck Centre, was happy to chat about Cat Truck’s new CT630 HD to our Greg Bush. Peter Calligaro, right, business unit manager at WesTrac Kewdale Highway Truck Centre, was happy to chat about Cat Truck’s new CT630 HD to our Greg Bush.
CIMC are big players in Western Australia’s trailer market. CIMC are big players in Western Australia’s trailer market. CIMC are big players in Western Australia’s trailer market.
No, it’s not R2-D2, it’s the Hella stand. No, it’s not R2-D2, it’s the Hella stand. No, it’s not R2-D2, it’s the Hella stand.
Narvva put on an impressive light show. Narvva put on an impressive light show. Narvva put on an impressive light show.
Jonathan Sharples, left, and Alexander Sharpe from Levanta. Jonathan Sharples, left, and Alexander Sharpe from Levanta. Jonathan Sharples, left, and Alexander Sharpe from Levanta.
The Longmarch stand showed off its range of Chinese-manufactured steer, trailer and drive tyres. The Longmarch stand showed off its range of Chinese-manufactured steer, trailer and drive tyres. The Longmarch stand showed off its range of Chinese-manufactured steer, trailer and drive tyres.
View from a Volvo. View from a Volvo. View from a Volvo.
Rhino Trailers promoted its light but tough livestock trailer. Rhino Trailers promoted its light but tough livestock trailer. Rhino Trailers promoted its light but tough livestock trailer.
Western Exposure Perth Truck Show TradeTrucks21 Western Exposure Perth Truck Show TradeTrucks21

The best of the west and beyond were on display at the Perth Truck and Trailer Show.

 

As the name suggests, trucks and trailers shared centre stage at this year’s Perth Truck & Trailer Show.

Held over three days in late July, the show attracted local manufacturers, plus local representatives of national companies and eastern states exhibitors keen on promoting their wares in the west.

A welcome addition to the 2015 event was the opening day’s information seminars covering topics such as dangerous goods transportation, fatigue management, chain of responsibility (COR) and trailer brake requirements.

The slump in the mining sector was the elephant in the room, as truck and trailer manufacturers were keen to look for positives, especially with the Western Australian wheat belt enjoying bumper seasons during the past few years.

Peter Calligaro, the business unit manager at WesTrac Kewdale Highway Truck Centre says although the mining slump has had an effect on sales, the uniqueness of Australia’s largest state meant trucks were always going to be a vital link between the vast distances.

"We’re vastly spread, we need to get whatever we need around the state and trucks are the only way to do that," Peter says.

"The mining boom has definitely slowed it down, but there are still a lot of movements up and down, north and south, east and west.

"It’s hard work out there at the moment, it really is, but I think with this product we can kick a few goals."

The product in question was Cat Trucks’ new triple-rated CT630 HD, which was displayed prominently at the show. Already bearing new owner Goldstar Transport’s colours, this particular model was the first of Cat’s heavy-duty models to be sold in Western Australia.

"The HD has been a long-term blessing in disguise for us," Peter says.

"I believe it’s something we can really give our opposition a bit of a push with now.

"The majority of WA wants a 130-tonne rated truck, for heading north in three trailer line-haul type work.

"It’s very comfortable, great visibility, great air-conditioners, and it’s got the yellow engine inside, which is well supported by WesTrac’s footprint up and down the road."

Peter has been with WesTrac for 26 years, starting off as a mechanic before moving into a service manager role and then into sales.

He says acceptance of the Cat Trucks brand has been the biggest hurdle in the west, although that is steadily changing.

"Kenworth has been big over here, and Volvo are really doing a big push at the moment, but our product is being accepted now.

"It is a good product; I’ve not seen anything that is causing us many headaches, so I believe it’s just to keep pushing, and keep marketing, and we’ll get there in the end."

Peter says another of the CT630 HD’s selling points is driver comfort.

"I’m a bit of a polar bear, I like to be nice and cool and the air-conditioners in these things are awesome.

"You can sit on the telephone, Bluetooth through the radio, it’s nice and cool, and you haven’t got all that noise and feedback coming through all the time.

"If you’re running north, east, west, wherever, you’ve got the comfort there.

"For me, a big fella getting in and out of that cab and jumping into the bunk, you don’t have to try and squeeze through a hole. I can stand up from the driver seat, walk back, I can get dressed, I can wake up and feel quite comfortable and have a stretch without having to get outside of the truck."

Only minutes before the Perth Truck & Trailer Show opened its doors on July 24, a second CT630 HD was snapped up, this time by John Nicoletti, head of grain and livestock hauling outfit Newmont Corporation.

 

Scania Australia’s Rob Taylor, left, and Michael Berti.

 

Scania’s WA strategy

Scania was another truck manufacturer keeping an eye on the mining sector, however Robert Taylor and Michael Berti from Scania Australia WA say the company’s strategy extends beyond selling trucks.

"Our market share’s up, the product is performing really well, but we’re focusing more on not just about the products, but about the total solution," Robert explains.

"It’s about the truck, the hardware; it’s about the back-up on it, the after sales and the vehicle optimisation.

"Monitoring how the vehicle performs, monitoring how the driver performs, driver behaviour, so you’re looking at how you can reduce the CapEx [capital expenditure] and OpEx [operational expense] of our customers over a period of time. That’s where our focus has been, and that’s been some of our success."

Robert has the double role of the state’s regional sales manager and general manager of mining and resources, while Michael is Scania Australia WA’s commercial services manager and regional executive manager.

Robert says line-haul is one of their successful markets, as well as local distribution. He refutes claims that mining has affected sales figures.

"The strategy with Scania was to work with only the top 10 around Australia, and particularly in WA of course, and put contracts in place which they’ve done," he says.

"The business is very even, so the Rios and the BHPs, we’ve got a very even business with them."

Naturally, Scania’s mining trucks have been specced up, with heavier suspensions, heavier gearboxes, and four-point mechanical cabs.

"The whole idea is when the driver is driving out to remote areas, he can actually feel the ride as well. You put a road truck out there, the whole truck would fall to pieces," Robert says.

"We build them purposely for those jobs … fit for use."

"So you’ve got two 560s, they can look the same, but if I took you through the final parts of each, you’d see the difference."

"We’ve got one customer who has 260 of them in the mines," Robert smiles.

"I won’t tell you who it is, but they’re the second largest mining company in the world."

However, Robert says although most operators aspire to owning an R730, in regular runs the extra grunt is not required.

"If you’ve got a 730 you’ll be wanting to put it to work every day," he says.

"And that’s what it is, it’s a workhorse. It’s there to earn you money.

"Normally the 560 130-tonne-rated truck is pretty good, or the 620 if they want a bit more oomph.

"On the line-haul it’s usually the 620 or the 730, but usually the mainstay is the 560 130-tonne-rated up to the 620.

"The 620 to 730 are pulling 360-tonne gross combinations," he adds.

"They’re doing really well."

Robert says the successful wheat seasons over the past few years has led to more inquiries from grain haulage operators to update their fleet.

"There’s more confidence; they’re looking at new instead of second-hand, so we’re going to get back out to field days," Robert says.

 

Mike Rutherford from Skipper Trucks.

 

Skipper’s return

Skipper Trucks, showcasing a couple of Iveco models, opted for an outdoors display at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre instead of shouldering arms with competitors inside. And, according to Skipper Trucks’ Mike Rutherford, there was a plan in being situated outside the entrance doors, an area usually reserved for large trailers or vintage trucks.

"We’ve been to a lot of these shows, and we wanted to do something different," Mike explains.

"Interest is good, and people who wouldn’t normally come to an Iveco stand, they’ve taken two steps across and had a look. So it’s been a plus for us.

"So you’ve got to walk past me, and when you leave you’ve got to walk past me again," he smiles.

"So I get twice my bang for the buck, and it’s been beautiful weather so we gambled on it and we had a win."

Skipper Trucks, part of the Automotive Holdings Group (AHG), has long been a familiar name in the Perth truck market, although close on four years ago it was rebranded as WA Iveco.

"Skipper Trucks has been an entity for 30 odd years, and it never actually went away, it just wasn’t a sign on the wall," Mike explains.

"The last three years, you talk to anyone and they’ll just say: ‘I’m just going down to Skipper’s’. People didn’t change, we were still called Skipper’s."

The relaunch of Skipper Trucks has coincided with the move to new premises at Welshpool.

Mike says the showcasing of two of its premium trucks, an Iveco Powerstar 7800 and an Iveco Stralis 500 at the Perth Truck & Trailer Show was the ideal opportunity to get the Skipper’s name back in the minds of the public.

In addition to its outside display, Skipper’s also placed an Iveco four-wheel drive Daily inside near the ticket counter. Another Daily, an 8-speed auto, was up on the hoist at the Levanta stand.

 

An Iveco Daily receives a boost from LiftMax at the Levanta stand.

 

View from on high

Meanwhile at the Levanta stand, the Daily in question towered over passers-by thanks to a LiftMax mobile column lift. In a role reversal, Levanta was part of the Iveco stand at the 2013 Perth Truck & Trailer Show.

Levanta’s Jonathan Sharples, who made the trip across from the company’s Brisbane head office, was at the stand with WA state manager Alex Sharpe.

Jonathan says LiftMax has been in Australia for about 15 years now.

"They do everything from column lifts to lift up trains, general buses, cars … the lot."

The model underneath the Daily, however, was one of LiftMax’s relatively newer products, arriving in Australia around three years ago.

"This is a 7.5-tonne wireless, battery operated model. Its maximum lifting capacity with four lifts is about 40-tonne and it can take up to eight posts in one set," Jonathan says.

He adds that it can handle a prime mover, truck and trailer, and a truck and dog.

"We’ve sold a lot of them into the defence force, the bus industry, rail, heavy vehicle workshops and mining."

More to the point, Jonathan says Levanta is a workshop equipment and fit-out specialist, specialising in high end products out of Europe.

"Here on the stand we’ve got mobile column lifts, tyre chain equipment, Josam wheel alignment equipment — all the top quality brands from Denmark, France, Spain and America."

 

Chris Jenzen of Custom Quip Engineering.

 

Grain game

Trailer makers rightly occupied a fair share of space inside the centre, with local outfits keen to highlight WA’s expertise in that sector.

Chris Jenzen managing director of Custom Quip Engineering (CQE) says his business has both bases covered with customers able to either buy or lease trailers.

"We’ve got a fleet of 100 odd trailers," Chris says.

"We’ve got a lot of pre-bookings that get rolled over every year, from year to year, and we actually have a reasonable footprint in the ag industry because we’re originally from the bush, Cunderdin, just a couple of hours east of Perth.

"My family still farms out there, and it’s a good network to have."

Among its exhibits, CQE had aluminium tippers for grain running out of Hendrickson Primaax suspension with an axle and tyre inflation suspension on show. In addition, it featured a stainless steel fertiliser tanker, also with Hendrickson suspension and axles, plus a dolly matching up to the tanker, also on Hendrickson.

"We’ve got a 45-foot [13.7m] drop deck with ramps with all the accessories on it, and that’s on K-Hitch 11-tonne rear-wheel suspension with ConMet hubs," Chris explains.

He says most customers in the ag industry, with capital behind them, will generally choose to buy rather than rent. Although that could change from season to season.

"I think rental is going to become more and more a bigger thing," Chris says.

"We also do a hire buy contract, where clients can enter into a term of a contract, so we’ll rent them the trailers for two years and at the end of the contract they have the option of buying them at a predetermined value or give them back to us.

"So that way they’re hedging their bets. If it’s another two-year contract they’ll buy it, or they’ll just give it back to us and they’ve got no more commitment."

Chris says having CQE products at the show created a lot of positive inquiries.

"There’s a bit of negativity out there, but we try and steer away from doom and gloom.

"The key to mining is just to stay away from it otherwise you get caught up in it. So I think you need to look at other industries," he advises. "We’ve having a big push on the ag industry this year, we’re got another three field days ahead of us."

 

Mike Dunbar, general manager of trailer manufacturer G & A Lombardi, at the back of a Steelite end tipper.

 

Quick evacuation

Not far from the CQE stand, G & A Lombardi general manager Mike Dunbar chatted with prospective customers about the company’s Steelite end tipper range.

Aimed at the general cartage industry with aggregate and sand, as well as bitumen, Mike says Steelite tippers come with a hydraulic tailgate which lifts up and folds out of the way.

"The Steelite is a very unique trailer in that we have a patented design where we have one weld in the length of the body, and the body doesn’t touch the chassis anywhere except one pad at the front, and on the pivot bar at the rear," Mike explains.

"We use the SSOB Hardox 450 in the body, that’s a self-support for the load, and we have a very wide tipping platform because we use a wider pivot at the rear, and we use an external hoist.

"So because of those facets that are pressed into the body, we have a fast discharge with no hang-up points."

Mike says imported Hardox steel is used in the trailer body, while the chassis is Domex and Weldox.

"It’s all very high grade European steel, so it’s the best steel on the market and it’s testament to the Europeans that they’ve developed such a quality steel."

Mike says due to the 45 degree plate between the front wall and the side wall, there are no square corners, and all the facets aim down.

"When the tail gate opens, everything starts to flow and everything is down; a very quick evacuation.

"So they’d be one of the fastest and certainly the cleanest evacuating trailers on the market."

As with CQE, Mike says the Perth Truck & Trailer Show has delivered a lot of interest.

"It’s a tough time in the trailer industry, but we’re holding our own and certainly we like to think we’re competitive," he says.

 

Nathan Jehu, workshop manager at Kenny’s R Us.

 

Customised Kenworths

While Paccar had its products on display at the show through local representative CJD Equipment, over on the Kenny’s R Us stand it was a case of ‘the sky’s the limit’ for aftermarket add-ons. As the name suggests, the truck of choice is Kenworth, although it is also happy to modify other brands, including Western Star and Cat.

However, Kenny’s R Us specialise in Kenworth pre-deliveries, adding extras to the prime movers at the customer’s request. According to Kenny’s R Us workshop manager Nathan Jehu, it’s "pretty much anything you can think".

"We’re well equipped with the machinery we have, and the spray booths."

Kenny’s R Us has two workshops: its Kewdale Road, Welshpool outlet is for body building and there’s a paint shop at Maddington.

Nathan says the most popular alterations for Kenworths are guards and turntables.

"Kenworths will either come with rubber round guards or stainless ones.

"The rubber is a bit better in the dirt and doesn’t get smashed around as much, so we fit those a lot.

"And Kenworth are limited on what turntable they supply from the factory," Nathan continues. "Most of them come over the paddock with no turntable on them, so we’ll fit whatever the customer asks for, but if they don’t specify we’ll throw a K-Hitch on there."

As for lights, Kenny’s R Us uses a subcontractor, Scotty’s Mobile Auto Electrics.

However, Nathan says due to a fall in second-hand truck prices, business has slowed somewhat.

"But as the market slows down, we’re generally the last to feel it, because in the trucking industry anyway we’re so versatile, we can do a lot of different things," he says. "We always stay pretty busy."

 

Peak hour at the Perth Truck & Trailer Show.

 

Good attendance

Overall, organisers were pleased with attendance figures with around 8,500 visitors over the three days.

Show director Peter Woods says while the number of attendees is lower than in previous years, he believes it is due to the industry going through hard times, both locally and across the country.

"There has been a definite shift in the industry in the past year or so, and we are grateful to all our exhibitors for sticking with the show and extending their support to the industry," he says.

The Perth Truck & Trailer Show is presented by the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association, a division of the Motor Trade Association (MTA).

The next show will be held from July 28 to 30, 2017.

 

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