Brian ‘Spud’ Murphy, National Fleet and Logistics Manager at LogicHaul, knows more than just a thing or two about choosing the most appropriate heavy-duty truck for a given application.
He’s devoted much of his working career managing a fleet of road train fuel tankers in the Northern Territory, home to some of the harshest operating environments in Australia.
Yet the best prime mover for hauling road trains in the Territory is a far cry from what’s ideal for carting bricks around Brisbane. Spud’s experience which is considerable, has enabled him to spec the right rig for a given task, whatever that task may entail.
After doing his homework and due diligence, Spud reckoned the majority of LogicHaul’s local work would be capably handled by the latest and largest version of UD’s Quon, produced by the Japanese arm of the global Volvo Group.
As a result, the fleet of 37 prime movers now includes five Quon GW 26 460 6×4 units. The two most recently delivered arrived in June.
“UD is a truck that’s always been on my radar,” Spud says. “The Japanese are very quality-focused and meticulous in the way they do things. When I was at DirectHaul we had 60 light vehicles and they were predominantly Toyotas. We had a number of brands of light vehicles over the years, but the Toyota vehicles proved their longevity in the harsh Territory environment.”
In terms of the UD product, Spud says he has been particularly impressed by the company’s willingness to listen to his suggestions on how the trucks can be further improved to suit specific Australian operating conditions and customer needs. He recalls an occasion when he was with some senior UD representatives in Japan and their eagerness to hear his input.
“I was at the test track with a couple of the Senior Engineers and the Vice President showing them a few things about the truck that could be changed, and the VP was straight on the phone relating what I’d said to others in the company. There is no mucking around, they are very receptive to what can be improved and proactive in making it happen,” he says. “Over my career I’ve attended plenty of drive days with the various manufacturers and often the senior management people and engineers will be there for the opening function then you look around and they’ve mysteriously disappeared. But these guys at UD, they were right there at the coalface – looking, touching and feeling and genuinely wanting to know what I thought about the truck and how it could be improved. That really stood out to me.”