Toowoomba-based fuel transport specialist Maktrans has injected its mixed fleet with new commercial vehicle technology.
Having played a key role in the local test program of the right-hand drive Freightliner Cascadia, Maktrans has invested in another Cascadia after it reached a milestone of half a million kilometres on its test truck.
That test truck performed extremely well running a B-double tanker trailer combination at 68.5 tonnes on roads across regional Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, including dirt tracks into many farms.
The new Cascadia 126, purchased from Daimler Trucks Toowoomba, is reportedly the most efficient conventional truck in the Maktrans mixed fleet.
“The leap in technology we see in the new Cascadia is certainly delivering economic gains,” said Maktrans Director, Rob Hannemann.
“It’s getting 1.9km per litres at 68.5 tonnes. A lot of that work on the New England highway, which knocks your fuel numbers around a bit.”
The new Cascadia features a 600hp 16-litre six-cylinder Detroit DD16 engine that wastes little torque. It’s been paired with a 12-speed DT12 automated transmission.
“All the drivers comment on how quiet and comfortable the Cascadia is. It has absolutely no rattles or squeaks whatsoever,” said Hannemann.
“We’ve not had an ounce of trouble with it,” he said.
Making drivers comfortable and helping then remain well-rested is also important at Maktrans.
“We try and provide a good quality of life for drivers,” said Hannemann.
“The spacious, comfortable interior of the Freightliner certainly goes a long way in providing a home-away-from-home for our drivers. Having space and comfort in the truck is important for these long hauls,” he added.
The new Cascadia features a 48-inch XT cab. Other features include a driver airbag, radar-based AEBS advanced emergency braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and Sideguard Assist, which uses radar to detect people, cars and other objects down the side of the truck when it is about to move left into a lane or turn left.
“Safety is central to what we do at Maktrans, so the level of active safety in the Cascadia is very important to us,” said Hannemann.
The integrated safety technology of the Cascadia was also central to the purchase decision with driver acceptance exceeding expectations.
“All our drivers have high praise for it,” Hannemann said.
“The DD16 engine is just so much stronger and smoother than anything I’ve driven before,” he said.
The Maktrans fleet also features a Mercedes-Benz Actros, which shares much of the same technology as the Cascadia.
Both Daimler products are proving reliable, which is important given Maktrans is delivering essential fuel.
“In this business, there are no fail options; uptime is everything because there are a lot of people who depend on us,” Mr Hanneman says.
“Especially during harvest season when demand for fuel is high, contractors rely on us and our trucks to turn up on time. If the rivers flood and the roads are cut off or something happens out of our control, that’s one thing, but we’re responsible for everything that’s in our control. It’s our job to make sure we always deliver the fuel on time,” he adds.
As for the first Cascadia, the unit is excelling and still collecting data.