UD Proves An Interesting Proposition For Bland Shire
Monday, 19 October 2009 | Print
Bland Shire Council in Central Western NSW is continuing a strong quarter century of tradition with the acquisition of UD's flagship GW470 as its front line operational truck for major projects and infrastructure repair.
The council has been purchasing UD trucks since 1984 when it added a CW41 to its fleet and since then UD has become the major supplier for the shire's truck fleet.
Over the past 25 years Bland Shire has purchased a total of 15 UDs with six of the nine trucks it currently operates carrying the UD badge.
The Council's GW470 is mainly focussed on carting gravel and aggregate from quarries to road building and repair projects around the shire using a tipper body and dog trailer, but is used for all manner of projects and jobs.
According to Bland Shire workshop and plant supervisor Paul Glennon, the council originally purchased UD because they were the best-priced trucks.
"Since we purchased the first UD we have never had a problem, they have proved to be totally reliable and cost efficient and we just can't see any reason to change," said Paul Glennon.
"Our latest GW470 just walks away with the work, it is beautiful to ride in and with a 70 tonne rating it is versatile as well as making it easier to sell when we come to trade it down the track," he said.
"The SCR emission system has proved to be very good and the AdBlue catalyst has proved to be easy to use and trouble free despite some people believing it might be a headache," he added.
"It has to work pretty hard running up and down dirt roads and screwing in and out of pits all the time but the GW 470 is coping really well as all our UDs have over the years."
Paul Glennon says Bland Shire policy is to keep trucks on fleet for about 10 years however this has often been extended out to around 12 years.
"You have to work within budgets and in reality they have been kept running a little longer than I'd like, I am trying to get it down to around eight years for better resale value and lower maintenance costs however despite the long working life we have never had a problem with the UDs," said Paul.
Dick Pettit, the council driver in charge of the GW470 says the new truck is a joy to drive and work with.
"The best part is the ride and that along with the power of the 13 litre engine means a day at the wheel is not tiring at all, it is a lovely truck to drive," said Dick Pettit.
"The air bag suspension makes the ride very comfortable and means it copes with the dirt road particularly well," Dick added.
The Council handles minor maintenance in house in its workshops at its West Wyalong headquarters while any major issues or warranty work is handled at Hartwigs the UD dealer in Wagga Wagga.
"The reality is the UDs are great council trucks, they perform well with no problems, the engines transmissions and diffs are bullet proof and the air bag suspension is great," said Paul Glennon.
Along with the latest GW470 the Bland UD fleet currently contains a CWB445 and a CWB450, an MK240 and an MK210, as well as the latest PK9 which is used as a maintenance crew and plant truck towing a skid steer loader for small road repairs and work around the shire.
Bland Shire Council covers 8,482 square kilometres with a population of 6,343 residents or just 1.33 people per square kilometres.
The shire is centred around West Wyalong which is the major service centre for the Shire while other communities within the Shire include Barmedman, Tallimba, Ungarie, Weethalle, Kikoira, Mirrool and Naradhan.