High tec express

UD's New Automatics Make For A Smooth Run In Sensitive Freight Market

Saturday, 3 October 2009 | Print

One of Australia's leading sensitive freight companies has added a number of new automatic UD Trucks to its fleet to ensure a smoother and more efficient operation for its often-delicate electronic cargo.

Hi-Tech Express, headquartered in Sydney's southern suburbs has recently purchased two air-bag suspension UD PK10 Automatics to ensure the sensitive electronic equipment it freights around the country enjoys a smooth ride.

The company operates a total of six UDs, adding the first to the fleet about five years ago, however the addition of automatic transmissions as an option has made the brand even more attractive to Hi-Tech according to the company's general manager Ian Maclean.

"Automatics are the future, the new generation of electronically controlled automatics are more efficient and smoother as well as making it more comfortable and easier for the drivers," says Ian Maclean.

"It was a major step to get drivers out of the manuals into an automatic because often it is seen as some sort of slight on their driving ability but once they have tried them they love them," he said.

"Our PK10 driver in Melbourne was particularly sceptical but now he is rapt, the PK10 doesn't lack power particularly in country areas and in terms of efficiency it is a huge step up," he added.

Hi-Tech specialises in delivering medical systems such as x-ray and ultrasound equipment as well as UPS devices and dental equipment.

"These are machines that have to have a smooth ride and they don't like vibration, otherwise many hundreds of thousands of dollars damage can be done, that is why all our trucks are equipped with air bag suspension and now automatic transmissions," said Ian Maclean.

" The UD 's we have had on fleet have been excellent, extremely reliable and fuel efficient not to mention having a very competitive entry price which made them an attractive proposition to start with," he said.

"This is a time critical business and we just can't afford to have trucks off the road so UD's reliability has been a huge positive.

"However the real strength has been the personal relationship UD has fostered, delivering excellent service and the ability for our people to pick up the phone and get anything fixed quickly and without fuss," he added.

Hi-Tech operates nine offices around Australia servicing every state with a fleet of 35 company trucks as well as another 15 operated by sub-contractors.

Currently Hi-Tech has a fleet of six UDs including two new PK10 Automatics, one operating in Melbourne and the other in Adelaide, as well as three MK6 Automatics added last year in Sydney and a PK10 manual operating from the company's Perth office.

As well as being equipped with air bag suspension all of Hi Tech's trucks feature hydraulic tailgate lifters, which enable the sensitive freight to be loaded smoothly and without damage.

"We also have a highly experienced team of drivers who between them possess around 400 years experience in delivering sensitive electronic equipment and medical systems," says Ian Maclean.

"Our senior drivers all have at least 10 years sensitive freight experience most have 15 to 20 years experience," he adds.

"It is a very specialise field which grew out of the computer freight business, however these days most computers are the size of a small suitcase not the size of a small home unit as main frame computers were once.

"This has meant we have focussed very firmly on sensitive medical equipment which has certainly paid off," Ian Maclean said.

Each truck is equipped with high technology equipment including PDAs which track proof of delivery and the daily progress of each truck to ensure the highest efficiency and prompt delivery.

The company is investing further in new dispatch and tracking technology to continue improvements in efficiency and is looking to add more UD Automatics to its fleet in coming months.

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