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New UD GW Proves A Gem For Coober Pedy Council

Monday, 16 February 2009 | Print

One of Australia's most remote town councils at Coober Pedy in the harsh South Australian outback has added a new UD GW400 to its vehicle fleet and after four months in 40 degree plus weather the new truck is earning its stripes in some of the hottest conditions in the country.

The District Council of Coober Pedy (DCCP) purchased the new UD GW 400 tipper in November last year and the truck has worked constantly through the summer months carting, gravel, aggregate, road repair equipment, water tanks and other council equipment in sweltering conditions.

The heat was one reason the DCCP chose a UD GW400 because its SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology appeared to be a better option than other makes using EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation).

THE NEW UD GW 400 is used in and around Coober Pedy by council staff every day and has exceeded all expectations in the famous opal mining community.

According to DCCP works manager, Mark Hill the council chose the new UD GW 400 based on a number of criteria including price, the back up and service from Adelaide UD dealer Stillwells, UD's long standing reputation for durability and the availability of SCR.

"The SCR is great and we felt it would be much better in the stinking hot conditions we encounter up here, we have to be more environmentally aware and the lower emissions from the truck are a real benefit," said Mark Hill.

"The AdBlue usage has been very good and we have not had a problem sourcing it, we simply top the tank up every time we fill the truck with diesel and it has been very economical," he added.

One of the most important factors for the DCCP was ensuring it had the right mechanical and parts back up for the truck in Coober Pedy, which is 850km North of Adelaide.

"We were impressed when UD agreed to induct our own council mechanic, training him on the truck to ensure he could look after it and repair it if anything needed fixing," said Mr Hill.

"We are a long way from Adelaide and we could not afford to have the truck sitting idle waiting for a mechanic to fly in or worse still having to send it to Adelaide for warranty work," he added.

DCCP is one of the youngest councils in South Australia having only been established in 1987. Prior to that there was no local council in Coober Pedy and since then it has slowly developed its infrastructure and equipment.

"The council is very careful about spending money because of its low rate base and it is such a young organisation, we initially bought second hand equipment however we are now leaning towards buying new equipment such as the UD GW," said Mark Hill.

"We did our homework and looked closely at every aspect of the truck, and the UD option measured up the best," he added.

The DCCP manages about 400km of roads in and around the township of Coober Pedy, which has a population of around 3500, and the new UD GW on its fleet is a key part of the council's road maintenance and building infrastructure.

"The UD might carry a load of broken up concrete one day or a load of gravel the next, we can fit a cockle spreader to the back and often fit a water tank inside the tipper body for wetting down road works and the like, it is very versatile," he said.

"The UD is really thriving up here and we have no complaints what so ever, it is extremely comfortable to drive, the air conditioner is brilliant, which is vital, and fuel economy has been very impressive," he added.

"The fact that it has strong green credentials, complies with the latest emission regulations and boasts a clean exhaust is important because we are very focussed on being environmentally friendly

"As well as being a clean truck the UD has plenty of power and we intend to add a dog trailer in the future to boost its versatility," said Mark Hill.

DCCP intends to keep the new UD on fleet for around seven years and will continue to utilise the truck's performance all year round during that time.

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