Queensland Operator Pioneers New UD GW400
Monday, 7 July 2008 | Print
A Queensland truck operator, Dryden Transport, has become the first in Australia to purchase a new UD GW400, choosing the new model ahead of opposition trucks on the basis of price, ergonomics and operating efficiency.
Brisbane based Dryden Transport's owner, Gary Carter, has been in the truck business for almost three decades and for most of that time has operated American trucks but decided that their design, technology and efficiency were no longer up to scratch and started considering a Japanese prime mover.
"I looked at a number of Japanese brands and after considering all the prices and speaking with other operators running various brands I realised UD had a great reputation for reliability and cost effectiveness," said Gary.
Since buying the first of the new UDs Gary believes his decision has been totally vindicated thanks to the trucks strong fuel economy, comfort levels and overall driveability.
"I am mostly running in the outer urban areas of Brisbane and on runs up the range to Toowoomba and I am already getting fuel economy of between 2.5 km/litre and 2.8 km/litre, which is fantastic," said Gary.
"When I run up to Toowoomba I am getting around 3 km/litre which is remarkable considering the truck still has only 10,000 km on the clock and fuel economy is getting better all the time.
"All my calculations were done on the basis of 2.5 km to the litre so anything better than that is a bonus and so far there has been plenty of bonuses," he added.
"For a truck like this to be operating in bumper to bumper Brisbane traffic and returning such good fuel economy is really amazing," he said.
Gary Carter is the first to admit being a pioneer with the new UD GW meant he copped some flak from other truck operators but says that has quickly disappeared now that the truck is proving itself in the cut and thrust of Brisbane traffic.
"It was a bit of an ugly duckling in that not many people operated UD prime movers up herein Queensland, but it has turned out to be a real swan and I am the one laughing now," said Gary.
"The load can vary between 10 and 24 tonnes and yet when we tackle the Toowoomba range in the GW400 there is only ever half a gear difference whether it is heavy or light, which is remarkable," he said.
The Dryden Transport UD GW400 has also impressed with its sure footedness and handling as well as its comfort and quietness levels.
"I was seriously over US trucks, I wasn't prepared to look at them anymore after many years in American machinery because I just don't think they are up to scratch anymore, as far as I am concerned they are stuck in the 1950s and the rest of the world has moved on.
"They're uncomfortable, noisy, the instruments are too small, the controls are too heavy, the ergonomics are shocking and my experience is they spend too much time in the workshop," said Gary.
'The UD is totally different, the cabin is quiet, all the switch gear falls easily to hand, and virtually every major control is looked after between the two stalks on the steering column which makes it so easy," he added.
"The other aspect that has really impressed me is the UD's handling and manoeuvrability, it is just so sure footed, particularly coming down the Toowoomba range it responds beautifully.
"The GW400 also has a phenomenal turning circle and with the air suspension the ride is really amazing, it just smooths everything out and makes it a very comfortable truck.
"I spend between 10 and 12 hours a day in the truck and with the UD I don't feel as tired as I used to with other trucks, it is just so quiet and peaceful, it is by far the quietest truck I have ever driven and that means I stay more efficient all day," said Gary.
During more than 29 years in the trucking business Gary has operated everything from interstate line haul to outback road trains running both his own trucks as well as driving for major transport companies.
"Like a lot of truck drivers I got sick and tired of being away from home and on interstate runs, operating my own truck in and around Brisbane is a whole lot easier and now that I have the UD it is easily the best decision I have made in all those years in the industry," said Gary.
Gary Carter is so impressed with his new UD he is considering a second GW400 in the next few months to meet customer demand.