Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Keeping a large bank of customers throughout Brisbane and the Gold Coast supplied with impeccably presented skip bins on demand is the goal of the Metro Skips operation. As a result, zipping around transporting skip bins here, there and everywhere has been a regular part of Troy Hayes’s life for the past nine years.
Troy readily agrees that the striking presentation of the company’s equipment has played a huge role in its success over the years – after all, people prefer to see clean, well presented trucks and bins turning up at their homes or job sites. Troy says this is a key part of the overall commitment of Metro Skips in providing first-rate service to its growing customer base.
Central to the operation is a pair of UD PK 17 280 trucks fitted with Jaws Skip Loaders bodies, sporting Allison six-speed automatic transmissions and Hendrickson air suspension on the drive axle. The first unit, which Troy previously drove but is now in the capable hands of an employed driver, was delivered 12 months ago and has clocked up nearly 100,000 trouble-free kilometres, while the newer one Troy now drives was commissioned in October.
According to Troy, the Allison auto in the PK is the “bee’s knees” and there’s no way he’d go back to a manual for this type of work. Equally, he has high praise for the benefits proffered by the Hendrickson air suspension. After riding in the truck with him for a couple of hours, on both counts, it’s easy to justify his enthusiasm.
“This truck can get into a lot of places where others can’t due to its small turning circle and adjustable air bags,” he explains, citing the 4.5m wheelbase as a contributing factor. “We do a lot of work for Westfield and some of its loading docks have minimal headroom. With the airbags dropped right down it gives you the extra clearance you need for the arms to go up and over, especially with 10 and 12 metre bins.”
Another advantage of the air suspension is noticed when negotiating steep driveways, as the airbags can be raised to ensure the rear stabiliser legs don’t contact the pavement and cause damage. “It’s this attention to detail customers really appreciate and having the new trucks has definitely helped grow the business,” says Troy. “As I said, we have customers who build high end houses and the last thing they want is oil leaks on their brand new driveways.”
Operator safety and comfort are also high on the priority list of Metro Skips. For example, the Jaws Skip Loaders come standard with remote control enabling the driver to operate them at a safe distance, which also provides a better view of the bin and any obstacles that need to be avoided.
Troy also heaps praise on the Allison automatic for making the drive through often-gridlocked metropolitan traffic so much easier. “It’s just like driving a car and when you’re in it all day that makes a huge difference to your fatigue levels, says Troy. “It just performs so well and has some seriously good features like progressive downshifting as you go downhill so you don’t have to smash the brakes.”
Asked about his reasons for choosing UD over other Japanese brands, Troy is typically succinct with his answer – service. He says the feedback he got from other UD owners regarding the high level of customer service and support from the dealerships is what initially got it over the line. “We need to keep the trucks on the road every day so we get them serviced at night. If I drop it off at five in the afternoon I know it will be ready to pick up at six the next morning. That’s what we need to keep the business running efficiently and profitably.”
He goes on to emphasise that the service from UD at Nerang is second to none. “The service factor is such a big thing for us,” says Troy. “UD at Nerang is a smaller workshop so you get personalised service with the same guys working on the truck each time. And the salesman we deal with, Clinton Stevens, genuinely cares about the product and how it is performing for us.”
Troy says he plans to run each of the UDs for at least five years and has complete confidence in the trucks and the dealership as the best fit for the growing business. In fact, such is the pace of growth that a third unit identical to the first two could be joining the fleet within the next 12 months. When you’re on a good thing…
This article has been republished with permission from Diesel Magazine.