Originally published by UD Trucks.
Centenary Landscaping Supplies boss Conor O’Shea has worked across all aspects of the family business since he was 14. From yardman and truck driver to sales and senior management, and now CEO, Conor has acquired a quarter of a century of trucking and transport experience along the way. We find out why he chose UD Trucks.
Centenary Landscaping Supplies is based in Darra, 10 kilometres south of Brisbane. With a staff of 70 across its operations, the company is well known for its ultraGROW designer soil. The company’s fleet of 14 trucks each deliver about seven loads of soil, sand, gravel and a range of building products from sleepers and palings daily across Brisbane, and have done so for 27 years. Over the past few years, the company has been building up its fleet of UD tippers.
1. A small truck with big grunt
Conor says that what drove him to buy two UD trucks off the shelf in Rockhampton about three years ago, was the need for a small truck with the power to take a full load of supplies into steep and tight areas. “We were growing like crazy and the UD’s fit the bill. At the time, our small-sized trucks were not very reliable with the work we do with them. They were right at the peak of their capacity because we fully load them and put them on steep driveways,” he says. “The UD’s have got all the big truck running gear, but their stature is essentially that of a small truck, and that’s what we need to get into tight areas,” he says.
2. Power and reliability
Conor says that the UD’s auto transmission gives him the power and reliability he needs to fit the application. “We needed body truck tippers that are easy to drive, and UD have got the right kind of offering with their gear boxes,” he says. “We’ve been getting into the big small trucks— that’s the way we’ve been describing these trucks—they’ve got the nice Allison auto gearbox in them, they’re nice and rigid, they’re a really good truck.”
Conor’s drivers have been impressed with the visibility the MK 11 250 provides because of its height and electric mirrors. “It has very high sides and its visibility is excellent. Our driver was concerned about the first couple of curly spots he was asked to get into, but he had no troubles in the UD. From all reports, from a functionality point of view, it’s doing exactly what it is meant to do as a small to medium-sized truck that can get into tight locations,” he says. “More importantly, some of those extras like electric mirrors, which are not necessarily standard in those smaller classes, are helpful in not having to always jump in and out to adjust mirrors. Specifically, he might want to look down at his tyre as he is getting close and he can do that on the fly pretty easily.”
4. Durability – each truck running an average of 80,000km per year
Conor says that the company works the MK 11 250’s hard, with each truck running an average of 80,000km per year. He finances the trucks over five years and is confident he will get use for a couple of years beyond that.
“I expect to get five to seven years out of any of the UD trucks I get. At seven years, they would be well and truly at their end of their lives for us,” he says. “The MK 11 250’s will be the first of the small trucks we plan on running out to beyond five years,” he continued.
5. Customer Service
While everyone would prefer smooth sailing, Conor says that UD Trucks’ response to some teething electrical issues on one of its custom-built trucks demonstrated to him UD’s reliability when it came to customer service. “UD were all over it. My fleet manager said that the salesperson rang him at least four times per day to keep him up to date with what was going on, and they were ferrying our staff members around to make sure there wasn’t a lot of downtime. They were highly communicative,” he said. The truck was back on the road with minimal disruption and Centenary Landscaping are set to take delivery of another four UDs between now and Christmas 2017.