Delivering to the bottom line
19 years and many thousands of kilometres in other trucks later, rediscovering Macks has turned out to be well worth the wait.
For John Tomlin, trucking is in his blood. His Gippsland-based company, Tomlins Transport, was started by his father 1953. After completing an apprenticeship, John joined his dad in 1976, and took over the reins in the mid-80s.
Tomlins Transport is heavily involved in carting chickens and chicken feed across Victoria, as well as shifting liquid waste tankers. John operates a fleet of 18 single trailer trucks, and began adding Macks to his fleet in 2015. He started with a Super-Liner and has since added three Granites, the most recent one just a couple of months ago.
Back with Mack after 19 years, and John couldn’t be happier
Before 2015, it had been 19 years since John had bought a Mack. “In 1996, I had a few issues with one of their trucks,” says John, “and I must confess that I was disappointed with the service at the time. So I took my business elsewhere.”
“I came back to Mack because of some problems I’ve been having with other trucks in my fleet. Price was also an important factor. I can honestly say that I’ve had no problems whatsoever with any of the new trucks or with the after sales service,” says John. “There’s no comparison between what I experienced back in the 90s and what I get today,” he adds. “They’re a different bunch today – different in all the right ways. The whole team at CMV Dandenong do a terrific job.”
Keeping the drivers happy
John’s business employs 20 drivers, and by all accounts, they’ve given the trucks the thumbs up. “They’re all fitted with sleeper cabs, and there’ve been no complaints. I’d know if there were,” John says laughing. “I’m in the office most of the time these days, but I agree with my drivers – the trucks are quiet and pretty comfortable.”
John’s drivers had been used to classic manual gearboxes before he added the Super-Liner and Granites to his fleet. Although it took a bit of time to get used to mDrive, Mack’s automated manual transmission, they’re now sold on it. “Quite a few of my drivers say they’d never go back to an old fashioned manual. mDrive just makes it that much easier.”
Healthy fuel economy, a healthy bottom line
His fleet’s fuel economy is never far from John’s mind. “90% of our driving is on the highways, but our cargo produces a lot of wind drag,” he says, “so we’re very happy with the 2 km per litre we’re averaging, sometimes getting up 2.1. “
It’s no secret to anyone in this business that good fuel economy is good for the bottom line.”
But it doesn’t stop with good fuel economy. Keeping downtime to a minimum is also important to the business’ bottom line. “We do all our servicing in our workshop every 15,000km, even though this is a bit earlier than recommended. So far, no problems at all with any of the four Macks,” says John.
Two years and four Macks later
John has no regrets whatsoever about coming back to the Mack fold. “We’ve been having a fair bit of down time with the other trucks in our fleet – oil problems. This is partly what drove me to look at Macks again,” says John. “We just can’t afford downtime, so the Macks have done a great job for us. They’ve lived up to their promise and are definitely meeting my business’ needs.”