“For us it’s all about having a reliable engine.”
In their forty years of operation, Quinn Transport never had a Mack … until they had real trouble with the engines in their other trucks.
From Cleve on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, Scott Quinn keeps his fleet of 25 trucks pretty busy hauling all manner of goods, both on local runs and all over the country.
"My Father started the business 40 years ago doing local work hauling General Freight and Fuel," says Scott, "so I've been in the business since I was born really, I learnt to drive a truck in the local area when I was fourteen.
Scott had a go at mechanical engineering, but quickly decided he was more the hands-on type. Since then, the company has grown and diversified and now handles a wide range of haulage tasks, including livestock, refrigerated goods, general freight and bulk products such as grain and quarry materials.
"The business has slowly grown over the years," says Scott "we're running a subcontractor fleet of about 30 trucks, when demand requires. Our trucks run Australia wide, at the moment they're going from the grain farms to the port, but next week we could be heading interstate, we take it as it comes."
"It's a breath of fresh air to have an engine (MP10) that's reliable to date,” says Scott, “with very little maintenance, touch wood, as we have had some pretty bad experiences with our current engines in recent years. Our current engines are breaking down daily, and some of those trucks have been off the road for 10 - 20 days over a 12-month period, so we’ve decided to try a different avenue. The first Mack we purchased had a Cummins engine in it and Mitchell at South Central Mack has finally convinced me to have a go at a Super-Liner with a MP10 and mDRIVE transmission. The drivers seem to have embraced the Mack driveline and been very well received."
So far so good
“The second Super-Liner has been running for a year and had only five days off the road in that time, so it's averaging better than our current fleet.”
“Every truck has its issues,” says Scott, “a truck's a truck at the end of the day, what I'm most concerned about is engine reliability and less down time. The other engines were just having too many dramas, but the MP10 seems to be doing okay. We looked at the Titan, but it's too big and heavy for the payloads we're trying to achieve, in fact I wouldn't mind giving the Mack Trident a go.”
The tyranny of distance
One drawback for Scott is the distance to the Mack dealership: South Central Trucks is 550 kilometres away in Adelaide.
“That makes their reliability even more important,” says Scott, “with our other trucks we've got a workshop full of interchangeable parts, but the MP10s are all Mack-specific, so if anything breaks we've got to take the truck all the way to Adelaide, but we've only had to do it once, so far. That said, Mitchell Lancaster of South Central Mack has been very professional and helpful from the first truck to the third one,” says Scott, “he's shown a good understanding of what we do, and if he's coming our way and we need anything he'll bring it with him.”
A leap of faith?
If buying the first Macks in the company’s history is something of a leap of faith for Scott, he doesn’t seem particularly phased by it.
“Our third Super-Liner only arrived last Friday, so we haven’t had much of a chance to assess its performance yet, but the driver’s happy with it, the bunk’s big enough for the long journeys, and from my perspective if the engine keeps going I’ll be happy.”