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ITCNews

News and events for Inland Truck Centres Dubbo, Orange, Wagga Wagga, and Griffith.

Kenworth is King - no argument!

- Sunday, March 04, 2007

There’s nothing like keeping Kenworth in the family … it avoids all arguments, according to Orange businessman and truck operator Denis Onley.

THREE OF A KIND: Denis Onley with his sons Lachlan, 21, (left) and Guy, 25 ... between them they own four Kenworth trucks.
THREE OF A KIND: Denis Onley with his sons Lachlan, 21, (left) and Guy, 25 ... between them they own four Kenworth trucks.

When Denis and Colleen Onley’s two sons, Guy and Lachlan, bought their own Kenworths to operate out of the family sand and soil business, they thought it was worth a look themselves.

Denis, who operates Dencol Transport Pty Ltd, admits he always liked Mercedes Benz and was even considering another Freightliner as his next purchase – that was until the boys stepped in to have their say.

“They wouldn’t let me buy anything but a Kenworth,” Denis said. “Their trucks were doing the job better than anything else and they basically insisted I buy a Kenworth.”

Denis now owns two Kenworths – a T401 and a new T404-SAR he bought last year – which operate throughout the Central West between the sand and soil yards at Orange and Forbes.

“Now we have four Kenworths doing all of our work and I’d have to say I’d never go back … and we all agree on that!,” Denis said.

“I’d prefer a 10-year-old Kenworth to a four-year-old of any other brand. The quality of the product, its ability to get the job done, availability of parts if you ever need them … you have it all in this brand of truck.”

The Onley family boasts a diverse business background in the Orange district which goes way back when Denis’ father Reg, and grandfather Lesley, worked as bakers in the area.

In 1960, Reg Onley opened a baking facility which then made headlines as “the largest bread baking facility in provincial New South Wales”.

The bakery employed 40 people and owned a fleet of delivery vans. Onley’s Bakery has since had various owners and is today owned by Tip Top Bakeries.

After selling the bakery, Reg Onley made a move into trucks and supplying sand and gravel from a pit on the Burrendong Road, using two 8-tonne Bedfords and a Massey frontend loader.

Denis joined his father in the business and later started Dencol Transport (trading as Dencol Sand and Soil) and bought his first truck – a K Series Bedford – in 1974.

“We’ve come a long way from those days,” Denis said. “It’s been an enjoyable journey and now I’m looking to step back a bit and let the boys take a greater role in running the day-to-day business.”

Survival of the Fittest

- Saturday, March 03, 2007

Transport operator Jack Nixon smiles now but in recent years it’s been a long haul, and a true story of survival, for his third generation business.

The closure of Blayney Abattoirs eight years ago shook the town to the bone. It cut deep … not only for the 700 employees, but also for all the support businesses and industries which depended heavily upon its operation. Nixon’s Transport was one of those.

WINNING THE BATTLE: Jack Nixon
WINNING THE BATTLE: Jack Nixon

“When the new owners bought the abattoirs and spent millions of dollars upgrading the facility, there was a positive feel right through the district,” Jack said.

“Then, after spending all that money, it just closed … just like that. It was a massive blow for everyone.

“It affected us greatly. We invested heavily in our own business on the success we expected at the abattoir.”

The meatworks and Nixons go back a long way. Jack’s grandfather Gerry and father Brian started the business in 1955 with five meat vans to contract deliveries to butchers when the abattoirs opened.

Two of Nixon’s Transport Kenworth T404 trucks.
Two of Nixon’s Transport Kenworth T404 trucks.

The transport business grew with the abattoirs and at one stage operated 60 trucks, buying their first Kenworth prime mover in the early 1970s.

Today Jack and his brother Darryl run the family business, which also includes a sheep-cattle farming enterprise. They took over 23 years ago when their father passed away.

Nixons’ fleet now comprises 10 trucks, and six of those are Kenworths.

“When the abattoir closed we had to find new markets … that was our only choice,” Jack said.

Nixons carries fruit and vegetables, chickens for Bartters and groceries for IGA. Their trucks operate from Newcastle to Wodonga and for three months before and after Christmas deliver into Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Jack said his Kenworth fleet was an outstanding performer.

“We prefer Kenworth because they’re the best on the market,” Jack said. “I believe the Kenworth service is excellent … if something ever does go wrong, they fix it. We like that reliability from the trucks and the after sales team.”

Worth the Wait

- Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tough, reliable and quality ... Kenworth delivers for Presna

TRANSPORT company owner Michael Ricketts waited 24 years to find a place for Kenworth in his fleet and after nearly two years he’s still enjoying the ride with the Australian built icon.

Kenworth has delivered plenty of positives for Michael and Pauline Ricketts who operate Presna Transport Services at Young.

A third of the 12-truck fleet at Presna is now Kenworth with four T401 prime movers doing the bulk of the longer interstate hauls to Brisbane and Adelaide.

PROUD OF PRESNA: Michael and Pauline Ricketts operate Presna Transport out of Young and have turned to Kenworth as an integral part of their fleet.
PROUD OF PRESNA: Michael and Pauline Ricketts operate Presna Transport out of Young and have turned to Kenworth as an integral part of their fleet.

It was a chance meeting with Inland Truck Centres’ managing director Cliff Swane at a business meeting about three years ago which helped steer Michael in the Kenworth direction.

“A deal on Kenworth trucks always seemed too far away until I met Cliff who specced a truck for me and came up with what I wanted at a price comparable to the other brands,” Michael said. “I got the engine I wanted to suit our application, and that was a big thing. There’s plenty of pluses for the Kenworth product.

“As far as I’m concerned, where you can save money is in the services. Under the bonnet of the Kenworths is so well laid out … they’re much quicker to work on than the other brands and the strength of the componentry around the motor is strong and sturdy.

DISTINCTLY PRESNA: There’s no mistaking a truck belonging to the Presna Transport Services’ fleet. Presna’s prime movers, including the most recent Kenworth additions, are painted maroon with gold stripe.
DISTINCTLY PRESNA: There’s no mistaking a truck belonging to the Presna Transport Services’ fleet. Presna’s prime movers, including the most recent Kenworth additions, are painted maroon with gold stripe.

“The big positive is they are Australian designed and built trucks for our conditions.” Michael naturally puts great emphasis on the engine specifications in his trucks and will never go past Cummins. He now runs 11-litre engines (in preference to 14-litre) and is saving on good fuel economy and still has the horse power to run single trailer applications behind all his trucks. Michael said the after sales service and warranty with Kenworth gave him confidence in the product.

“If a matter comes up at any time, it’s important it is quickly dealt with … I get that sort of service from the Inland Trucks Centres team which does a great job,” Michael said.

The trucks travel the highways between Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
The trucks travel the highways between Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

“I’ve had other trucks over the years and some of the manufacturers have failed to act on problems we have had.

“You can’t afford to have that happen, so my protest against those manufacturers is to never buy their product again … that’s how important I rate after-sales service.”

No such protest with Kenworth, which remains on Presna’s shopping list at the next round of truck upgrades.

Jeff Stevenson: Drive it, want it!

- Tuesday, July 11, 2006

IT TOOK Griffith trucking stalwart Jeff Stevenson just one drive of a Kenworth to convince him the tough all-Australian built trucks would be the flagship of an upgraded fleet. Jeff and his two sons Robert and Keith operate JJ Stevenson & Sons Readymix Concrete and Quarries, and all three are certain it will be Kenworth which continues to drive their business forward.

Stevensons' Kenworth T404SAR and B-double stag tipper at work in the Griffith loading yard
Stevensons' Kenworth T404SAR and B-double stag tipper at work in the Griffith loading yard

They recently took delivery of a T404SAR put with a 19-metre B-double stag tipper and two T350A agitators – the first units sold into the Riverina by Inland Truck Centres at Wagga Wagga.

The move to Kenworth comes after the 45-year-old company’s long association with Japanese and Mack products.

“After seeing how a Kenworth is made and manufactured at the Melbourne factory, you wouldn’t buy anything else,” Keith said.

Keith Stevenson (left), Jeff Stevenson (Centre), and Robert Stevenson (right)
Griffith businessman Jeff Stevenson (centre) with his sons Keith (left) and Robert. The trio have chosen Kenworth as a major investment in the family business.

And Rob, like his Dad, was convinced after getting behind the wheel. “You only have to drive one to know why we bought it,” he said.

But the real endorsement for Kenworth came from Jeff – the man who started the business in 1961 with a backhoe and grew it into a concrete, quarrying, earthmoving and farming enterprise supporting three families, employing more than 20 staff and operating a fleet of 40 registered vehicles.

He has covered many miles across the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in 40+ years, driving all sorts of trucks on some well beaten tracks. So while Jeff is handing over the reins to his boys, everybody takes notice when he has something to say.

One of Stevenson brothers' new T350 agitators.
One of Stevenson brothers' new T350 agitators.

“I don’t think we would go back,” Jeff quipped. “They’re a good rig.” On top of the critical driving test and giving Kenworth the thumbs up, it has been a smart business decision to invest in quality trucks.

“They are quality and therefore have re-sale, reliability and driveability,” Keith said.

“Our drivers like them and we’ve been able to spec them for our applications.”

ADVANTAGES
T350A Agitator

Legal 6m3 is an increase in payload, Allison auto, airbag suspension, Cummins ISC, light tare weight, high productivity, improved driver comfort, reliability, responsive handling on construction sites.

T404SAR

19-metre tipper application with set forward front axle, 36.5 tonne payload, lightweight, powerful and productive, optimum weight distribution. Main application is filling concrete yard with sand from Darlington Point pit (33km one way) and aggregate from quarries across the Riverina.