Animal welfare is a critical component for Seilers Transport as specialist in livestock transport – Words by Warren Caves, images by Torque it Up.
The person we become is very often shaped by circumstances experienced during our younger years. For Jared Seiler, being regularly dropped off at school by his mum in a truck loaded with pigs certainly influenced his formative years by emphasising the importance of the transport and welfare of livestock, which would eventually form the structure for his later working life.
In 1990, Jared’s parents, Cliff and Joanne Seiler, set up Seilers Transport, initially starting out with rigid body trucks. Jared left school bound for ag college, followed by a stint in the Northern Territory building houses in a remote aboriginal community before returning home and obtaining his truck licence and working his way up.
Having bought out Joanne’s share of the business in 2005, Jared has continued to work with the assistance of Cliff Seiler to slowly expand their livestock transport business.
Jared and Cliff now operate a mixed fleet of trucks and trailers comprising eight Freightliner Coronados used on B-double work, plus two Scanias, two Nissan UDs and two Volvos.
“We now have a total of 23 employees, with 17 of those being drivers. We have a lot of long-standing drivers who have been with us for many years. The workload is quite structured, and this makes balancing work and personal life a bit easier,” said Jared.
“This also keeps the wives happy. I reckon if you keep the wives happy, the drivers are content and stick around also,” laughed Jared.
While Seilers Transport has cattle trailers within their operation, pig transport has become the mainstay of recent operations and has driven trailer design and manufacture to accommodate this niche transport market.
“Our truck of choice, of late, has been the Freightliner Coronado. We find they offer good value for money and suit our type of work well on our short to medium-distance loads. The trucks are kitted out with fridges and TVs, and we operate on a one-driver-per-truck system. The eight of our Coronados are running in B-double configuration with five of them on the pig transport jobs,” Jared added.
Purchased through Daimler Trucks Toowoomba (formerly Westco Trucks), Seilers Transport is running its Coronados with DD15 engines rated at 560 hp and has chosen to stay with the proven Eaton Roadranger 18-speed manual transmissions.
“We have been very happy with the Freightliners and the drivers seem to like them as well. We can be running at weights of up to 70 tonnes gross weight at times, and the fuel economy is averaging 1.5 to 1.6 km/l.
“The Freightliners are reasonably priced and the five-year/1,000,000 km warranty on the engine and four-year/800,000 km warranty on pretty much everything else is very attractive. This is especially the case when we consider that we have a preferred five-year turnover on our trucks, which would probably see the distance covered in that period at around 500,000 to 600,000 km, at which point they should still achieve reasonable resale value. The whole package works out well for us,” said Jared.
“We have our own, in-house maintenance facility and handle all of the general maintenance and repair work. If anything major occurs for repair we send the equipment back to the relevant manufacturer for rectification under warranty.
“Each of our trucks is equipped with its own tablet, and we are now using the Gearbox programme to keep our maintenance in-check.
“Our drivers complete their daily pre-checks on the tablet and log any minor defects or faults, which automatically sends an email to the office and our maintenance manager for logging, parts ordering and scheduling the repair, depending on the seriousness of the fault.
“We find this programme a huge improvement on our previous, paper-based system, allowing us to be far more proactive on our maintenance and really keep on top of things,” explained Jared.
“You don’t get anywhere in this business without good people helping you. We have a good relationship with our suppliers such Rytrans Manufacturing of Toowoomba, through whom we purchase our trailers. By working together cooperatively we are fine-tuning our designs to facilitate the most time and cost-effective way of transporting our livestock,” concluded Jared.