Laeton Hardy says Hardys Haulage benefits greatly in terms of lower parts inventory from running single brands of equipment including Kenworth trucks and Hendrickson trailer suspensions.
“While the Kenworth models do change around a bit, at the end of the day they are still very close in specification which is helpful,” says Laeton. “With our trailers we run Hendrickson suspension throughout which means that we only have to stock the one type of S-cam, slack adjuster, brake lining and drum, which simplifies things enormously.”
Laeton and his father Ross are involved in the family buusiness located at Cudgera Creek near the small town of Pottsville, nestled among the glorious green hills in the coastal fringe of New South Wales’ Far North Coast, the Hardy family has owned property long enough to have a road named after them.
He relates that the ‘one-product rule’ the company strives to maintain occasionally needs to be altered for various reasons.
“We’ve had a great run from Cummins engines but for some of our single trailer work we’ve found the Paccar MX-13 engine fills the bill, so we are now running some of them and they are performing very well for us,” says Laeton. “They are rated at 510hp and are a lighter engine than the Cummins X15 which makes them ideal for our single trailer prime movers.”
Another commonality within the fleet is that all of the prime movers are B-double rated so that, if necessary, the single trailer units can also haul B-doubles.
Just like his Dad, Laeton is very much hands-on with the operational side of the business and can often be found at the workshop on weekends tinkering with or washing trucks.
“It helps to have a practical knowledge of the trucks when you’re spec’ing them so that you know you’re getting exactly what you need,” says Laeton, adding that the drivers are also invited to put forward ideas about how to improve aspects of the trucks from their own practical experience.
He provides the example of installing access doors in the front of each tipper to enable safe and easy access for the drivers to sweep out after unloading.
“We now have every new trailer built with an access door and have gone through and retrofitted this feature to the entire fleet,” says Laeton.
Combinations for Courses
Speaking about trailer combinations, Laeton says the company is sticking with single trailer and B-double combinations because they suit the agricultural-based markets which the company serves.
“A lot of farmers really struggled during the lengthy drought that we’ve recently experienced,” says Laeton. “Because of this they often want smaller loads which is where our single trailers with a 27-tonne payload really come into their own.
“We have chosen not to go down the A-double road at this stage because there are simply too many permits needed operating between Melbourne and Townsville.”
For the foreseeable future Laeton says the plan is to stick to the established formula that has been developed over many years, relying on proven products like Kenworth, Cummins, Lusty-EMS and Hendrickson.
“We’ve moved into the T610 and T410 Kenworths now and the drivers really appreciate the wider, more spacious cab,” says Laeton. “The T610 in particular is a really good prime mover for us.”
Keeping tare weight down is another priority and for this reason Laeton says the company only uses CentriFuse drums, low profile tyres and Alcoa alloy rims on its vehicles.
“We aim for the optimum balance between light tare and durability to ensure our payload capacity is as high as possible without compromising on longevity of the equipment,” says Laeton.
At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping the business sustainable and viable in order to best serve the loyal customers who rely on Hardy’s Haulage to deliver the goods all year round.