Midway Concrete and Garden Supplies recently introduced the first of the new Freightliner CL112 10x4 agitators to its 60-plus agitator fleet.
The Melbourne-based company’s fleet mainly consists of 6x4 and 8x4 models, but the owner says that the 10x4 Freightliners will enable an extra cubic metre of concrete to be delivered per load.
It’s another chapter in the remarkable story of Midway, which services the north and west of inner city Melbourne from concrete plants in Melton, South Morang and North Laverton.
Midway had just two mini-mix trucks when David Boxshall and his wife Sharon bought the company almost 20 years ago. Mr Boxshall, the company’s Director, says moving to the new larger trucks was a logical next step.
“It is time we move on to the 10x4s,” he says. “It will make a difference.”
Mr Boxshall says the Freightliner models will deliver productivity gains, and are far more manoeuvrable than the semi-trailer combinations used by some operators.
“We don’t want to use semis, I don’t think semis work for our line of work, the streets are too tight, so the 10x4s will work well,” he said.
Mr Boxshall says that even if they don’t run full every trip, the 10x4 Freightliners still come out in front.
“It will go to the bigger jobs in the morning, but in the afternoon, it can do any load that comes along,” he says.
“It doesn’t matter whether it is full, it is about having the diversity of having the capacity,” he says.
Productivity is a key driver at Midway, which installed a state-of-the-art batching plant at its innovative North Laverton facility, which also hosts a large modern showroom allowing customers to view various concrete surfacing options.
The drive-in batching plant tower mixes the different material required for each load and fills an eight square metre agitator bowl in less than one minute, saving precious time.
Mr Boxhall likes the productivity of the 10x4 CL112, but was also attracted by the combination of a Cummins engine and Allison automatic transmission, which were given the tick of approval by the Midway workshop manager.
The Freightliner uses an 8.9-litre Cummings in-line six-cylinder ISLe5 engine with ratings running through from 320hp to 400hp and is available with manual Eaton or Allison automatic transmission.
Mr Boxhall was also happy to work on a deal with the Daimler Trucks Laverton General Manager, Marcus Prato, who had sold him a range of trucks in a previous role over a long period.
“I have a great relationship with Marcus and so does Peter, my mechanic,” Mr Boxshall says.
“I know that I can ring and the team will sort out whatever needs doing.”
The CL112 is available as a 6x4, 8x4 or 10x4 and comes standard with a load sharing front axle. Locally developed and tested electronic stability control and roll stability control is available, along with lane-departure warning.