Geoff Richards has been hauling refrigerated goods from North Queensland since 1980. His six Mack Super-Liners carry fruit and vegetables from Cairns as far as Melbourne and Adelaide.
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Geoff Richards started out in 1974 doing tipper work, but in 1980 he bought his first refrigerated van and soon decided that this was the area to specialise in. An owner-driver for 20 years, Geoff began steadily building his business, and today he has a fleet of 50 trucks pulling 62-tonne B-Double refrigerated trailers right across the eastern seaboard.
Based in Brisbane, the fleet travels as far as Cairns, Mareeba, Bowen and Wallaville to load tomatoes, capsicums, rockmelons, mangoes, avocados and citrus fruits, and delivers them to markets in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane.
“A typical round trip will be about 5,000 kilometres,” says Geoff, “and with distances like that fuel economy and reliability are important.”
And this is where the Super-Liners come in to the picture.
“We’ve been steadily replacing the older trucks with new Mack Super-Liners,” says Geoff, “and we’ve got four more coming over the next six months.”
Geoff bought his first Super-Liner back in 1982, but since then his fleet has been mostly populated with other brands of American-style trucks. The team from VCV Brisbane South had Geoff try a Super-Liner with the 685hp MP10 engine and mDRIVE automated manual transmission.
“So we tried one and we were happy with it,” says Geoff. “The team gave us a good price and good service, and I like the way Mack take responsibility for the whole truck.”
Before long, Geoff had four Super-Liners, and, fitted as they are with a big sleeper, an upright fridge and air conditioning, Geoff reckons it’s six-star accommodation for his drivers.
“We always have one driver per truck,” says Geoff, “and our drivers love the layout of these Macks.”
Geoff’s also a fan of the combination of the powerful MP10 and the mDRIVE.
“This combination makes life a bit easier on the drivers, and the Super-Liners get better fuel economy than a lot of the trucks in my fleet. I also like the fact that the driver can’t abuse the gearbox, and where a lot of the trucks tend to fade on the hills, the Macks just keep powering on.”
Geoff’s been impressed with the support of the Mack dealership as well.
“We do all our own minor servicing and Mack handle the major services,” he says, “but whenever we’ve had an issue Mack have looked after us well, they’ve stepped up and fixed it straight away. Having someone look after you is a big factor these days and Mack do it well.”
For Geoff, the Super-Liner is the truck of choice as he upgrades his fleet in the coming years.
“The Super-Liner has demonstrated that it’s a reliable truck with good fuel economy and my drivers love them, so as we phase out the older trucks we’ll be bringing in more Super-Liners. Mack have given me plenty of good reasons to buy their trucks.”