ST&T Metro-Liner Review

“The Metro-Liner is the truck for the job: comfortable to drive, presents well, and everything works.”

Steve Schrodter sub-contracts his fleet of 17 trucks to construction giant Boral. They keep his 14 Metro-Liners flat out delivering concrete to sites right across Brisbane.

Steve Schrodter started ST&T in 2004 with one truck. The business has since evolved into a fleet of 17 concrete agitators, 14 of which are Mack Metro-Liners. With his whole fleet panded with the Boral livery, Steve is 100% committed to servicing Australia’s biggest supplier of construction materials.

“Boral’s the best company to work for,” says Steve, “and they’re the only company we work for. We supply concrete all over the city—whether it’s commercial or industrial sites, or suburban developments in the outskirts—we do everything from small homes to the Airport Link tunnel and the Gateway Bridge.”

It’s all about the hours, not the distance

Boral certainly keeps Steve’s fleet busy, averaging 25 loads per truck per week, which comes to around 425 loads every week. “For us it’s all about hours not distance,” says Steve, “our longest trips are no more than ten or eleven kilometres, and we probably only do about 25,000 kilometres a year across the whole fleet, but the trucks are at it constantly.”

Driver comfort is a priority

For drivers who are spending many hours in the cab loading and unloading, a comfortable working environment is a high priority. Steve has been impressed with the functional layout and comfort of the Metro-Liner cabs.

“The wood-grain wrap-around dashboard is great. The whole cab setup is well worked out, the air conditioning and load lights all work well and there’s plenty of room. With some of the other pands we’ve had it was like climbing into a farm truck. When you’re talking finish and driver comfort, the Metro-Liner is a big step up.”

Keeping the load stable

Concrete agitators are notoriously unstable trucks because the load is constantly shifting, and Boral have been working closely with Mack for years to find ways to improve stability.

“We’ve always found that airbag suspension isn’t stiff enough in an agitator,” says Steve, “so the Metro-Liner we’ve got on order now has inverted-leaf spring suspension.”

The new model will also be fitted with Mack’s Roll Stability Advantage system, specifically designed to combat the tendency to roll.

“Boral make safety their number one priority,” says Steve, “and we’re right with them on that. This new model with the springs and RSA will meet their safety requirements.”

The truck for changing times

Ten years ago, Steve was using cab-over models because he needed to get on-site. These days nearly all of his deliveries are pumped into the site from the street.

“This change in the way we deliver has made the Metro-Liner the obvious choice,” says Steve, “we don’t need many cab-overs anymore, so we can put our drivers into a much more comfortable truck, and the Metro-Liner is the one.”

Over the next few years Steve will be phasing out his other models and replacing them with Metro-Liners.

“I’m happy with the truck and with the service Mack provide,” says Steve, “they never hide when I’ve got a problem.”