For many well-established transport companies looking for opportunities in new markets, there is a well-trod path to success. Starting with a single piece of transport equipment, operators slowly build their new client network and service experience before giving consideration to further expanding their fleet in that chosen industry.
And that’s precisely where leading South Australian liquid cartage contractor, Gericke Bulk, found itself, having successfully introduced Gericke Logistics as a new arm of the business in 2003. Initially integrating a Lusty EMS Chassis Semi-Tipper into their fleet to service clients with their bulk grain and fertiliser transport requirements, by late 2012 Gericke was once again in the market for new equipment in order to boost their capacity.
Whilst their core activities focus on the transport of canola, beef and mutton oils around the south-east region of South Australia and Naracoorte, Managing Director and Company Owner, Matthew Gericke, has closely monitored and nurtured the Company’s grain and fertiliser cartage business. With growing demand from clients for the continuation of quality transport service, Matthew recently decided the time was right to add a new Lusty EMS Lead Slider and Chassis Tipper B-Double combination into the fleet.
In consultation with Kym Penhall, Area Sales Manager for Lusty EMS dealer, Transport Connection, Matthew knew from the outset that apart from the dimensions, this Lusty EMS combination was going to be much more than a nominal trailer specification.
Firstly, the chassis for both trailers were constructed using Domex, which is 700 grade high tensile steel that helped reduce overall tare weight of the combination by approximately three quarters of a tonne whilst maintaining strength and durability and maximising payload capacity.
“With the added available payload, we made the conscious decision to fit digital scales on each trailer which ensures we maximise our carrying capability and are as accurate as possible with our measurements,” Matthew added.
Matthew was also keen on exploring a customised solution to enable a more efficient method of tipping grain from the lead trailer, thus eliminating the build-up of product between the guards and allowing a cleaner and faster tip. To achieve this, Lusty EMS Engineers came up with the “centre tip through chute” which has been integrated between the front and centre axle group and extends to the top of the guards.
Lusty EMS’ unique access door is another feature which was included on both trailers. In addition to providing easy access into the tubs and unlike competitor door designs in the market, the Lusty EMS style uses two locks, ensuring 100% sealing and minimising any potential for load contamination.
Matthew is also confident that the investment in front lift-axles on both trailers will help ease the cost burden associated with tyre replacement, as well assist with saving fuel whilst traveling empty and will eventually pay for themselves in years to come.
Finally, both trailers have been equipped with user-friendly remote controlled electric tarps. The growth in popularity of these tarp systems within the semi-tipper industry can be attributed to the pro-activeness of operators wanting to maximise occupational health & safety for their drivers and avoid possible injuries that can be associated with the repetitious task of operating manual tarp handles.
Whilst capturing the attention of passing traffic during the day, Gericke Bulk Handling certainly won’t be missed during the evenings either. Following careful design and layout planning by Lusty EMS’ engineering team, a total of 136 LED side lights have been used along the top and bottom coamings of the trailers. Coupled with the stop, reverse and indicator lights that have been added to the bottom and top of both tailgates, there have been over 200 LED lights incorporated in this combination, thus creating a unique and signature appearance.
However, the most eye-catching feature of this combination is the extremely well-finished paint work and highly detailed graphics. Both tubs have been fully painted, including the front walls and tailgate with the aptly named paint, “Incredible White”. Proud of the family’s humble beginnings and subsequent success and growth in the South Australian transport industry, Matthew organised a local supplier of visual graphics to create a montage using historical photographs highlighting the Company’s key periods.
“The business was started way back in 1927 by my grandfather Hartley and his three brothers. From there, it has been successfully managed by my dad Robin. Now I’ve got that responsibility,” Matthew explained.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have loyal customers, who through the years have appreciated our level of service. Rather than have framed pictures on walls inside our office, we thought we’d share our history using our trailer sidewalls where everyone can appreciate them.”
Admitting that demand for grain freight services had plateaued in recent times, Matthew is optimistic that it won’t take much for the market to turn around. He also believes he now has the right equipment mix between single and B-Double semi-tippers that will provide additional versatility to meet customer requirements.
Since assisting Matthew with his first semi-tipper requirements back in 2010, Kym is proud to acknowledge that he has formed a strong working relationship with Matthew and that this latest project reflects the professionalism and pride of their partnership.