As New Zealand’s largest heavy transport lease and rental company, TR Group’s comprehensive service offering has a clear end goal – to make sure that its vehicles are always ready for work. Whether their customers lease fully maintained fleets or rent extra capacity to cope with seasonal spikes or specialty work, TR Group provides preventative maintenance schedules, reporting, management of warranties, driver training and downtime cover as a contingency — in case of a hitch to the best laid plans.
TR Group has more than 5,500 vehicles on the road comprising 1,500 trailers and 4,000 trucks — one third of them long haul. Experience in the lifetime management of trucks across all products and sectors gives the business a unique insight into the cost of keeping commercial vehicles delivering maximum uptime.
A significant portion of the TR Group long haul fleet is made up of Volvo trucks due to the predictability and reliability of their performance. “When you buy a Volvo, you know what you’re getting,” explained Group General Manager, Brendan King. “You don’t get a Friday afternoon or Monday morning truck. Volvo is right up there with the best of them.
“We’ve worked with the team at Volvo Trucks to develop good preventative maintenance schedules that reflect a sound understanding of the life expectancy of vital components. Volvo engines don’t blow up, transmissions don’t break. From a drive line point of view, they are very good.”
According to Brendan, the people who use Volvo swear by their trucks. He rates the product’s industry-leading safety features, driveability and fuel efficiency as ‘excellent’. “The safety of drivers and other road users is paramount. This technology is now your ticket to play the game rather than an optional extra.”
When it comes to running cost and ownership over the lifetime of a Volvo truck, Brendan sees the brand as a very competitive option in the marketplace. “The Volvo may cost a bit more up front, but you don’t see a big escalation as they get older. The mid-life performance of the Volvo product is solid.”
From a business perspective, the residual value offered by Volvo trucks is another plus point. TR Group has up to 200 used commercial vehicles for sale across a wide range of brands at any one time as it renews its own fleet to provide customers with continuous access to modern, fuel efficient gear.
TR Group has a policy of ‘paying the experts to maintain their trucks properly’, so a close relationship with Volvo Truck’s nationwide service network offered through Truckstops is ‘vitally important’. Truckstops service around 14,000 trucks every year and have maintained a 93% ‘first pick’ rate for parts over the past 12 months, supplying the vast majority overnight. Less commonly needed parts are brought across from Australia on a two-day delivery with some very specialist items ordered directly from Europe.
Volvo Trucks and TR Group go back a long way. “We’ve been working with Volvo Trucks for over twenty years and we trust them implicitly,” said Brendan King. “We like their product a lot. We respect their people and appreciate the service network – our businesses have a lot of shared values.”