Vehicle Suits Special Needs, Including Dimensions, Powerful Cat® C13 Engine Sydney, Australia – 9 December 2011 – Kevin Rodda drove a commercial vehicle for nearly 20 years. And even though he’s now an equipment manager overseeing a large truck fleet, he still has a special feel for the needs of a driver handling the transport of cars and trucks.
That’s one reason Kevin’s company, Toll Automotive Vehicle Distribution, recently purchased seven Cat® CT610 prime movers, using the Cat® C13 engine, for its auto transport business.
The company, which is part of the Toll carrier group, regularly transports vehicles between Melbourne and Brisbane, Adelaide and Brisbane, and Brisbane and Townsville, among other major Australian routes.
Fleet Requires Unique Combination of Power and Compactness
Toll Automotive’s fleet, which includes more than 200 vehicles, includes both car carriers and truck carriers. Typically, each truck used in Toll’s seven-day-a-week shuttle operation handles up to a 50 tonne load and travels 270,000 km a year.
“I always favoured the Cat® engines Kenworth used in their older models,” Kevin says. “We’ve been using Cat engines in our fleet since 2003, and always found them to be durable and a good engine for the application.”
So when Kevin found out that Cat Trucks were now offering its own on-road vehicles that used Cat engines and were of suitable dimensions for auto transport, he naturally became interested.
“The special needs of auto transport dictate a powerful engine in a compact package,” Kevin says. “To carry autos overhead requires a limited vehicle height and a relatively short wheel base capable of accommodating a long trailer.”
According to Kevin, the CT610 fills the bill on both counts.
“The C13 engine is well suited to this application, and the vehicle’s dimensions suited our specific requirement, both on height and on bumper to back of cab,” Kevin says.
Specs for the Cat C13 engine include up to 470 HP and up to 1750 Lb-ft of torque. The engine is recognized as reliable and more than capable for the auto carrying application.
Customer Works Directly with Cat to Address Design Requirements
Among other things, the vehicle’s compact size is perfect for the customised car carrying frame that Toll adds to each vehicle. The frame was designed by Toll and J. Smith & Co., and was customised through extensive collaboration with Cat Trucks’ own engineers.
“Our engineers worked closely with Toll and with Smith to make sure the vehicle would address the dimensional requirements of this application,” says Jeff Tyzack, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Cat Trucks Australia. “We believe our staff’s involvement was critical to making sure that the truck is engineered correctly for the job.”
Jeff notes that the unified team successfully addressed such issues as the carrying frame’s alignment with the vehicle’s frame rails and swing clearance for vehicles positioned just behind the cab.
The extensive collaboration with Cat Trucks has resulted in a product that, according to Kevin, suits the needs of Toll Automotive’s drivers. “The cab is comfortable and has a good ride, the vehicle is easily operated and handles well, and our drivers have been impressed with the good visibility that’s available from the driver’s seat,” Kevin says.
Extensive Dealer Network Is Helpful to Major Carriers
Kevin also notes the importance of an extensive dealer network to a company like Toll, which operates throughout Australia.
“We purchased the vehicles from William Adams, which is based in Melbourne, just as we are,” Kevin says. “Regular service has also been provided by Hastings Deering, which is based in Queensland and also has an extensive presence in the Northern Territory.”
The uniqueness of the Cat Trucks’ dealer network in Australia allows fleet company’s like Toll to rest assured that extensive support is available should the need arise. In all, Cat Trucks’ Australian dealer network includes 54 locations, including 48 parts and service locations situated throughout transport routes throughout all of Australia.