TONY NOSKE – FLEET OWNER
“Early figures are showing a fifteen percent reduction in fuel consumption with the Cats,” he affirms.
“That’s not just a substantial saving, it’s huge!”
RON REED – OPERATIONS MANAGER
“The Cats are certainly ticking all the boxes so far,” he comments, citing vision, manoeuvrability, handling, ride quality, low noise and tare weight as strong features.
“So far the Cats have been a good thing. Really good, and I certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest that’ll change.”
Industry Bulk Transport
In Business Since 2004
Truck 8 CT610, 2 CT630LS and 3 CT630
When it comes to the ways and means of achieving higher levels of efficiency and productivity, Tony Noske is one fleet owner who knows the true value of innovation and looking beyond ‘accepted practice’.
With operations in Geelong and Portland, Noske Logistics is always willing to try something new and different in a bid to do it better. Today there are 28 trucks in the fleet, 22 in the Geelong operation and six at Portland. Arguably one of the most decisive indicators of a mindset to look beyond, ‘accepted practice’ is the emergence of Cat as the dominant truck brand.
So what makes the Cat work for Noske?
Geelong manager Jayden Tonkin: “The port work is shorthaul but there’s certainly nothing easy about it,” Tony attests. “It’s non-stop when ships are in, a 24/7 job to get them unloaded in about five and a half days.”
“The trip from dock to warehouse is generally less than 30 kilometres but the Cat CT610s can easily run up six thousand kilometres a week when the work’s running flat out.”
At least half the Geelong fleet now runs Cat trucks, with eight CT610 slimline models coupled to tri-axle tippers for shorthaul port work, and two flagship CT630LS sleeper units pulling ‘Stag’ combinations on longer distance duties.
Jayden Tonkin admits there was some driver apprehension when the two 630LS models first entered the fleet. Still, the apprehension didn’t take long to dissipate. “There was definitely a KW mentality among some of the drivers,” he explains, “but the performance of the Cat (C15) engine has been good and I just don’t hear any complaints about the way it drives or the comfort, especially the sleeper. It’s all good, really.”
Operating under Higher Mass Limit (HML) guidelines, the CT610 port units run at a gross weight of 46 tonnes, with the favourable tare weights of the slimline Cat and aluminium tipper, delivering an exceptional payload of 30.5 tonnes.
Tony Noske, however, is rarely content to let the status quo exist for too long. Currently under trial in the Geelong operation are four trailers running quad-axle groups, each pulled by a CT610. As for the overall performance of the CT610s which first joined the operation a year ago, an adamant Jayden Tonkin says they too “… are doing everything right.”
Powered by Cat’s lively CT13 engine rated at 475 hp and 1700 lb ft of torque, Jayden confirms, “Reliability is everything in this job and the 610s haven’t let us down at all. They’ve been bomb-proof … I wish everything was as reliable as they’ve been.”
Likewise, driver response to the Cats has been positive from the start with vision, ride quality and manoeuvrability all rating high in a ‘hot seat’ operation with two drivers allocated to each truck.
The 630LS models run Eaton 18-speed manual transmissions, while the 610s are fitted with the automated Ultrashift-Plus version. According to Jayden Tonkin, the reason is simple: “Tony has always been an early adopter of new things if he sees a benefit, and there’s definitely a benefit with Ultrashift in this job.”
“In a round-trip of 52 kilometres there are 32 sets of traffic lights and half a dozen roundabouts. The Ultrashift box just makes everything so much easier for the drivers and what we save in clutch life and driveline wear, speaks for itself.”
There are currently three Cats in the Portland operation and on the reasons for the move away from his original Kenworth T408 SAR models, a succinct Tony Noske said simply, “Too rough and too many issues. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Moving on, “We evaluated a few brands but given the run we’ve had from the Geelong trucks, we were confident the Cats would meet all our requirements and that’s certainly been the case,” he confirmed.
What’s more, fuel consumption of the CT630s has already become a significant improvement, citing two notable factors: One, the Cats have the far more intuitive Ultrashift-Plus transmission in place of its Autoshift predecessor, and two, the aerodynamics of the Cat design provide a definite benefit to fuel efficiency.
Reliability is everything in this job and the 610s haven’t let us down at all
“Early figures are showing a fifteen percent reduction in fuel consumption with the Cats,” Tony affirms. “That’s not just a substantial saving, it’s huge!”
“The Cats are certainly ticking all the boxes so far,” says Portland operations manager Ron Reed, citing vision, manoeuvrability, handling, ride quality, low noise and tare weight as strong features.
“I suppose it’s still early days but so far the Cats have been a good thing. Really good, and I certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest that’ll change,” he concludes.