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Coke contract allows fleet expansion

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Pickering Transport in Swan Hill, Victoria employs over 300 staff, providing a range of road transport services for a list of local and interstate customers that includes one of Australia’s biggest supermarkets.

This year, the third-generation family business secured a contract with the Coca Cola Company to service Mid-west and Southern NSW adding to their previous contract with the beverage giant that service Northern Victoria.

To ensure they had the best possible fleet going into this new venture, Pickering’s bought 20 new Isuzu F Series trucks.

Justin Pickering, Group Sales Manager and grandson of the company’s founder, says that adding these new trucks to Pickering’s fleet has enabled the business to hit the ground running with their new client.

“We’re keen to grow this side of the business, so once we’d secured the new contract and renewed the old one we had to buy 20 trucks in one go, and Isuzu had everything we were looking for and the stock on hand to do it,” says Pickering. “Any changes we made were mainly to the body, as the trucks themselves are great. We did add long range fuel tanks, since we service as far as Bourke and Cobar in rural NSW.”.

The trucks feature beverage bodies, segregated for pallets of cartons so drivers can access orders. Each truck is fitted with an Allison six-speed automatic, making them perfect for vocational applications with high idle time or frequent stop-starting.

“The trucks manage between 40,000 and 70,000 km a year but it varies, depending on the job. It might be stop and go type work delivering product to stores, or some real tough outback jobs,” says Pickering. “In Bendigo for instance the work is very metro, they’re ducking and diving down alleys and under awnings. But a Dubbo run means driving 750 km just to deliver the product, so it’s big kilometers, across floodways and driving through rivers.”

The FVD 165-300’s six-cylinder Isuzu 6HK1 engine features a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for low maintenance and unparalleled dependability.

Each truck has 221 kW of power at 2,400 rpm and torque of 981 Nm at 1,450 rpm. Other features include ADR 42 compliant sleeper with mattress, an ECE-R29 compliant cab and an Isri 6860 air suspension driver’s seat with pneumatic lumbar support.

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