Busselton Freight’s DAF trucks – The driving force behind IGA stores in the West

DAF the optimum choice for BFS

Leading WA transport and logistics company, Busselton Freight Services (BFS), has recently added four new trucks to its subcontractor fleet of DAF prime movers and rigid trucks.

The DAFs make deliveries to the bulk of IGA grocery stores throughout Perth and also to regional centres in Western Australia.

IGA is the largest independent retail grocery chain in Australia. It supplies products to 240 member stores in WA, which is almost a quarter of its total number of stores nationwide.

Since winning the initial contract in 2007, BFS has steadily increased its DAF fleet to meet the increasing number of IGA stores it services. Today, 23 DAFs deliver to 240 
Super IGA full-service supermarkets, IGA mid-sized stores and IGA X-press convenience outlets.

On any given day, BFS’ fleet delivers up to 1300 pallets of dry, chilled and frozen foods and general merchandise to 120 stores. The trucks supply stores as far north as Geraldton and as far south as Busselton (425 km and 220 km from Perth respectively).

Brothers Allan and Denis Price have been in the transport industry since they were teenagers, 30 years ago. They started BFS in 1984 with a single truck working for local businesses, including their family’s supermarket. Today BFS has more than 40 trucks operating out of depots in Busselton and the Perth suburb of Maddington, and another within IGA’s state distribution centre in Canning Vale.

In addition to BFS, Allan and Denis run a diverse range of other businesses: Everything from a school bus service and scrap metal collection to a truck driver training school which is a registered training organization. The brothers also operate several retail businesses – a newsagency, licensed post office, fuel outlet and a café – within the West Busselton Shopping Centre, which they also own. Over the years, they have operated a diverse range of trucks too, including light, medium and heavy-duty American, European and Japanese trucks. Even today, they have a handful of different truck makes working in their various businesses. But, when they won the IGA contract, Allan says they decided to standardise on the one brand.

“I have been driving trucks since I was 18, and I have driven every model we’ve had in our businesses. When we were considering trucks for the IGA contract, I thought about what truck I personally would be comfortable driving for 10 or 12 hours one day in the city and the next day in the country,” Allan said.

The brothers looked at various truck brands they had bought in the past, but soon realised they weren’t right for IGA. That’s when they turned to DAF.

“DAF has the best-looking trucks on the road, and they’re also well engineered to handle a variety of applications. After Denis had checked their specs and we’d driven them, we knew DAF was ideal for IGA. Now, after four years of service, they have exceeded our expectations,” he said.

In 2007, 13 DAF CF75 prime movers were purchased from Perth dealer, Kenworth DAF WA; five trucks were acquired by BFS and the rest by its subcontractors. After a few months, BFS discovered that the owner-drivers were outperforming staff drivers by up to 30 percent. As a result, the company decided to subcontract all IGA delivery work, selling four of its five DAFs to new owner-drivers. Each year, as more stores have been added, more subcontractors have been employed; each purchasing a new DAF tailored to BFS’ specifications.

Today, the IGA fleet comprises seven flagship FTT CF85 6×4 bogey drive prime movers and 13 FT CF75 4×2 prime movers. They deliver to metropolitan and regional stores, clocking up to 1000 km a day on the regional runs. Both models haul state-of-the-art Schmitz Cargo Bull container trailer units, with three temperatures for carrying a combination of dry, chilled and frozen goods.

BFS also has three compact LF55 4×2 rigids, each of which makes up to six daily deliveries, servicing four metropolitan stores per run. Two trucks are fitted with regular bodies for transporting dry goods, and the third has a refrigerated body.

In addition, the company has a CF75 configured as a light-duty pocket roadtrain for de-hiring pallets from the metropolitan stores. It also keeps another CF75 as an emergency vehicle, handling overflow work and odd jobs, like doing dog runs – second trailer recovery from the roadtrain marshalling area.
“DAF trucks are very flexible – and that’s just what we need for IGA. Our trucks don’t have regular routes; they go wherever they’re needed. One day, a truck could be delivering dry goods to metropolitan stores; the next day it could be hauling cold foods, or a combination of both, in the country. It all depends on the orders we get each day,” he explained.

“Our DAF cab-overs have a small turning circle, making them highly maneuverable in any situation. They deal with heavy city traffic and narrow suburban streets just as easily as rough and undulating roads on long, regional hauls,” he said.

Allan said there had been significant productivity gains since BFS had introduced DAF to IGA.

“DAF trucks are very comfortable to drive all day long. IGA has found that our drivers arrive at the stores on time and they’re still fresh – even after 15 hours on the road. WA has its own unique fatigue management laws and allow us to operate drivers much longer that on the east coast. Because of the better working environment provided by DAF trucks, the drivers are fresh after they have completed the driving leg and are more friendly with staff, and they get their jobs done quicker. And they’re ready for another long shift the next day,” he observed.

Allan said that after four years of working with DAF, the trucks had proved to be more durable than expected.

“The DAFs we bought four years ago are still performing well today. We had a clause in our contract that owner-drivers had to replace their trucks after five years service. We have now revised that to seven years. DAFs are not only more durable, they’re also flexible. In addition to store deliveries, they can fulfill other roles at IGA and extend their service life even further,” he said.

BFS’ DAF fleet has also played an important role in enhancing IGA’s high profile image and professionalism.

“DAFs are smart-looking trucks, towing smart-looking trailers. They are great mobile advertisements for the IGA brand all over the state. That’s why we make sure all our IGA trucks and trailers are washed daily, and our drivers are clean, well presented and in uniform,” Allan said.

“That’s the thing with DAF – you get the whole package: Trucks that can handle a variety of tasks and look great on the road. And most importantly, trucks that are safe and enable our drivers to do their jobs more efficiently. That benefits everyone – the driver, the store owner, IGA and the customers,” he explained.

“Put simply, it’s a good product and we get excellent service and support from Kenworth DAF WA. That’s why we keep coming back for more DAFs,” Allan added.

BFS recently took possession of a LF55 rigid and three DAF CF85 prime movers. It plans to purchase five more CF85s to manage the growing number of metropolitan and regional stores it will be servicing this year.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia Pty Ltd, distributes a complete range of medium and heavy-duty trucks throughout Australia. PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.


For further information:

Andrew Mills
DAF Brand Specialist
PACCAR Australia
Tel: (03) 9721 1500

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