Emerging swiftly into the scrap metal scene, IMMIX Integrated Metal Management is making the most of its DAF fleet by doing things differently. A case in point is the recently purchased, PBS-approved XF105 8×4 twin-steer rigid: a first of its kind in Australia.

Despite dealing in scrap IMMIX presents itself as an immaculate outfit. In fact IMMIX chooses to operate a ‘DAF only’ fleet because it views DAF as a premium product that stands out from the pack and optimises their service efficiencies.

IMMIX owns a fleet of five DAFs, including: an LF55 model that was purchased as a tautliner in 2006; a CF85 2009 hooklift; a CF85 2011 hooklift; a 2014 CF85 hooklift with PBS; and now a 2015 PBS-approved XF105 8×4 twin-steer hooklift – a first for Australia.

The FAD XF105 rigid is coupled to an extended length, six-axle, skeletal trailer, allowing the entire IMMIX combination to carry three two-metre hook bins, transporting a net weight of 45 tonne and an overall gross weight of 68 tonne.

The Albury-based business builds custom industrial bins for its clients and manages scrap metal collection consignments that run as far south as Adelaide, and also anywhere between Melbourne and Sydney on the eastern seaboard. They also process those same retrieved non-ferrous and ferrous materials at their modern processing plant located in Albury. To complete the fully integrated service, they sell the recycled commodity to niche mills and foundries throughout Australia, New Zealand, India and Asian markets. Director Jim Suggate facilitates the fleet operation and discusses how he has designed the business with his team that delivers a difference and a competitive edge over its competitors.

“We do whatever it takes to give our clients a better tailored recycling program. That means we need to run at a very low cost in both our transport and processing operations, so when a downturn hits the industry we are geared up and structured for it without being stuck with old and inefficient equipment and expensive maintenance programs.”

A decade ago, IMMIX embraced the DAF CF series to run hook trucks as part of its early efforts to maximise the value of their customers’ scrap. Ten years later, however, it was clear a bigger rig was required to pull a new MaxiTRANS quad dog trailer. As a result, IMMIX invested in the cutting-edge, XF105 8×4 twin-steer head-turner, powered by PACCAR’s 12.9 litre, six-cylinder MX-13 engine, which muscles up to a commanding 510 horsepower.

“The traditional way the industry operates is to pull a dog trailer with one bin, but this new design has got two bins. It’s efficient for us because we can get three hook bins onto a load, which is a first in this country” Jim explains.

End to end, the combination totals 27 ½ metres and because of this length, the Performance Based Standards (PBS) requirements were extensive. Neville Farrugia, the DAF Sales Manager who initiated the sale at Kenworth DAF Wodonga, further explains…

“This is ‘state of the art’ when it comes to PBS. From step one through to the end we worked carefully with IMMIX on the design and also with MaxiTRANS to crunch the numbers and get everything right. Since the 8×4 is a new variation of the XF105 and because it’s a six-axle trailer, a lot of work went into it. There was a very specific process in regards to safety standards.”

Some of the built-in safety technology includes: EBS (Electronic Braking Systems) with ABS (Anti-lock Braking Systems); ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control); a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS); side-view camera and reverse-view monitoring, which covers three angle positions, giving the driver optimal exposure to hook up the bins safely.

Driver Athol Hughes splits up the trailers half a dozen times a day while servicing his clients and admits the detachment process is versatile and trouble-free.

“The drawbar lowers and raises by air so there’s no winding of the legs or anything. The pneumatics are nice and easy, which make the unload and reload very smooth.”

Athol previously drove a 2014 CF85 hook truck but now runs a range of retrieval and drop-off schedules in the new XF, which occasionally consists of three-day return trips from Albury to Adelaide.

“The main difference is you’re up a bit higher in this rig compared to the CF. I find it very comfortable after the long trip to Adelaide and you’re not feeling fatigued. It’s probably the most comfortable truck I’ve ever driven,” claims Athol. And just because we deal in scrap, doesn’t mean we have to look and act like it. We’re just like the big boys, even better”.

The Comfort Cab was built for the long haul and comes with driver and passenger luxury air seats, a wood grain finished dashboard, soft grip steering wheel, and a refrigerator that’s always cool and stored under the lower bunk.

The gearbox consists of Power Take Off (PTO) control and the ZF 16 speed AStronic auto transmission provides Athol with a smooth range of ride characteristics for both metro and interstate trips.

The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology in the new XF105 delivers the exhaust emission of the Euro 5 legal requirement, which benefits IMMIX in every way.

“Because the manufacturing industry spends a lot of money on environmental concerns, as well as health and safety, the last thing any client wants is a shoddy bin or a shoddy truck,” says Jim. “We strive for efficiency across the board, which again is why we buy DAF.”

Jim has been switched on to the DAF brand attributes from the get-go. He ascribes his continued confidence to the enjoyment of working with people who know the truck market trends in terms of innovation.

“Kenworth DAF Wodonga is very good and very detailed. Neville steered everything through with a passion and made sure all the details were specc’ed ahead of time. DAF being a PACCAR brand is very reassuring – it’s satisfying to know you’re in good hands.”

Big, engineering-focused solutions tend to present big responsibilities such as establishing a large client base and being seen on the road as a first class fleet. IMMIX is systematic in its fleet management methods to make sure its own brand always looks professional.

“We can’t just sit back and expect to win over clients – we need to do it strategically,” Jim said. “We are very much about consistency. Not just consistency in our service but also in our product. So whenever someone sees our DAF trucks, they all look the same. They have also become a terrific billboard for the company. No truck goes out of our yard with damaged mudguards, or mudflaps, or missing lights. It’s not just a nice looking truck because it’s new; we keep it looking that way because our drivers appreciate the product and they look after it,” he adds.

DAF Trucks Australia, a division of PACCAR Australia, 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.

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