Skyroad Logistics bolsters fleet with 25 new Kenworths

Air cargo road transport business Skyroad Logistics has announced its biggest Kenworth order to date, with 25 new trucks set to join the fleet, including several of the new K220.

In the largest truck order to date from the company, there will be 16 firm orders, with models including the K200, K220 (being launched today), T610, T909 and T360.

Nine further options are also in the mix, with the 25-strong order due to be delivered across 2022 and into 2023.

Skyroad Logistics started in 2015 with the Kenworth K200 and says this model has been the most flexible and practical truck to integrate with its Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles.

The new orders for the K200 fleet will comprise exclusively Cummins-Eaton Euro 6 Integrated Power drivetrains and Meritor drivelines and axles, with deliveries progressing to the new K220 platform.

A small volume of the new trucks will comprise the T909 which Skyroad offers as a special reward for the company’s best drivers.

In addition, Skyroad Logistics will be deploying Kenworth T610s mirroring the K200/K220 specification with these trucks targeting changeovers between Sydney and Melbourne.

Adding the T360 in rigid configuration allows Skyroad to step into the full vertical for air cargo transport and logistics from freight forwarder and airport pickups right through to oversize freighter movements.

Skyroad Group managing director Peter Assel said the company had to make a strategic decision on both its fleet renewal and its growth which continues in a demanding sector of the road transport industry.

“This is a major order in the context of our company’s short six-year history, however with market leadership now in hand we intend to invest further in what customers demand of Road Feeder Services, and right at the top of their list is top quality and reliable equipment,” Assel said.

“With lead times for equipment growing we need to make our fleet decisions now. It was fortunate that in meetings with Andrew Hadjikakou of Paccar Australia (Kenworth and DAF) and Mike Fowler of Cummins South Pacific that all parties were willing to commit to mutual success. The fact these trucks are made right here in Australia with a high local content and with high performing Australian employees performing everything from design through to final quality control is simply what we believe in.”

Assel also thanked Daniel O’Hara and Matthew Keene of Hallam Truck Centre who developed a plan for the complex order. “The plan provides flexibility and support in a journey that must match other dynamics such as trailer orders. For our options, we can choose to select between the listed models of Kenworth depending on our customer needs. This dealer level support is good news for our company allowing us to use our time to focus on our customers.

“We have some exciting new PBS vehicle combinations developed in partnership with key suppliers and which are currently subject to MOUs with key customers. Kenworth and Cummins have worked with us from inception to show these customers via real data and computer modelling that we can deliver on what we say. The order we have placed underpins the commitments we are making with those customers. That includes the future we see with Paccar and Cummins strategically launching their hydrogen and electric pathways. We intend to be part of that journey.”

Andrew Hadjikakou, managing director at Paccar Australia, welcomed the affirmation of the partnership. “Such a large part of our heritage of developing trucks for the Australian market is built on the back of our very close working relationships with our end user customers,” he said.

“With Peter’s commitment and focus on a fleet that pushes the envelope for productivity while maintain a strong environmental leadership focus, Skyroad Logistics are an ideal partner with which to work with on our ongoing product development programs such as Cummins’ Euro 6 product line. We thank him for the trust they have put in us for what is the most significant order yet in their short but impressive history.”

With significant work undertaken between Skyroad Logistics and Cummins for key customers such as UPS, Fowler, director and general manager of On Highway Business, says he looks forward to further focusing on the lowest emission trucks using Cummins technology.

“Cummins partnership with Skyroad Logistics has delivered significant insights into powertrain performance. As a result, we have adapted our advanced powertrain controls and tailored our X15 Euro VI products to meet the performance requirements of time sensitive interstate transport and maximising energy productivity,” he said.

Fowler also added, “Our planet 2050 strategy includes a near term target of reducing 25 per cent of carbon emission from our products in use by 2030. For Cummins, this commitment means that we must lower emissions from our products now rather than wait for hydrogen fuel cell or battery electric technology to develop and become commercially viable. While Cummins contributions in these technologies are significant, it’s our investments in internal combustion powertrains that will drive down carbon emissions in the near term. The commitment from customers like Skyroad Logistics to partner with Cummins on this path drives us to go further, faster.”

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