Features, New trucks

New cab in the ranks for Victorian livestock operator

Starting in the business 20 years ago at only 14 years of age, Joel Haberfield has gone from washing the company’s trucks to owning the business, with his wife Kristy and three young sons.

Based in Mepunga, near Warrnambool in south-western Victoria, Boyle’s Livestock Transport was established back in 1957 and has been run as a family business ever since.

“Most of our work is livestock transport, from all over Australia, from the Top End down. The livestock industry is good at present and getting better, especially with improving animal welfare stands,” Joel said.

Though the fleet was traditionally focussed on bonneted trucks for moving cattle and sheep, as well as feed, Boyle’s has just taken delivery of its first Scania, an R 660 V8 cabover, fitted with the CR23 extended cab.

“The bigger bunk is what sold us on a new Scania,” said Joel.

The new truck will run at 68.5-tonnes as a B-double pulling fodder to and from farms and feedlots, across Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

“I have been impressed with the Scania product and the service they provide, and my father ran Scanias many years ago, and I admired them,” Joel added.

The new Scania is a step away from the usual bonnetted trucks in the fleet. Image: Scania Australia

“We had a Scania 770 hp V8 demonstrator on loan and my driver loved it so much we decided to give a 660 V8 a go on the fleet. European trucks seem to handle our rough roads well, and this truck will be covering around 220,000km annually.

“After the demo drive, I needed a crowbar to get the driver out of the V8. He really appreciated the space in the cab, good liveability, lots of room and the bigger bunk. Fuel efficiency is also important, as it’s at least 30 per cent of costs. We reckon this Scania will do the job for us,” Joel said.

Driver of the new truck is Stewart McKane. He says he loves the power and torque of the V8 engine and has been recording an impressive 2.1 km per litre straight out of the box. With less than 10,000km on the clock, it’s well up on the 1.64 km/l his previous truck was delivering.

He also gave the thumbs up to the Scania Opticruise gear changing.

“The gearbox is just brilliant. I was driving a manual bonneted truck previously, but this automated gearbox is very well calibrated,” McKane said.

“Visibility out the front and side is excellent, particularly handy for exiting farm gates, especially if there’s a lot of foliage, and at night the LED lighting is sensational.

“The cab is very comfortable and I am hopping out at the end of the day feeling very fresh. The bunk is great, and I get seven hours of sleep no problem.

“The microwave in the storage bin above the screen is a far better location than behind the seats, because you’re not kneeing on the mattress with a hot bowl of soup in your hands. The twin under-bunk chillers are good too, you can have one as a fridge and one as a freezer.

“This truck is fully loaded with features and I like the way it is finished inside, too. I call it the penthouse.”

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