A total of $45 million is being spend by Fonterra to upgrade its tankers fleet in what is being described as the biggest build in the co-operative’s history.
NZ Operations director Brent Taylor says the Morrinsville Fleet Service Centre is almost completed building 90 tankers which will be used to collect milk from farms, including Bay of Plenty farms.
“The team has been non-stop, completing an average of one tanker a day. This year we have been replacing 67 of our existing fleet and adding 23 brand new Volvos.
“Once complete we will have over 500 tankers on the road which is the largest fleet in New Zealand.”
Fonterra runs a regular maintenance programme to update its tankers to keep them running in optimum condition.
These tankers are stripped of old equipment and where possible, the refurbished components are assembled onto the new cab and chassis.
Quality of the final product is paramount, so if any components do not meet the mark, they are replaced with new, says Brent.
In April 2009, the co-operative began introducing Volvo tankers due to their lower total cost of ownership and because they are more efficient and have lower running costs.
Brent says the Volvo trucks have sophisticated emission control systems and put out 35 per cent fewer emissions than the older fleet.
“Fonterra regularly reviews its equipment to make sure our milk collection operations are more efficient both environmentally and economically.
“All our tankers are fitted with TAMS (Tanker Activity Management Systems), an in cab vehicle management system, which track every tanker’s daily movements.
“A range of data is captured including the amount of time each tanker spends idling, levels of fuel burn, braking, acceleration and cornering trends.”
He says since TAMS was implemented in 2009, they’ve been able to further increase fuel efficiency and decrease repairs as poor driver habits have been identified and addressed.
“Safety of our drivers always comes first. The Volvo tankers have state of the art braking technology, which when coupled with our trailers with Electronic Stability Control, make them as safe as possible on the road.”