Seeding the future

With the new UD Truck proving to be reliable, economical and appreciated by drivers, the partnership between UD Trucks and Benara Nurseries is set to grow.

The sun rising over the foothills marks the start of another busy day at Australia’s largest wholesale nursery. At 6am, an 18-truck fleet pulls out of Benara Nurseries to deliver its cargo of plants, seedlings and saplings across Perth and beyond. There is a lot of driving ahead. Besides being the capital of the State of Western Australia (WA), Perth is one of the world’s most isolated cities – isolated even in its own country. In fact, it is closer to Bali (Indonesia) than it is to Sydney. It’s also one of the most scattered cities. Perth has 1.7 million residents and they enjoy lots of room to spread out because the city covers almost 6,500 sq km of land. By comparison, Los Angeles has 3.5 million inhabitants and only 1,300 sq km. All this means a big area to service for Benara Nurseries. The company is based in a northern suburb of Perth, almost 50km from the city centre. As to state wide deliveries, its trucks travel down the south coast and up to the northe astern cities, and everywhere in between.

Benara Nurseries’ customers in Australia are retail nurseries that sell to the public, landscape gardeners who “green” new housing estates, and hardware stores. One customer is Bunnings, Australia’s biggest chain of household hardware stores with a network of 280 stores in Australia and New Zealand. Such business is much prized because of the size of the orders; but it also demands suppliers maintain razor-sharp prices – they must take every effort to keep their costs to a minimum to make the contracts profitable. A promising partnershipThe trucks are loaded in the afternoon so they’re ready to roll at 6am when the drivers arrive for work. If a truck doesn’t start, they would have to unload plants that would otherwise wilt in the stifling heat. Aware of the importance of timely deliveries in the successful development of the nursery, Matt James, Benara director, has been looking at constituting a stronger and more reliable fleet of trucks.

Matt came to David Baronet, UD Trucks Salesman at Truck Centre (WA), one of Western Australia’s biggest truck dealerships. David is well aware that what benefits customers’ business extends far wider than purely price. Such features as truck uptime, fuel economy, driver comfort, whole-of-life costs, after-sales service are all taken into consideration.

Added to Matt’s growing interest in UD was his dissatisfaction with the reliability of the other trucks in his fleet. “I already knew the UD name because I had friends who had UD trucks, and they said they were great. I spent a bit of time with David and went to a few UD functions,” recounts Matt. Over the past 18 months, Benara Nurseries has added two UD trucks to its fleet. Matt opted for the PK17280 model, fitted with curtain side bodies designed to maximum length, ideal for hauling the nursery’s horticultural products.  Have the trucks lived up to their promise? “They have been fantastic,” says Matt, pleased with his purchasing decision. “They’re economical to run, I’ve had no dramas with them and they’re comfortable – the drivers like them. We’ve only got two at the moment; but we’re going to be buying more, mainly because the UDs are reliable trucks,” he explains, adding that he’s eventually looking to replace twelve of his eighteen vehicles with UD trucks.

Benara Nurseries now employs three hundred people, with a second nursery in southeast Perth and an outlet in Karawang, Indonesia, opened in 1995, which services both the Indonesian and export markets. What started as a one-woman business has blossomed into the biggest wholesale nursery in Australia, possibly the southern hemisphere, under the clement skies of Australia’s most isolated city.

Roads Magazine, UD Trucks Australia