INTERNATIONAL returns to McColls Transport
There was a time in the ‘80s and ‘90s when INTERNATIONAL S-Line trucks were thick on the ground at depots belonging to Geelong-based, McColls Transport, and now decades on, the brand has made a return, following the addition of two new ProStar Sleeper Cab prime movers to the fleet.
Established in 1952 by National Road Transport Hall of Famer, Stuart McColl and wife June as a one truck operation collecting milk cans on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula, the company eventually purchased its first milk tanker later that decade.
In the following years McColls diversified to also offer bulk chemical transport services and general freight, but now focuses solely on bulk food and bulk chemical transport, applications which seem a great fit for the ProStar range. Although the INTERNATIONAL S-Line and ProStar models are years apart, McColls Transport General Manager – Fleet, John Hovey, sees some similar DNA in the two ranges.
“The S-line was just a great fleet truck – it was a world beater,” John said.
“It had the right specification for the job and provided outstanding longevity, I see similar fundamentals in the ProStar, although it is a much classier truck than the S-Line ever was.”
Last year, John was convinced by his local INTERNATIONAL Dealer, Adtrans Trucks, to demo a ProStar with the promise that he wouldn’t be disappointed.
“We took one for a few months and found that it did all the right things and the driver acceptance was very positive – it was also returning quite respectable fuel consumption figures of around 1.9 litres per kilometre,” John said.
Now several months into the job, the two new ProStars are undertaking linehaul B-Double tanker work along the eastern seaboard as well as to Adelaide. Both trucks feature the highly regarded Cummins X15 engine rated at 550hp (410kW) and 1850 Lb Ft (2,508 Nm) which are coupled to Eaton 18-speed manual transmissions.
“Another aspect that appealed to us about the ProStar was its proven driveline. We have other North American trucks on our fleet with the Cummins and Eaton combination and these drivelines perform very well,” John said. With around 220 company trucks on the road, McColls Transport drivers and equipment can clock up some high kilometres each year. This means that vehicles can be replaced in as little as three or four years, or when they reach the million kilometre mark. It also means that linehaul drivers regularly sleep in their trucks.
To accommodate this extended time on the road, the ProStar sleeper cabin features a generous 2250 mm wide sleeper and full height standing cab with extensive storage areas.
“Our drivers sometimes live on the road so it’s important they have a comfortable space to get restful sleep,” John said.
“And there’s certainly been no complaints from our drivers about the ProStar’s cabin appointments and comfort levels.”
The two ProStars are part of a fleet expansion program but the company also turns over an additional 30 to 40 prime movers a year as part of its fleet rejuvenation process.
All going well, the INTERNATIONAL brand could again become a familiar site at McColls Transport depots in the near future, according to John.
“The ProStars tick the right boxes for the application and I can see more of them joining our fleet,” he said.