UD’s strategy to head more heavy than medium duty has started to pay dividends for Volvo Group with the announcement in Melbourne yesterday of a large order for the 8litre Quon rigid from the Linfox Group.

Linfox, through its Bevchain operation, has placed an order for 95 of the UD Quons, and the importance of the order could be seen at the handover of  keys, held at the Linfox training and maintenance operational centre in the outer western Melbourne suburb of Laverton.

Linfox executive chair, Peter Fox was handed the keys by the Global president of UD Trucks, Joachim Rosenberg while Volvo Group Australia chief Martin Merrick was also there underlining how critical the order from Linfox is.

The UD’s will be used by the growing Bevchain operation which Linfox now owns, having bought out former joint venture partner Lion two years ago. That move has allowed Linfox to become a specialist liquor logisitcs supplier for not only Lion but its rivals at CUB and both Coles and Wooolworths liquor outlets. 

UD has apparently also signed another large scale deal for new UD Quons with one of the largest fleets in Australia and it hopes to announce the deal sometime in the next few weeks.

The bright orange 8 litre UD  Quon CD 25 360 6×2 rigids will become an easily noticed sight on Australian roads with approximately 30 of the new trucks set to be delivered before Christmas this year, with the remaining 65 to hit the roads before June next year.

The Euro 6 Quons will be equipped with the full suite of electronc safety aids, which Peter Fox identified as a major reason for purchasing the new UDs. Fox told Truck & Bus News  that no new truck would be added to the Linfox fleet if it didn’t meet Euro 6 standard and have the the latest safety features.

“We chose the Quon for several reasons including its advanced safety features of Traffic Eye Brake, Stability Control and Lane Departure Warning Systems,” said Peter Fox.

“We’re is extremely proud of our working relationship with the Volvo Group which dates back 30 years, Volvo is also committed to safety, sustainability and efficiency. We have a very strong, sound and deep working relationship with the group from Volvo,” he said.

Fox emphasised the company’s committment to ensuring it runs the safest and most environmentally friendly trucks avaiable, which he explained is part of the corporate ethos and is underlined by its push for zero injuries in the operation.

Fox explained that the push for zero was triggered by the death of a Linfox worker who was crushed by a forklift.

“It made us really put a lit of effort into ensuring that none of our workers should be injured while working and we have put a loit of effort into creating a safer environment and mindset within Linfox,” said Peter Fox.

“We also realised after the Copenhagen climate change accord  ten years ago that we had to do something about sustainabiity and a more nvironmentally friendly way of doing things, and If we rely on the poiticians to do this we will get nowhere,” he added.

As part of the safety program it has also installed its own FoxTrax safety technology with driver pre-trip inspections reducing downtime and ensuring its thousands of drivers on the system are not working with an unsafe or faulty vehicle and that they are licenced and legal on the road.

Joachim Rosenberg said  aligned values was the most important thing in the relationship between UD and Linfox.

“It’s important, as one looks at our industry, to realise that logistics is the lifeblood of our society, everything in this room, everything that you have at home, everything that you see here has been on a truck at least once and many more times than once,” he said.

“With the need for more and more transport in our lives it means transport has to become even more sustainable.

“The relationship between Volvo Group and Linfox is indeed a special one. It’s a business partnership and at the same time for me it’s a personal relationship that’s built on trust which I’m particularly proud to be part of.”

It is belived that  the deal for close to 100 UD Quons for Linfox is one of the largest fleet sales for the Volvo owned Japanese maker which is now the fifth largest export market for UD in the world.