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The new state-of-the-art milk tanker is transforming farm milk collection for Fonterra Australia, creating new jobs in the regions, improving efficiency from farm to factory, and reducing the number of trucks on country roads.
A jump in the amount of milk Fonterra collects means that more people and bigger trucks are needed to handle the growth. The first of 14 new tankers collectively capable of holding over 500,000 litres of milk have begun hitting the road, replacing older and smaller milk tankers and improving the efficiency of farm milk collection, while 26 new drivers have come on board across Fonterra’s four regions, boosting local jobs at Darnum, Cobden, Tongala, and Wynyard.
Fonterra General Manager of Logistics and Distribution Justin Ryan says the fleet upgrade includes two new types of tanker – a 26-metre tanker capable of carrying 43,000 litres, or 26 per cent more milk than the previous tankers, and the “Truck and Dog” tanker – a truck and trailer that can carry 27 per cent more milk than the tankers it replaces. Both trucks have a smaller turning circle than other truck and trailer units, meaning they can access even more farms and local roads.
“We’ve also created 26 new jobs in the Farm Milk Collection team, based at our regional Farm Milk Collection depots. The new drivers boost our existing team of drivers and ensure we’re providing a consistently high level of service to our farmers during the seasonal peak,” says Justin.
“We’ve had over 20 per cent growth in the volume of milk we collect over the past eighteen months, and our new drivers and the upgraded fleet have been crucial to supporting that growth.”
Fonterra Farm Milk Collection operator Leon McLaren has seen a lot of change over his more than 30 years collecting milk in Tasmania’s North West, and says the new, state-of-the-art tankers are a big leap forward in terms of efficiency and safety over the trucks he drove when he first started out.
“The ‘Truck and Dogs’ are much easier to manoeuvre in and out of farms, and the braking is much better too – I love jumping behind the wheel!”, says Leon.
As well as creating new jobs in regional Victoria and Tasmania, the upgraded fleet is also helping to improve efficiency, with the new trucks now able to collect greater volumes of milk – meaning fewer trucks on the road.
“The new fleet has helped us to lift our payload – the amount of milk we can carry – an average of eight per cent, meaning fewer vehicle movements on the rural and regional roads on which we collect milk,” says Justin.
“This number is expected to rise to a 30 per cent improvement at the completion of the fleet upgrade, improving traffic flows and reducing wear and tear on rural roads.”