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Josie’s Transport Group renews fleet with IVECO S-Ways

Josie’s Transport Group is continuing to expand its operations, with IVECO S-Ways a central part of its ongoing growth

Anyone who regularly travels the M1 Princes Highway between Geelong and Melbourne will be familiar with Josie’s Transport vehicles.

Fifty years on, Josie’s is going from strength to strength, with expanded services and a fast-growing fleet that now numbers more than 100 vehicles, including subcontractor trucks.

The latest additions to the Josie’s Transport fleet are two IVECO S-Ways – both prime movers – a 550 AT and 530 AT. The two new models were purchased to replace a pair of older European trucks and the acquisitions are the first IVECO models for the company.

Josie’s transport manager Rhys Rutland says these first models won’t be on their own for very long.

“After researching available models, we were impressed with the specification of the S-Ways and the flexibility they could provide our operation,” Rutland says.

“Having spoken with IVECO dealership Adtrans, we were convinced that the S-Way was a sound choice, not only from a product perspective, but in the support the dealer and brand could offer us.

“We purchased the S-Way 550 AT early last year to use for single trailer line-haul work, but being B-Double rated, we thought it would also be a great match for future two trailer work as it arises.”

For the past year, the 550 AT has been travelling daily from Geelong to Dandenong, Melbourne, configured as a single trailer tautliner. Rutland says it has thrived in the application, with the Euro 6 12.9 litre engines making the job easy.

Based on the performance of this first truck, Josie’s invested again in the 530 AT prime mover late last year.

“Feedback from the drivers has been really good, they comment about the amount of power the trucks have and how easy, quiet and comfortable they are to drive,” Rutland says.

“Both the drivers have been in the industry for a long time and have driven everything from North America to other European brands and they reckon the S-Ways are fantastic.”

Image: IVECO

Aside from being fitted with aero kits and adjustable turntables which allow trucks to couple to a wider range of trailing stock, the trucks are standard, although Rutland mentions that the S-Ways are well equipped from the factory including with fridge and freezer options that further add to the drivers’ amenities list.

Rutland says that Josie’s Transport has experienced considerable change in recent years with new owners acquiring the business from the founders in 2018 and subsequently investing further in the operation, including in a newly opened cross docking facility in Lara on the outskirts of Geelong, to better handle increases in freight volume.

“We’ve been on a steady grown path over the past three or four years while still holding true to the core values of the original owners, which made Josie’s an institution in the region,” Rutland says.

“It’s about continuing to provide our partners with a safe, efficient and cost friendly transport solution, but now the scope of coverage is broader. We’re still heavily servicing the Geelong to Melbourne route with up to 20 vehicles per day, but now you can use Josie’s more broadly across the western districts, central and north central areas of Victoria.”

Along with engaging in general freight work, as part of ongoing contracts the 530 AT is currently operating in regional Victoria with the Red Cross, where the truck regularly hauls one of the organisation’s mobile blood donation trailers. The relationship is a good indicator of Josie’s Transport’s diversification and future path, a path that will likely see more S-Ways join the fleet.

“I would have no hesitation in purchasing more IVECO S-Ways as the need arises,” Rutland says.

“In fact, I’ve steered a couple of the subcontractors we work with towards the IVECO brand and one of them has recently bought two trucks.

“As the transport manager I can’t speak highly enough of the S-Ways, but also of the support we’ve received from the dealership.

“At the end of the day we just need trucks we can jump into that require low maintenance, low upkeep; you turn the key and we have the reliability of knowing we’re going to get from point A to point B and back safely, and not have any worries. The IVECO S-Ways are providing this for us.”

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