Truck Centre’s new base takes shape – The West Australian

David MeredithThe West AustralianTuesday, 15 October 2019 6:55AM

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Truck Centre and international visitors inside the shell of the new service facility.
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One of WA’s biggest and oldest truck dealerships is in the middle of an expansion that will deliver new service facilities to its customers.

It’s not due to open until March, but when the global head of Volvo Trucks visited Perth this week on his way through a lightning tour of Australian Volvo operations, the opportunity to inspect the site was too good to miss.

I joined the boss of Truck Centre WA, Phil Winkless, as he showed Volvo’s Roger Alms around the construction site. Mr Winkless’ father Max, who introduced Volvo Trucks to Australia and established Truck Centre, was also there, along with Volvo Group Australia managing director, Martin Merrick and several other senior Volvo people.

The new sales and service centre is being built on a 3.3ha site on Berkshire Road, Kewdale, and has plenty of room for multi-combination rigs.

Concrete hardstand covers the area and the workshop will include 26 extra-long service bays so that over-length vehicles can be accommodated when necessary. There are also two 32m long drop-in pits that can take road trains.

The main workshop building will include a raft of technical equipment, including MAHA shaker plates for detecting wear and tear on steering parts, wheel bearings, the spring system and suspension components on both prime movers and trailers.

Truck Centre’s new base takes shape - The West Australian
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WA’s Volvo pioneer enjoys a moment with the head of Volvo Trucks worldwide, Roger Alms

A heavy-duty MAHA brake tester will be able to test and diagnose brakes on all axles along the full length of a rig.

Truck Centre director Brad Daff told me during the tour that evaporative air-conditioning will service the entire workshop facility.

“We want to maximise hours on the job so it’s important to make the technicians’ work areas as comfortable as possible,” he said.

The new parts warehouse adjoins the service areas and includes ground and mezzanine floor levels.

The plan is for 13 parts advisers — four of whom will be exclusive to the service workshop.

A tool room is also located within this area.

At the front of the new facility is the sales and admin building, where Truck Centre’s 10 sales people will be based, along with management and support staff.

Between the two buildings is a large roundabout with water storage tanks underneath, fed by run-off from the buildings, which will provide rainwater resources for the premises.

Mr Alms was impressed by the Truck Centre initiative.

“We have seen many of our dealers around the world improving their facilities, but this one is without doubt a major upgrade,” he said.

Mr Merrick said he was looking forward to the new facility being commissioned in March.

“I’m always impressed with the job Phil and his team have done for Volvo in WA, and this new premises is only going to expand their activity,” he said.

Truck Centre will keep its Guildford facility which will continue to handle build-ups of trucks for delivery.

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