Wayne Miller, National Business Manager for U-Haul Australia, says the company is on a mission: to exceed all expectations of trailer hire and to provide the best trailer hire experience in Australia. Which is why U-Haul Australia does not skimp on the quality of parts used on their trailers.
“If you’ve got trailers crossing through some of Australia’s most desolated sections, such as the Nullarbor or the Hay Plains, you do not want to risk those trailers breaking down,” Wayne stresses. “With cheaper bearings, failure invariably happens. And we can’t afford that with our customers – so we take a very proactive approach to ensure their trailer hire experience is a simple, seamless, and positive one.”
As a family business that is 100% Australian owned and operated, Wayne points out that U-Haul Australia is serious about delivering on its promise to “make local and one way hire a better experience for all Australians.”
Part of this is led by innovation, which includes their “live” online booking system, which allows for 24/7 one-way interstate bookings – a service no other provider can match. But it is also due to the fact that the company, which is Australia’s largest trailer hire company, has a no-compromise attitude to quality. These combined factors are probably what is driving demand for U-Haul Australia’s trailers.
“Australians are on the move – we’ve seen a significant increase in trailer hire since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last year – and for us at U-Haul Australia, that means we have trailers going from one end of Australia to another, and quite often,” Wayne explains. “To have a cheap bearing cause a trailer breakdown is not only going to translate to a bad customer experience but will prove costly to us in terms of recovering the trailer.”
According to Wayne, U-Haul Australia switched to using Timken tapered roller wheel bearings a number of years ago on the recommendation of their go-to CBC branch in Nambour. The performance and reliability of the Timken bearings has been impressive, to the extent that the majority of U-Haul Australia trailers use Timken-branded wheel bearings.
“As our Service Manager Glen puts it – we don’t have the luxury of using cheap products,” expands Wayne. “And this includes cheap bearings, which don’t provide the quality and consistency we need. When we needed a higher quality bearing our representative at CBC Nambour was able to work with us to achieve this end goal.”
Wayne elaborates on the challenges that arise if a trailer does break down.
“Even though we have the largest footprint across Australia – with over 1,100 U-Haul locations nationwide – there are some distances in Australia where there is nothing but a great expanse of land between one town and the next,” he says. “In the event of a trailer breaking down in one of these areas, organising the pick-up and removal of that trailer can prove a real logistical challenge for us, as well as an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.”
The U-Haul Australia trailers are also designed to be tough. As the company offers a guaranteed one-way interstate hire service, each individual trailer can expect to see a lot of Australia in its life cycle. Hence, the trailers require heavy duty bearings.
Having experienced issues in the past with bearing failure, Wayne says the company turned to CBC for a solution. Their local branch is not only a trusted supplier of quality bearings but they also view CBC staff as genuine solution providers.
“Our main headquarters and our largest workshop is on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, and so our local CBC branch is Nambour. We’ve been working with the CBC Nambour branch since we moved our key operations here, which is probably close to 8 years ago,” Wayne explains. “We order the bulk of our supplies for all states through this one branch because of the rapport we’ve built with them and the quality of service and product they provide to us.”
Dave Harwood, Technical Sales Representative at CBC Nambour, has been working with U-Haul Australia since they moved their primary workshop to the Sunshine Coast.
“The relationship I have with the U-Haul Australia Service Manager and Workshop Manager is strong, and I have great support from my peers in delivering services and products to them,” Dave says. “We make monthly calls and help identify other products with them that could be of benefit, or perhaps required in their other workshops throughout Australia.”
Importantly, Dave says the CBC and U-Haul Australia values are aligned – both companies have a very customer-focused approach and are committed to quality.
“Understandably, the U-Haul Australia Service Manager, Glen, expects the same level of high customer service and efficiency that U-Haul deliver to their customers,” Dave notes. “We’ve proven ourselves over these last number of years, providing exceptional service, long-lasting, quality products, and in providing solutions that reduce their maintenance costs and help protect their brand. In return, they’ve been very loyal customers to us.” The partnership is certainly based on mutual respect.
“The CBC staff have bent over backwards to help us with any issues we’ve experienced in the past,” says Wayne. “The relationship between our Service Manager, Glen, and Dave Harwood at CBC Nambour is particularly worth a mention. Glen describes the service provided by Dave as ‘sensational’ and that whenever problems arise, Dave is the ‘fix it’ man that Glen relies on to sort the issue out.”
In fact, it was Dave Harwood that first suggested the Timken wheel bearings for the U-Haul Australia trailers.
“They were having issues with bearing failures due to the heavy usage throughout Australia. They needed a quality bearing that could ensure longevity and superior performance,” he explains. “I recommended a Timken tapered roller bearing set as a solution because of its premium quality and performance. The customer has seen the benefits of these since we implemented them – increased efficiency with minimal friction, heightened durability, reliability and enhanced overall performance.”
The Timken bearing solution has been more than vindicated out in the field.
“Since U-Haul Australia have been using these Timken sets – which is for about 6 years – there have been no product complaints,” enthuses Dave. “That means there has been fewer breakdowns, which translates to improved customer confidence in the U-Haul Australia brand.”
Ultimately, this is the type of end result that CBC wants to provide to U-Haul Australia – one that will help them achieve their mission of exceeding expectations and providing peerless customer experiences.